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Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill

postheadericon One for the enthusiast

How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?

Sure, onions are available all year round from the supermarket, but they are hardly fresh and there’s almost always no way to know for sure where they came from.

Gardeners of course will simply grow them but some simply have problems with available space.

I came across an image of spring onions grown vertically on the windowsill, using a common 5 Liter PBS bottle, which I thought was a practical, space-saving and green way to grow onions. I posted the image on our Facebook Page and a few people asked how it was done…


…and since I was curious myself, I did a bit of research and this is what I found:

FIRST, you need a planting vessel:

plastic bottles

NEXT, you need to remove the neck of the bottle then cut holes around it. You can use a scissor or a heated metal tool to make the holes. Make sure the holes are just the right for the onion bulbs.


NEXT, fill the bottle with layers of onion sprouts and soil.



Keep adding layers until you reach the top of the container.

NEXT, water it…


AND FINALLY, set it on your windowsill…

onions on windowsill - Copy

And watch daily as your onions grow…


In no time, you’ll have something like this:


So the next time you want to add some garnish to your food, sweet spice to your soup, to whip up a savory dish or to make a nice, crunchy salad, all you’ll need to do is pluck some from your vertical onion garden.

And you don’t even have to worry about storing them.

Wouldn’t this make a great project?

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463 responses

  1. Pingback: 17 Foods To Buy Once And Regrow Forever

  2. do you know if it will work for white onions also?

    May 16, 2014 at 1:57 am

    • Thanks for asking ” Norietta “….SURE …It will work for any colour or any variety…After all, they are all Onions :D.
      Cheers, and have fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 2:58 am

    • thank you I’ll try it and let your know if it works for me.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:35 am

      • YOU ARE WELCOME ;)

        May 16, 2014 at 4:58 am

  3. John

    May sound like a stupid question, but what is a 5 liter PET bottle? I’ve only 1 and 2 liters, or 3 in Canada.

    May 16, 2014 at 2:57 am

    • Thanks for the visit ” John “….You mean 5L PBS bottles I believe, ………PBS is food grade plastic, NON TOXIC…That’s it, and it is safe….3L is fine.
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:30 am

  4. Jeannia

    Do you thinkthis wil work for other spices ie dill coriander?

    May 16, 2014 at 4:04 am

    • Hi there Jeannia….Not really, do not spoil it… :D …..Dill tends to grow as high as 1 meter and Coriander also almost, depends on variety…..I would not spoil the fun….

      May 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

  5. Kathy Lee

    Where do you get the small onions you plant? Thanks

    May 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    • Thanks for the visit ” Kathy Lee “..It all depends on your location…I would suggest the local farmers market first, if not possible, try your local Garden/Nursery Shop or even Wall Mart…..Alternatively grow them from seeds, and transplant the onion bulbs when big enough.
      Cheers , and Have Some Fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

  6. Reblogged this on Meryland Knows Best and commented:
    This is an awesome idea!

    May 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    • YES INDEED ” merylandknowsbest “…..Specially fun with kids. ;)
      Thanks for the visit and for PUTTING IT ON YOUR SITE ;)

      May 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

  7. yolanda

    I wonder, would the same work for other herbs like rosemary or parsley?

    May 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    • Thanks for asking ” yolanda “…..The answer is straight NO IT WILL NOT WORK…Remember that Rosemary bushes can get to an very large size, and Parsley can grow up to a meter tall. :D …Don’t spoil the fun. …Use an large pot for Rosemary and a medium pot for parsley if you wish to grow them…
      Cheers and have fun. ;)

      May 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

  8. Hi it’s Patti again. My onions have been so much fun! My 7 year old grandson would never eat onions until I made him one of these to take home. He is in charge of watering it and they are using it for many recipes that call for onion. Mine? it’s amazing how you cut them down and use them and you can almost watch them re-grow. It also got me started on other things. I bought a green house and put in a small garden. I am thinking of growing garlic do you have any good hints for that and also I’m trying to grow tomatoes in the ground and in the hanging upside down pot. I’m not so sure about the hanging one it seems to be doing poorly. Any ideas on that one? Thanks very much.

