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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?

572 responses

  1. Reblogged this on Julie Patchouli.

    November 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    • Thank you ” Julie Patchouli “

      November 29, 2014 at 1:17 am

  2. Jacqueline

    Sounds interesting

    December 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    • Specially fun with/for the kids INDEED ” Jacqueline ”
      Thanks for the visit :D

      December 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm

  3. Andrea

    Hi, loved this article but when I looked up how to buy the onion bulbs everything I find says salad/spring onions grow from seeds not bulbs, can you advise what type of bulbs/onion sets would work best?

    December 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    • Thanks for coming by ” Andrea ” …That is up to you and Your choice of onions you prefer like RED, WHITE or BROWN….You can buy ready dry bulbs at any nursery shop/s, or local farmers market/s, supermarkets, etc…. If You choose to grow them from seeds, I SUGGEST you grow them first in planters seeds, and when they are about 10 or 12 cm tall transplant them in the bigger container of your choice also…You may choose decorative strawberries clay pots, or just simple plastic containers , etc….One tip of advise with clay pots, they evaporate moisture fast in hot periods, so put them in the shade in summer, and keep an eye on the moisture …Don’t worry, onions will grow in the shade as good as in the sun :D .
      Cheers and have fun.

      December 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      • Andrea

        Thank you so much for the reply, I will look for bulbs in the local garden centre and see what happens :)

        December 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      • Go ahead , MAKE MY DAY …You will enjoy it… :D

        December 6, 2014 at 1:34 am

    • Laura

      you can buy organic green or i guess they are called spring onions some place or maybe shallots. Find some small bulbs and go to it.

      February 10, 2015 at 4:34 am

  4. Pingback: Grow Onions Vertically On Your Window Sill | Craft Gater

    • Thank you

      December 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      • Ramona Torres

        Love my onions ..a ouple of onions are out ..and I have used them in soups , eggs and even my chow mein…thank you….

        December 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      • THANK YOU ” Ramona Torres ” ..You know what I do with onions ??. I chop 2 heads of onions very fine , add salt olive oil and a sprinkle of turmeric and toss it till I am pleased :D that it looks the way I want it …I let them rest overnight in the fridge and put them on toast with beans for breakfast :D (Poor man’s food but HEALTHY )…. . There you go, ONE MORE HAPPY READER & VISITOR…Thank you INDEED :D

        December 6, 2014 at 1:39 am

  5. Roni Deale-Whitmore

    Love it

    December 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    • :D ….Howdy “Roni Deale-Whitmore”…..Thanks for the visit …ENJOY
      Cheers and have fun. :D

      December 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

  6. How do you control the onion order that will inevitably happen?

    December 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    • Thanks for coming by and asking “Treva “….
      Order of what ??…WHO is SHOOTING FIRST and GROWING ???….If that is what you meant, well, YOU DON’T have control over it ( My opinion, unless some Monsanto genius scientist/s killer/s come up with some poisonous spray or fertiliser…Same like do with lawns our days, they sprinkle some granules and stops it from growing even if loads of rain are on )..LOL
      Simply nature ..You can’t control it. :D …Common Sense…I know, teachers & politicians, they buried the COMMON SENSE some time ego, and took him of the books, specially at school, but some oldies knows the natures way. ;)
      Cheers and have fun :D

      December 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      • Bethie

        I think she meant “odor”. I’ve grown onions on the windowsill and find the mild odor pleasant. In the kitchen, though, not in the bedroom.

        December 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      • Thanks for coming by to the rescue ” Bethie ” :D I personally, love the smell of garlic in the kitchen also, but boy oh boy, the onions should be out of every room over night or day…I love making onion salad mom’s style like in the old days…Just fine chopped onions, salt, olive oil and few drops of lemon juice for who likes it….And sometimes I forget the dish with it on the kitchen ….Not a very pleasant smell if you are not used to it I can tell you. :D
        Cheers and happy gardening or cooking ? ;)

        December 26, 2014 at 1:45 am

  7. Carolyne

    This might be a stupid question, but once you pluck one out to use, will it continue to grow? I have nothing close to a green thumb, but I really like this idea and would love to try it. Can you dumb it down?

