Transplanting green onions

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

When I harvest bunching green onions I always remove one from the bunch and replant it back in the same spot. About 6 weeks later that single onion has grown into another bunch. Recently an elderly guest remarked that when doing that I should trim the roots to about an inch long and cut the green tops off leaving them about an inch long on the one being replanted. He said that he thought that this practice some how stimulates new growth.

Because I have so many I'll give it a try. But I was wondering if there is anything too this?

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Well, it sounds to me kind of like a case of, if it ain't broke don't fix it. ;-) I mean, you are having such success already..... and thanks for telling your method as now I shall try it!

I have heard the part about keeping the tops trimmed to stimulate growth but not about the root trimming. For me so far this is all just hearsay as I am growing them for the first time this year. So, I am all ears. Be interested to learn the results of your experiment.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

My multiplying onions are starting to make these flower buds on em. They look like a little pod on the tips. What do I need to do? This is my first time growing onions. They're in a 24" planter, and I haven't pulled any out of the pot yet. Thanks!


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I replant the clump too and never have cut anything back.

Linda, mine are in bloom right now. I maybe shouldn't but I let them bloom and enjoy the blooms as well as the bees that come to the blooms. I haven't ever saved seed from them but guess you could. They are easy to replant by separating a clump of them.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Thumbnail by podster
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Some of mine are in bloom now too. Like podster I'm just letting them go. They add a little color to the garden. :o)

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Could you post the name of your onions. What happens after they bloom? Do they reseed or keep going? Did you start from seed or sets? Multiplying sounds good and I'd like to get some.

I've got 2 kinds of green onions but neither are multiplying. I started them from seed in Sept. I always thought onions quit when it got hot. It has been awhile but if I remember correctly, the tops start to turn yellow and I always pull them up and freeze them. They're still green and no blooms or seeds. If I let them die down and pull them out, is that how you make sets?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Not sure if mine are the same as Dann_Ls' but I got mine at the local feed store. They call them multipliers or potato or bunching onions. The bulbs don't grow very large but yes, I leave them in ground year around. They don't rot but the stalks turn yellow in the heat, dying back to the ground. This is a link to these onions in my journal if you are interested.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Way cool! Thanks!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I don't know the name of the onions I have. I got 9 of them from a fellow DG'er. I'll try to take a picture and post it for you.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is a double row of onions 4' long. In the planter box on the right is more of the same. Some of those are in bloom.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is a little closer look.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

that's a real nice brick planter you have there Dann! I'm jealous of it, LOL!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks Karen!

I have 2 more that are different sizes and shapes and a 4th one under construction. For us the raised beds really make gardening more enjoyable here in this desert enviorment.

Waynesville, MO

I just stumbled onto a site called and it said for transplanting onions to: "To transplant, lift the onion seedlings from the seed bed and trim the roots and top a little. "

So your old timer friend does know a little it seems! :)

Kerrville, TX are just too neat in constructing those garden beds. Makes the rest of us look bad. You gotta stop that!! Get sloppy, join the rest of us.

About trimming roots and tops of onions when you transplant. I have had some experience with doing that to lots of plants, not just onions. One year I grew lots of flowers in one gallon pots and just sank the pots in the loose dirt of garden beds. You could lift the one gallon pot up and it would leave a perfect one gallon sized hole in the garden bed. I called it my "pot hole" garden. This allowed me to move the various potted plants around from pot hole to pot hole to "re-design" my garden beds.

I lifted the pots occassionaly and sniped off any roots trying to grow out of the pot's drainage holes, otherwise they would grow into the ground and the pots would not be movable.

If some plants began to look a little raggedy, like in the dog days of summer, I would lift the pot and carry it to my "nursery" area located under a big cedar tree in my back yard. I would jerk it out of its pot, beat most of the dirt off its roots, whack off some of its top and also whack off some of its roots. I would add a few grains of slow release fertilizer to the grow mix and dump it and the plant back into the pot. The rejuvenated plant would respond vigorously growing there in the nursery area in dappled shade. In short time, it was ready to go back to the garden beds in full sunshine and produce more flowers for me. I guess you could call that a drastic case of "dead-heading". Lots of the plants with a substantial root mass, I would divide by cutting or pulling apart the root mass and making many plants out of the one plant. By summers end, I had a lot more plants than I began with.

Different type of plants respond differently but the mostly annual flowers I was growing responded well to this kind of "tough love." :-)

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Haha! I haven't always been this way!

When I first moved here this was a new housing tract built on native desert soil. Nasty stuff as far as gardening soil goes. So I decided the best way was with raised beds where I could build the soil and maintain some control. It's a whole different way of gardening after having a traditional "in the ground" garden for 30 years. Now everything is done with a spade fork and hand tools. My rototiller is like the outcast mop on those Swiffer commercials now. It just doesn't see much action any more. :o)

I'm going to replant some of the onions this weekend and I'll try a side by side experiment to see if there is any difference between the 2 methods. I'll take a couple of before and after pictures to post here.

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