    May 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    • Hi there “afbhfsl80″….I am smiling here :D … Hearing that you are happy with this kids project makes me also happy….Looks like you are going to expand the fun and that I can say, YOU CAN’T LOOSE HERE… :D ..Now !…Growing garlic never have been so easy, just add lots of chicken poop to the soil ;) , best to grow them in the ground, and rotate the plots every season….With tomatoes my favorites are the ( Cherry Tomatoes, they yeld heavy crops, are more resistant to sickness and/or diseases, also, one can plant them under a tree, where they can claim over and last far in to the Autumn or even winter in some zones….For these hanging ones, YOU NEED TO HAVE FRESH, RICH ACID SOIL IN THE BASKET EVERY TIME YOU PLANT ONE.
      Good luck, looks like you are on the ball …HAVE FUN.
      CHEERS and thanks for coming by.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      • I had no idea last May that a container of potatoes and two liter pop bottle of onions on my window sill was going to have such an impact on my life! I guess the easiest way to describe it is by saying I am addicted to gardening! I started out by buying a small 6ft x 8ft greenhouse and when it was full I bought my first if 4 loads of garden compost soil! Each load is 4 yards of dirt! Had I know I’d have ordered at least 20 yards the first time I ordered it delivered! I have planted everything I could think of to can and to freeze! I have made salsa every way I could think of with zucchini and tomatoes. I have frozen peas, green beans, carrots, and spinach, and even swiss chard! Before this I had never tried swiss chard but I can make a butt kickin’ quiche with it now and many other things. I am planning to cover what is still producing in my winter garden with something this week-end to save it from the rain and cold so it will continue to grow! I ran out of room in the freezer and removed the bed in the spare room to put in shelves to store the things I’ve canned! Next we’ll put another freezer in there to hold the rest of the stuff as I prefer frozen peas and green beans to canned ones!

        Any ideas on what to cover the winter garden with? Any ideas on what I can grow in the greenhouse over the winter? Is there a self help group that can help me with my addiction to gardening? Lol just kidding I don’t want to get help yet!

        Thanks for helping me find, for the first time in my life, what I have to call peace! Never have I had this feeling and this much enjoyment from just getting up in the mornings and heading to the garden!

        Hugs and cheers to you my friend!

        October 2, 2014 at 12:42 am

      • ((((( HUGS ))))) :D

        October 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    • Hi again ” afbhfsl80 ” ….I AM REALLY HAPPY 4 YOU …I MEAN IT…..Quote:… Any ideas on what to cover the winter garden with? Any ideas on what I can grow in the greenhouse over the winter? ….Unquote
      Well , go to any garden shop, store or local markets, whatever, and buy your self a roll of Clear plastic ( Specially 4 green house )….Ask the salespersons 4 the best quality or top value…Remember, one gets what he/she pays 4 it …TRUE… :D
      Now in the cool season, just Grow any winter vegetables or fruits bushes, berries, the sky is the limit…..Do some search on Google or anywere you wish, Read on seeds packets or Watch in You-tube thousands of videos on gardening and tips….Wink.
      Cheers and HAVE FUN. :D

      October 2, 2014 at 3:01 am

  9. crystalbluj

    This is a nifty idea. I am going to do strawberries this way.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    • :D ….”crystalbluj”.. …I have 2 full 6M long gutters with strawberries my self… Love it :D
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  10. Michele Dochat

    Neat idea. The finished product appears to have the neck of the bottle attached… How was this done?

    May 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    • Smille “Michele Dochat” :D , It is easy done….Some, specially the kids, love to see the TIDY , EFFECT/S OF THEIRS LABOUR :D ….You may glue it back on top after you fill the bottle with soil ;)
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

  11. TJ

    If you make the holes the size of the baby onion, how do you get them out when they’ve grown to maturity? If you take them all at once I know they will come through the top, but for one at a time, do you start at the top and work your way down?