    December 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    • Welcome ” Carolyne “, and thanks for asking…Green thumb or not, nothing or nobody can be perfect in the garden playing with nature of things… :D ..Sometimes no matter how good we provide , some seeds will just NOT RESPOND…I am going NUTS of WHAT ON EARTH I HAVE DONE WRONG ??…All we need is common sense :D …Back to topic and,..To answer your question now…If you mean PLUCK THE GREEN SHOOTS for salads or garnish the soups/broths , you have NO PROBLEMS watching it growing again & again till one day will go on seeds….On the other hand, if one takes the onions out, it is gone forever. ?? :D
      Cheers and have fun.

      December 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

  8. Tara

    Hi, did U cut small some holes on the buttom of the vessel for water dissolving?

    December 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    • Hi there ” Tara “…And Thanks for the visit…You wrote water dissolving which I presume you mean water draining … :D
      Your choice indeed….One warning or suggestion from my experiments…If you punch few holes at the bottom of the bottle or container, you may waist precious water, and also time consuming watering …..Water at the bottom of the container helps keep moisture for the roots of the onion bulbs….On the other hand, don’t forget that you already have some large wholes cut already for the sprouting of the bulbs, which are more than enough to keep aeration going inside container.
      Cheers and have fun experimenting…Best way to learn is by making mistakes :D

      December 13, 2014 at 12:12 am

  9. Hello! This is a silly question, but when you first planted them I see the bulbs being laid down inside, and when they are done growing with the shoots sticking out, are those the original bulbs I see? Or are they new bulbs that we would eat? I’m confused ! I would love to try this!

    December 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    • Thanks 4 the visit ” Amanda “….YES they are the same bulbs you put in the container….You may choose younger and smaller bulbs or mature and a bit more larger, it doesn’t matter….At the end of the day you will use mostly only the green shoots and leave the bulbs inside for the next harvest….Don’t worry, they may look dead, but the hearts are a live and will regrow and re-shoot again the next season. :D
      Cheers and have fun.

      December 26, 2014 at 1:38 am

  10. Ramona Torres

    I’m very very happy with my onions….I love chinese food…and love to make it at home…and you know mostly what I make requires onions…so I have it on hand ..and fresh too….thank you.. a great idea …love it…and they look so nice too…

    December 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    • Thank you ” Ramona Torres ” :D …One more happy visitor ….Makes me happy also.
      Cheers and have fun.

      December 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  11. Judith

    will some one please tell me how to get out of this blog feed.

    December 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    • Try deleting your feed and/or feedback from your blog page SETTINGS.
      Cheers and thanks 4 the visit :D

      December 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  12. Pingback: How To Grow Onions On Your Windowsill | Healthy Food House

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    • Thanks for linking :D

      January 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm

  14. Marisse


    January 9, 2015 at 8:50 am

  15. Catherine Thomad

    You know I was wondering, in the picture where the little boy is placing the bulbs, it looks like the top of the bottle is cut like instructed…..but in the pictures showing the onion growth it looks like the top is in place… we keep the bottle top and place it back on the bottle??? Wanna try this with my daycare kids…Thanks Cat

    January 12, 2015 at 2:02 am

    • Hi there ” Catherine Thomad “..Thanks for coming by and your Question…To be honest with you,….Not needed to keep the top of your ( Whatever container ) on…That was for ILLUSTRATION PURPOSE just ( To look good ) :D

      Have fun and best, use common-sense in the garden…Cheers.

