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Allium cepa


Almost everyone loves onions. And when you grow them yourself, you get the most tender, sweet ones possible. The sweetest onions don't last long in storage, but because of their mild flavor they're great raw in salads or as a topper for grilled or cooked dishes. Storage onions are more pungent but develop a sweeter flavor when cooked.

Green onions, also called scallions or spring onions, are just immature bulbing onions that are harvested early. Leave them in the ground and they'll develop into regular onions.

Shallots are an onion relative with mild flavor and smaller bulbs. To ensure formation of large bulbs, plant shallots early in the season and grow the correct type for your area. Grow long-day types in the North and short-day types in the South, or plant intermediate-day types anywhere. Start onions from seed, transplants, or "sets" -- bundles of tiny immature onions.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
4-24 inches tall
Plant Width:
1-5 inches wide
Top Varieties

Allium cepa 'Ambition' produces divided bulbs with reddish-copper skin and white flesh. 90 days
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Allium cepa 'Candy Hybrid' is a mild-flavor intermediate-day yellow onion. It stores fairly well. 85 days
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Allium cepa 'Copra Hybrid' is a widely adapted long-day yellow storage onion that is sweeter than most other storage onions. 105 days
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Allium cepa 'Evergreen Hardy White' is a perennial you plant in spring or fall. It's ready to harvest about 65 days after a spring planting.
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Allium cepa 'Giant Red Hamburger' bears dark red bulbs that are good for slicing. The interior flesh is white and sweet. It is best adapted to the South. 95 days
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Allium cepa 'Redwing Hybrid' has pungent, red-flesh bulbs that store well. 110 days
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Allium cepa 'Superstar Hybrid' produces huge white bulbs that weigh up to 1 pound each. It is day-neutral, so it can be planted anywhere. 100 days
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Harvest Tips
Pick scallions or green onions when they are 6-8 inches tall and a bulb has begun to form. When the foliage of bulbing onions begins to die down naturally, withhold water. A week later, pull the bulbs and place them in a warm, dry location. When the skin is papery, cut off the foliage, leaving a 1-inch stub above the bulb. Store dried bulbs in a cool, dark location. Harvest shallots after side bulbs have formed and the tops have begun to dry. Separate the side bulbs, dry them, and store as you would onions.