    May 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    • Hi there ” TJ “….For one, the wholes are being cut NOT TO the size of the young small onion bulb, but much larger ( That will be the aprox size of an mature grown bulb ) ” Use your imagination :D “….Also, when they are fully grown, one can’t predict where to start pulling them out, since they will mature on theirs own on theirs own choice…I can tell you in advance, you may end up harvesting one or few at the bottom, and one or few at the top, or perhaps some-were in the middle, etc….It all depends which mature first. ;) …Don’t worry, just harvest them as they mature, regardless where ( Top or Bottom ).
      Cheers, thanks for the visit, and have fun :D

      May 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

  12. Lulubelle

    So you mean we are to harvest the onion itself? I thought you leave the onion in the container and just cut off the green scallions that grow out of each onion as you need them. Can you explain please? Thank you so much.

    May 20, 2014 at 1:18 am

    • Thanks for your visit ” Lulubelle “….Let me explain ..You leave the onion bulbs inside container and you harvest the green shoots , but eventually, the bulb will go to seeds as it get mature and older, ( Like all things get older WITH TIME :D ), that’s when you may harvest it and use it for your self…. ;)

      May 20, 2014 at 1:28 am

  13. great idea.

    May 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    • Thanks ” Wilma ” :D

      May 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

  14. Reblogged this on Pop Rox blog.

    May 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  15. Russell

    Hi and thank you for posting this great idea.

    I have 1 question, and probably a very silly question (just getting into vegetable growing and gardening) but do onions grow back?
    I ask because if I wanted to pluck one of the onions out, how would it grow back unless I put a new one there?

    Or is the essence of this onion growing system that you cut off, say, half an onion, and then watch it grow back?

    Thanks again and hope to read your reply soon. :)

    June 2, 2014 at 3:44 am

    • Hi there ” Russell “…To answer simply , YES THEY WILL REGROW EVERY SEASON if left in the ground.
      ONE MAY PICK ONLY THE GREEN SHOOTS only for salads, leave the bulb permanently in the ground. Another easy way to regrow onions is ..Use the roots cut from them left as kitchen scrap , stick it in the ground and soon you will have onions :D
      Good luck and have fun.
      PS:…Don’t have to touch the bulb or cut it in half…Just leave it there, it will shoot again.
      Thanks for coming by. ;)

      June 2, 2014 at 4:08 am

  16. Ray

    What about bugs? Did you have any problems with pests? New to gardening, or growing anything for that matter, and would love it if it had little or no pests and bugs in my apt, preferably none, because of it.

    June 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

    • Welcome to my page ” ray ”
      .onions and garlic like bulbs do not attract any bugs of any kind.
      …have fun gardening.
      Cheers and get out-there having fun….Don’t worry a bit.

      June 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

  17. marry anne

    Hi when you want to get them they are growing another oninios too?

    June 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    • Hi there ” marry anne “….Don’t quite understand what you mean, but I presume you ask if they multiply in the ground like any other flower/s bulbs ??/…The answer is NO and sometimes, depends what you do with them Yes….If you let them in the ground or bottle, you may see another plant shooting from the same old rotten one :D …Either way, you can’t loose if you leave them in, and they will regrow from the heart of the old one.
      If you let it go on seeds, that’s an different story, you can regrow them from seeds.
      Thanks for coming by and have fun. ;)

      June 4, 2014 at 12:04 am

      • Norirtta Sears-Belcher

        I have a new question.  Can I plant bulbs now that are supposed to be planted in the fall.  We have some bulbs we received last fall that we couldn’t get in the ground due t health issues.  I hate to wait til fall and have another problem getting them in the ground

        June 7, 2014 at 1:45 am

      • i would not personally, i would store in cool dry place until fall. if you tell me what they are i can research for you. i tried that with spiderwort that was to be planted in November and it did not come up, had to snag an offshoot from mother plant of a friend’s instead.

        June 7, 2014 at 2:10 am

      • Sure as long as they are not certain flower bulbs or other variety….Carinarango ( Chi ), will check it for you if you just let her know what bulbs you have there…” Norirtta Sears-Belcher”….Onions and garlic do not require to keep them in the cool room box or in the fridge before planting…..Just one tip of wisdom from me…If in your world it is SUMMER, keep them up with moisture….Don’t drawn them in water, but keep it moist.
        Cheers and have some fun

        June 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

  18. John

    I apologize, but I still don’t understand what a 5 liter PBS plastic bottle is. What would I find in a store that it would contain? 2 liter, I understand, but a 5 liter seems pretty large and am a bit puzzled. Thanks!