      January 12, 2015 at 2:07 am

  16. Lainie

    hello Old Fart….Thank-you for the wonderful idea…..can’t wait to try this……i grow my own veggies in the summer, but this is a great idea for all year enjoyment……i think i may even try something like this with some other greens/herbs…….funny how one simple idea can make you think “wow, love it” and then the “what else can i do this with” comes into mind……i have used my windowsill for ripening my wares and growing houseplants, can’t wait to use it for regrowing/growing veggies and herbs……thanks again, happy and healthier now ….lol


    January 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    • Thanks for the visit ” Lainie “, I am grateful to see you happy and willing to try other versions of it….Sure it can work with anything that fits the container/s … …That is it…Fun all the way…Good for you….Cheers and blessings. :D

      January 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

  17. Pingback: Growing Green Onions on the Windowsill |

  18. Hazel Quinsay

    Hi. This is a very brilliant idea especially if you are living in an apartment. But how about the smell, will it be strong if the plant is inside the house?

    January 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    • Hi there ” Hazel Quinsay “….Thanks for your visit… Do NOT WORRY friend, there is no smell, unless you OVER WATER the container/s , you may get that muddy, moldy, green moss smell….Enjoy and have fun. :D

      January 30, 2015 at 1:30 am


    Very useful Thanks

    February 2, 2015 at 4:55 am

    • My pleasure…Enjoy some FUN specially for/with kids :D

      February 2, 2015 at 10:31 am

  20. Pingback: Friday’s Fresh Five! (2/6/15) | What about this?

  21. StacyV

    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! Any idea where I can get a container like that? We make a point to buy everything in glass for recycling purposes, no plastic recycling around here, and I have never seen a 5liter container like that! We don’t drink soda so 2liter bottles are out also. I have been saving and growing the bottoms of our purchased organic green onions, could I plant those in one of these containers, maybe 2-3 side by side per hole? About how long does it take for the onions to reach eating maturity? I’d love to know how many I need to plant to Never Need To Buy Them Again!!! Thank you again for this idea! Have a great one!

    February 14, 2015 at 7:11 am

    • Hi there ” StacyV ” and thank you for your visit…Am glad you are excited about this, and I will try to answer all your Questions…Firstly,… If you don’t prefer plastic, try using strawberries decorative clay pots…One tip on them, they absorb and evaporate moisture of the pot faster , so, you will have to water it more often…Instinct and wisdom will tell you how often :D As for the 2 litre bottles, they are not practical at all, and again, need frequent watering…Now !!..Take my advice and DO NOT plant 2 or 3 bulbs per hole ..One bulb is fine and plenty ..Trust me …As for NEVER TO BUY AGAIN, yes, you can leave the bulbs in the place year after year, ( Just remember, you may get 2 or 3 young ones attached the next year, so there you have it , = multiply already = no cost :D ), just by using the green shoots in salads all year round, till they get tough, hard and old, and/or start to dry out, that’s a sign of onions going dormant, and the winter season, no more shallots for salads :D…Hope I give you all I could to see you happy, now just getting in there , doing it , and having fun…

      February 14, 2015 at 11:24 am

      • StacyV

        Thank you for your quick reply. I assume that if the onions become hard and tough those roots would need to be discarded. But what about roots that are going dormant? Can they be wintered over somehow? Thank you for your time.

        February 14, 2015 at 11:46 am

  22. My pleasure ” StacyV “…..NO…. Do not discard the old bulbs or roots …They will go rotten them self’s, the rest will compost it’s self, and new roots will regrow instead from the heart of the old bulb….Try this experiment with an old onion in the ground, the next year you will have more onions in the same place…The outer old will go rotten and the heart/s will multiply ….Same thing I SUGGEST you do, as I said above when the bulbs go dormant during winter …LEAVE THEM IN THERE, and WATCH THEM COMING BACK THE NEXT YEAR…..Cheers :D Have fun

    February 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  23. Pingback: How to Grow Onions Vertically On The WindowsillCreative Ideas | Creative Ideas

  24. Reblogged this on Sew Lyrically Vintage.

    February 19, 2015 at 12:23 am

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  26. Katy

    Is this just for green onions or can I do this with something like white onions? Please help. Thanks!

