Never buy Onions again – How to grow onions from discarded onion bottoms

Do you want to learn how you can use the bottom of the onion you cut off when cooking? As an avid gardener the thought of growing something without a cost is very appealing. This post is all about how you can grow an endless supply of onions.

First of all you need to gather the things you need. The follow the steps below.

You will need

  • Onion
  • Knife
  • Container
  • 4 toothpicks
  • Pot of soil or garden area for planting


  1. Cut about 2cm off the bottom end of the onion (use the rest of the onion in your cooking).
  2. Peel the dry onion skin off the bottom and leave the bottom for about 24 hours for it to dry out.
  3. Insert 4 toothpicks in a cross pattern equally spaced to use to suspend the onion in the water.
  4. Fill the container with water and place the onion bottom so that it sits in the water slightly.
  5. Leave in a light place until there are white roots growing.
  6. Next choose a pot, an area of garden or raised garden bed to temporarily plant the onion bottom.
  7. In the soil make an impression the size of the onion bottom and place the onion in it.
  8. Cover lightly with soil and then water.
  9. When the shoots are about 10cm long above the soil (this May take about 4 weeks) gently dig up the onion bottom.
  10. Gently remove the old onion pieces from the sprouted onion bottom.
  11. Divide the onion bottom by using a knife or scissors so each of the leaf sprouts are separated from each other. They must have both leaves and roots on each piece, if not discard the piece. Each piece you plant will grow in to a full onion.
  12. Plant each piece in the place you have chosen to grow it in. They need a sunny position.
  13. Remember to water regularly (stick your finger in the soil and if it is not moist it is time to water).
  14. Harvest when the leaves have fully bent over and part of the top of the onion is showing.

It will take up to 6 months for the new onions to grow but soon you will have enough onion bottoms growing to never run out of onions again. Each onion you harvest can have the bottom cut off and used to grow more onions. Each onion bottom usually can grow 2 or more onions. In Adelaide we can follow this process of growing onions from onion bottoms all year to never buy an onion again.

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