    July 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    • I see :D ….If I suggest an GALLON bottle will help ? :D
      Thanks for coming by John ;)

      July 16, 2014 at 1:03 am

    • Go to the dollar store and get a jug of drinking water. Comes in either 1 gallon or 5liter square jug

      August 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm

  19. martin balanay

    So nice to start a window garden

    July 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

    • Agree mate :D …Fun for the kids also ;)
      Thanks for the visit ” martin balanay “

      July 16, 2014 at 1:05 am

  20. erik

    i want ask how long time will be produce new green stuff from this…
    thanks for answer,

    July 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    • Thanks for coming by ” erik “….The green shoot can be promoted by cutting it often, they will stay green and regrow new ones till the onion it’s self is ready for harvest…That will show you by getting dry.

      July 28, 2014 at 4:21 am

  21. Cori

    Does it matter where you grow this? I am thinking the window that gets the most sun? Like a south facing window or would it grow with minimal sunlight?

    July 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    • Nice to see you coming by ” Cori “….NO IT DOESN’T….Onions will grow regardless, dark site or light site….Just put them any were and have fun.

      July 28, 2014 at 2:52 pm

  22. balsy

    Usually, how long will you enjoy this before it needs to be plucked off?

    July 29, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    • Welcome ” balsy “… :D Smile friend, great news…Up to 8 months the least, …Enjoy plucking till the shoots go dry …That tells you the onion is ready to be harvested.

      July 30, 2014 at 1:15 am

  23. Marie

    I’ve started growing onions from seeds in an egg carton, am I able to grow full size onions by transplanting the sprouts the same way as the picture?

    August 1, 2014 at 1:47 am

    • Welcome ” Marie “…What a Great Start ….SURE YOU CAN…Just transplant them when about 7 to 10 cm long.
      I wish I could get some young sprouts from someone right now…NAH, I spread seeds also at the end of winter after I turn the soil around :D
      Cheers and have some fun.

      August 1, 2014 at 2:15 am

  24. tessia

    Thanks for the great idea!
    I’m used to only use the actual onion for cooking, so I want to ask you if you know of more dishes/foods it goes well with.
    Can I use it for say tomato sauce for pasta?

    August 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

    • Welcome “tessia”….I have an weird taste for dishes and variety of foods, specially Eastern European & Mediterranean……..Try to fry till brown the onions, they give stronger sweeter flavor to any dish…If you use the green shoots, chop them fine and add fresh to any sauce.
      Try my favorite European or Eastern European dish…Boiled potatoes and top with butter, fry onions and finely chopped dill…..Comeback and tell me how did it taste.
      Cheers and Bone Appetite. :D

      August 5, 2014 at 5:33 am

  25. wolflogan

    ill try this for my bird seeds … i have cabbage or we call it pichay here in PH .. ill try it too

    August 12, 2014 at 4:15 am

    • Welcome a board ” wolflogan “…I quite don’t get it what you mean about the CABBAGE or the BIRDS SEEDS, but if you think it will work for you , GO AHEAD…I will be curios how it all ends up… :D

      August 12, 2014 at 5:42 am

  26. Pingback: ideascute » Blog Archive » How To Grow Onions Vertically

  27. Pingback: How to grow onions on your windowsill | The Farm Family Series

  28. Pingback: Grow Onions Vertically On Your Window Sill – From Your Home

  29. Simone

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    Do you think that this will work with flower bulbs as well? That would be a lovely present for the spring season..

    September 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

    • Thanks for coming by ” Simone “…Flower bulbs ??…Goes great :D.
      Cheers and have fun ;)

      September 3, 2014 at 7:11 am

  30. Pingback: Grow Onions Vertically On Your Window Sill | Content inspirations

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  32. Jane

    Hi, am going to try this, I am a master gardener and this is one of the best ideas I have heard, just need to get my stuff together and get er done.

    September 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    • Hi ” Jane “, and thanks for coming by…….You go master, the idea is/was intended at first as fun for kids :D …Have some fun ;)
      Cheers and thanks again.

      September 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm

  33. Amber

    How do you harvest them out of the container?