    February 21, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    • Hi there, and, Thanks 4 your visit ” Katy “…I like you get an general idea first…1 )- ALL ONIONS have green shoots or how some may call it Sprouts…2)- There are White, Red or Brown varieties of onions, they all looks green above the ground, even the Shallots are white bellow ground.
      Conclusion :…You may use any onion variety you like and it works the same for all…Thanks 4 your question, hope I could help and get out there and have some fun :D …Cheers

      February 22, 2015 at 1:38 am

      • susan

        Will it taste different? This is my first try at growing anything, but I believe I can do this.

        March 19, 2015 at 12:29 am

      • Forgive me if I returned your reply a bit late…Either I lost count, have been behind or just missed it….. A, is..No different taste, except perhaps a milder flavour than in the shop…The reason is, they are fresh as fresh it can get, and the other is, to get a sharp strong flavour & taste for onions, the trick is to brake the top shoot and bend them, 1 and a half month before you take them out, and no water at all…This way they become stronger in taste ….Makes you cry with big , lots of tears when you cut them in… :D
        Cheers, and go have some fun.

        March 19, 2015 at 5:12 am

  27. Reblogged this on Incredible-Edible-Veggies.

    February 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm

  28. Janet

    Hi Old Fart, If I want to use the whole onion & not just the greens, won’t that leave an empty hole for the soil to fall out? OR will the bulb be big enough for me to cut it flush with the container therefore leaving the hole plugged with the roots & I get an onion & greens?
    Thanks Janet S

    February 28, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    • Hi there ” Janet “, and thank you for your interesting Q….You got a point, and it can be easy solved….So, you want to use the mature grown onion, and leave the roots in the container. The answer is YES, it will , can, and should work….ONLY if you make the whole, big enough for the onion to go true it easy..( No SCIENCE REQUIRED :D , Just estimate the size of your onion at maturity, say, the size of an goose egg ?? :D ), Thought sometimes we may get a double onion bulb, but don’t let it worry that…..Alternatively, you may pull it out , cut the end roots, and RE-PLANT THEM in the same whole…A liquid fertiliser may be required to help soil gain nutrients to regrow the roots faster….Good thinking 99 :D , Cheers and have fun.

      March 1, 2015 at 10:45 am

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  30. susan

    Going to plant the onions.

    March 19, 2015 at 12:16 am

    • Go ahead and have some fun “Susan ” :D
      Cheers and thanks for passing by…. Enjoy.

      March 19, 2015 at 4:56 am

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  33. Tony Trollip

    Brilliant Idea … however growing it this way is for the continuous supply of the greens alone and not for the actual onions … having said that … why would using the 2liter bottles not be ok to use indoors ?

    I have used 2 liters bottles successfully for strawberries …

    Please advise. ?. Many Thanks

    April 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    • Hi there ” Tony Trollip “…No problem, one can use any size container, but Perhaps it may help you to can count on SPACE for growth , space per each bulb, ( Most 2L bottles are Higher not Wider, water density and soil space feeding ( Fertiliser that is ), then, one will prefer just a larger container .
      Hope I helped somehow :D
      Cheers & go ahead have some fun.

      April 7, 2015 at 9:36 am

  34. Jane

    Could this be done in an ordinary 1 gallon milk jug or does it require the clear plastic?

    April 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    • Thanks for coming by ” Jane “…O can do this in any size container of his her choice….But as I said on the ” Tony Trollip ” reply comment ( Read above answer ), THINK OF SPACE for everything…That’s fine, later you will change your mind and go for larger space.
      Cheers and have some fun :D

      April 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

      • Jane


        April 7, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      • My pleasure :D

        April 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  35. patrick douglas.

