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How To Plant Grocery Store Scallions – Can You Regrow Store Bought Scallions

How To Plant Grocery Store Scallions – Can You Regrow Store Bought Scallions


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Clipping coupons is a great way to save money at your grocery store, but so is reusing parts of your produce. There are many leftover bits of produce that you can re-grow using just water, but growing grocery store green onions is one of the quickest. Learn how to plant grocery store scallions for a fast, ready supply always at hand without a trip to the grocer.

Can I Plant Grocery Store Green Onions?

Almost all of us are trying to save money, especially on our food bills. Most of us are also trying to avoid waste. Growing your own produce from the throw away bits is a winning team up of the two goals. You may wonder, can I plant grocery store green onions? This is just one of the types of veggies that will produce fresh, usable produce in short order. Regrow store bought scallions and in about a week you will have usable green shoots.

A few searches online may have led you to sites where they tout re-growing items like the bottoms of a celery or the tops of a carrot. While the carrot will take off and grow leaves, you will never get a useful root, although the cut base does produce little white feeder roots. The celery will, in time, get some leaves and funny little anemic looking stalks, but they are nothing like a true celery stalk. One thing you can grow, which is much like its supermarket counterpart, is by growing grocery store green onions. Learn how to plant grocery store scallions and reap the benefits of this fast producing allium.

How to Grow Store Bought Scallions

It is easy to regrow store bought scallions. Once you have used up much of the green part of the onion, keep the white bulbous base with a bit of green still attached. This is the part that can be rooted and will produce new shoots. Place the remaining onion in a glass and fill with just enough water to cover the white part of the onion. Place the glass in a sunny window and that’s it. There couldn’t be simpler instructions on how to plant grocery store scallions. Change the water every few days to prevent rot and bacteria buildup. Then you just have to wait patiently.

Using Re-grown Scallions

After just a couple of days, you should begin to see new green growth coming out. These slender shoots can be used immediately, but for the health of the plant it is best to let a few build up before you start harvesting. That allows the plant to collect solar energy for growth. Once you have a few shoots, you can start to use them. Just allow one or two shoots to remain. This little green onion plant in water won’t last forever unless you put it in soil. You can cut and harvest a few times before the onion is ready for the compost bin though. This easy to grow reuse of onions is a great way to save money and keep from having to race to the store when you need green onions.

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Scallion Plant Profile

Scallions (Allium fistulosum) bring the flavor of onions without the long wait in the garden or the peeling in the kitchen. Although the terms scallions, green onions, and spring onions are often used interchangeably to mean any onion harvested before the bulb fully forms, they are actually distinguished from one another as follows:

  • Green onions: Regular onions (Allium cepa) harvested when they have very small bulbs leaves are good for eating.
  • Spring onions:Allium cepa onions harvested when the bulb is smaller than a quarter leaves are edible but not good for eating.
  • Scallions: Clump-forming onions with very thin bulbs leaves and bulbs are good for eating and are often more tender and mild than those of green onions.

Scallions are perennials that form long, dark green, tubular leaves that change to white bulbs underground, despite being considered "bulbless" onions. The leaves can reach up to 3 feet in height but are typically harvested when they're about 12 inches tall or shorter. Both the stalk and the bulb are prized for their bright yet mild onion flavor and are usually eaten raw. Scallions offer a rapid growth rate and are ready to harvest in 60 to 80 days after sowing. They are best planted in spring for a summer harvest. In climates where scallions grow well as perennials, they can be harvested annually without replanting.

Botanical Name Allium fistulosum
Common Name Scallion, Welsh onion, bunching onion, Japanese bunching onion, Japanese leek
Plant Type Perennial bulb
Size 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic to Neutral (6.2 to 6.8)
Hardiness Zones 6–9
Native Area Asia
Toxicity Non-toxic
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Why Scallions Are Easiest Aromatic You Can Grow Indoors

Perhaps you’ve seen all those hacks online showing that you can regrow your scallions simply by placing the white bulbs in a cup of water (and maybe eventually putting them in soil)? Perhaps you’ve doubted that it really can be that easy? I’m here to tell you it is, indeed, that easy!

It is not hard to have a continuous supply of scallions. Of course, the more you know, the better your results will be. Here’s a quick tutorial on growing and harvesting your own scallions at home.

First, the Basics

Scallions are part of the allium family (the same family as shallots and garlic) and are quick to grow. Even better, scallions are considered cut-and-come plants, meaning you can trim them for eating and the plant will continue growing.

The entire scallion plant is edible — there is the white, bulbous portion of the plant that grows somewhat underground, and the green stalks of the plant that shoot out from the soil. Both are tender, oniony, and delicious.

Planting Scallions

From Seeds
From seeds, scallions can take months to grow into full, thick plants. This is never my preferred method — only for the fact that there are two other options that are offer more instant gratification.

From Scraps
This is the method I mentioned at the beginning of the post: Using leftover store-bought green onions as your starts. Instead of just putting them in water (which the internet likes to tell you to do), I get the best results planting them into soil. To do it: Leave three to four inches of the white bulb intact and plant it about 1/2-inch deep in fresh soil. It will produce green stems that should be ready to harvest in two or three weeks.

From Starts
If you begin with starts from a local nursery, growth will happen super quickly. When planting, trim the roots so they are about two to three inches long (above) before you put them into the soil. If you prefer to eat the white portion of the plant, which is more flavorful, you can bury more of that part deeper into the soil and it will grow larger than if it was sticking out of the soil.

Regardless which way you’re starting your scallion garden, choose a narrow pot that is at least six inches deep and work in tidy rows, leaving one inch between plants. Fill the pot to its lip with potting soil — the deep soil will give the plant room to stretch its roots.

Scallions can be planted nearly all year long but do better in direct sunlight, so opt for a south-facing window if you have one. Those with less direct sunlight need not despair — scallions will still grow, just not as quickly. Either way, keep the soil slightly moist overly wet soil leads quickly to disease and even insects, so be mindful that the soil drains well and do not let water stand in the drainage saucer after watering.

Every three weeks you can plant more scallions to produce a continuous harvest. Don’t worry about overcrowding the planter because you’ll be thinning it out as you harvest.


  • Save money. I haven't bought green onions in two years (except to demo this tip).
  • Save time. You'll get a continuous source of recipe ingredients or garnishes right when you need them.
  • Reduce waste. You'll never have to toss out a half-used bunch of green onions that you forgot in the fridge.
  • Wow the world. It's a foolproof project that'll impress kids and adults alike with your mad green-thumb skills.

Here's how easy it is to upcycle this common food scrap you used to throw away.


Watch the video: 9 Herbs You Can Grow In Water Over And Over Again For Endless Supply