    September 25, 2014 at 12:40 am

    • Thank you for coming by ” Amber “…..Really, you may have to split open the wholes a bit more, but hey !, your onions have giving you all year the green shots for salads :D …..Don’t worry, either replace the container if you need to harvest them, or just leave them in for the next year’s growth and crop…Your choice
      Cheers and have fun. ;)

      September 25, 2014 at 1:00 am

      • Amber

        Awe! I see. I didn’t realize you could just eat the greens. I use onions every day when cooking. And usually a whole one at that. :) Thank you!

        September 25, 2014 at 1:22 am

    • It looks like you are a heavy user of onions, so I suggest plant them out in your plot :D …..I love onions also, but hardly get to leave them to maturity….I love them green ??…On the other hand, the mature ones I can buy locally very very cheap $0.50 (cent per Kg) at the local Farmers Market NO CHEMICALS & ADDITIONAL FERTILISERS ADDED, just clean organic manure….Wink.
      Cheers ;)

      September 25, 2014 at 1:31 am

  34. Reblogged this on The Adventures of Thrive Farm.

    September 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

  35. Clever. Happy Nesting.

    September 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    • :D Oi Moi, I;m flattered now ….Thanks ” thefolia ”

      Cheers and thanks 4 coming by. ;)

      September 30, 2014 at 4:03 am

  36. BG

    Excellent idea! I will share this and definitely try it :) Thank you!!!

    October 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    • More than welcome :D
      Cheers, and thanks for the visit.

      October 2, 2014 at 3:04 am

  37. Love the idea, best for gifts too…

    October 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    • GIFT/S ??…Yeah, why not….Good thinking 99 :D
      Cheers and thanks for the visit.

      October 2, 2014 at 3:06 am

  38. I loved the idea, best for gifts too. Thanks for sharing.

    October 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm

  39. Pingback: Grow Onions Vertically On Your Window Sill - Top Creative Ideas

  40. Jan

    Reblogged this on Common Ground Garden and commented:
    A great little project for kids or those that want to carry the gardening bug through the winter months.

    October 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    • Thank you…
      Have FUN :D

      October 4, 2014 at 3:04 am

  41. Pingback: How to Grow Onions Vertically On The Windowsill |

  42. Ramona Torres

    When you say onion bulb you mean the onion has its root on top already out…or do you just plant the onion the way it is…please explain ..I would like to do this project..since I use onions a lot…

    October 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    • Hi ” Ramona ” and thanks for coming by….. When we say bulb, I mean anything with or without roots…Buy some small size onions at the supermarket, ( Not them HUGE SIZE ), and just plant it the way it is…Don’t worry, after a bit of moisture in the soil, the onions will grow roots again :D
      Cheers and have fun. ;)

      October 16, 2014 at 4:27 am

      • Ramona Torres

        Thank you… much…so off to the supermarket I go to get my small onions…..

        October 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      • Good Luck Ramona ;) ….Buy the smallest bulbs or as the call them ( Pickling onions )… :D

        October 17, 2014 at 2:11 am

  43. shenaaz khan

    This is such a wonderful idea , I just can’t wait to try it. I love gardening but live in a block of flats so this way of planting is perfect for me.

    October 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

    • Welcome to my site ” shenaaz khan” Go ahead have some fun .
      Cheers and thanks for passing by :D

      October 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

  44. Cath

    I saw this yesterday and have planted onion seedlings in mine. I live in the NW of the UK with winter looming and daylight hours subsiding. Where would I be best positioning mine, in or outdoors please? Many thanks :)

    October 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

    • Hi there ” Cath ” and thanks for the visit …Look …Onions do best outdoors regardless of season when you plant the seeds or bulbs, ( Any time in the year is just fine ), sun or shade, cold or heat….Obviously, during frost month/s they may go dormant, and also at the end of theirs cycle they will grow hardy steams and go on seeds….Collect the seeds, and leave them old bulbs in the ground to regrow the next time ..Best if you don’t disturb them ….Keep them outside….Same thing you may choose to do if you plant them in the plastic containers, strawberries pots or whatever you choose…They will grow anywhere, anytime, any season .
      Cheers and have fun :D

      October 24, 2014 at 9:12 am

      • Cath

        Ok, and thanks again :)

        October 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

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