    Hi ‘O F’ – going to try the onion planter you suggest – looks good – some while ago, some brain somewhere postulated that onions in the fridge are a no no unless in sealed containers – apparently draws bacteria big time ? – but I love my onions, and, salad, without spring onion aint salad – period – I can sometimes leave out the fresh mushroom, olives and capers but never the onion. Where we live (Durban, RSA) we cannot grow things like spring onions – we have delightful pests called Vervet Monkeys who strip anything from Beetroot to Cocktail tomato, Horse Radish to Ordinary Radish and Strawberries to Gooseberries (unless monkey proofed growing areas are made, growing anything in the open is just out of the question,
    Can you picture what our kitchen looked like when some of these “£%&*j@ …. got through our folding burglar door and proceeded to check our sugar and coffee supply????
    I grow Catelaya’s and they even found a way into the shade cloth to eat the blooms.
    Sorry for the digression, tried the rubber snake as well – dey know from da rubber snake already too…

    April 12, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    • Hi there ” patrick douglas ” and thanks for coming by…Enjoyed your monkey fear story :D Thank god I am not in an area by monkeys kingdom :D ..I love my onions also, and I will admit I don’t grow them in containers but in free and open ground….I chop them fine , add salt and olive oil, and save them in containers some even in the freezer and some straight in the fridge….Taste better if soaked in salt and olive oil, the truth is that salt kills certain unwanted bacteria ( Though Mould or some bacteria from fermentation/s are beneficial for our health )…My opinion anyway….Good luck with it, and have some fun mate :D ….Cheers

      April 13, 2015 at 2:17 am

  36. marge zimdars

    i looked for 5 liter plastic container where do you find these (for onions)

    May 2, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    • Thanks for coming by and, ..Hi there ” marge zimdars “…5 Litres containers can be fund any-were in the RECYCLE DEPOTS, hardware shops, so on and on…Just ask your closest somebody …I don’t live in the US ….
      Cheers and have some fun :D

      May 4, 2015 at 3:50 am

  37. I’m loving your attitude Old Fart. I just read every single one of your replies… you are an awesome human… I’m a happy home economics teacher and this onion sprout idea is a great thing for our classrooms! Cheers!

    May 5, 2015 at 11:04 am

    • Well, HELLO teacher ” HomeEcConnect “…Glad to hear you like my attitude, and yet consider me a human, now I should feel complete :D ..I will tell you a secret…I DON’T APPROVE OF POLITICAL JOKES, I HAVE SEEN TO MANY OF THEM ELECTED :D …The second secret is, that this idea started as fun mostly for kids ;)
      From this moment, you have the call and PLEASE DO, PREACH IT IN THE CLASSROOM/S …Way to show the world that food can be grown every-were there will be a bit of dirt & water….Cheers !

      May 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  38. Reblogged this on HomeEcConnect News and commented:
    What a great idea! Every home economics classroom should have a couple of these growing on their kitchen windowsills. Easy to do and our students would have a great time making them :) Sustainability education and food awareness is not just for talking about – it is participating and doing it!

    May 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm

  39. Pingback: Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill | Auntie Dogma’s Garden Spot | Elaine's Focus

    • Thank you in advance for linking to my site. Cheers ;)

      June 7, 2015 at 2:50 am

  40. David hurry

    What a cool idea I’m going to have try that

    June 22, 2015 at 12:46 am

  41. David hurry

    What a cool idea I’m going to have to try that

    June 22, 2015 at 12:47 am

    • INDEED “David hurry “…Go ahead and make your day :D
      Thanks for the visit.

      June 22, 2015 at 7:04 am

  42. Nate M.

    I love this. What a great way to save on space and money by growing your own!

    July 13, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    • Hi ” Nate M “….Glad you like it also, just like so many others….Great fun for the kids to :D …Cheers, and thanks for the visit.

      July 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

  43. wow! This is great! I’m bookmarking this!

    July 26, 2015 at 6:29 am

  44. Pingback: How to Grow Onions Vertically On Your Window Sill

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