Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Garden Onion, Edible Onion
Allium cepa 'Red Wethersfield'

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: cepa (KEP-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Wethersfield

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
By tip layering

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By gardeningfun
Thumbnail #1 of Allium cepa by gardeningfun


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive gardeningfun On Apr 27, 2010, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

This nineteenth century variety derives its name from Wethersfield, Connecticut, where it is said to have originated. This onion forms a large, flattened bulb five inches in diameter with purplish-white flesh. Sow seed one-quarter inch deep in early spring or late summer, and thin to three to four inches apart. Plant in deep garden loam in full sun. It is very strong flavored and a good keeper. It is hard to find! They are planted in gardens in late fall or early spring and in 4 to 5 weeks you will have green onions. If left to fully mature you will have dry onions in late July or early August. 100 days from transplant. Easy to grow with a long storage life. Make sure your are planting in an undisturbed location with fertile soil since they have shallow root systems. Use a straw mulch to retain moisture. Keep an eye on the green shoots. Keep weeded and regularly watered to help ward off pests. Long day type, grows well in northern climates. A reliable keeper grown since at least 1843. Planting Depth: 1/4 - 1/2" . Soil Temp. for Germination: 50-85 degrees. Days to Germination: 7-14. Plant Spacing After Thinning: 4-6". Days to Maturity: 110-115. Keep entire seedbed moist throughout germination.Soil & Water: Enrich soil with compost. Onions need at least 1 inch of water per week to develop sizable bulbs. Harvesting & Seed Storage: Harvest when green tops begin to fall over. Cure in a warm, dry, well ventilated area until tops are completely dry. Cut tops and store in a cool area. Store seeds in cool, dry, dark conditions. For storage longer than 2 years, place in freezer.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Geneva, Ohio

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