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I’ll Never Pay Again: One Simple Way to Free Green Onions

We all know gardening is a great way to be frugal.

Growing your own fruits and veggies means lower grocery costs and fewer trips to the store to pick up a vegetable you need for dinner. Plus, there’s no denying that all fruits and veggies taste better when they’re fresh.

Unfortunately, all that great savings comes to an end when summer comes to a close, but there are actually a few vegetables you can grow all year long, regardless of your climate, space constraints or green thumb!

Green onions grow fast, and all they need is a little water and a lot of light. With very little effort, you can have a steady supply of green onions, grown right in your kitchen! They add an extra kick to almost any dish, so they’re great to have on hand (especially when they’re free!)

The next time you pick up a bunch or two of green onions at the grocery store, don’t discard the white ends after you’ve used up all the greens. Instead, stick the white root end into a glass with an inch or two of water then place it in a sunny window. Make sure to trim most of the green end off before you place it in the water, or they’ll just get droopy!

Within a day or two, you’ll notice the green shoots starting to regrow, and the roots in the water getting longer. In less than a week, they’ll be back to their original size, and you can just trim off as much as you need, whenever you need it.  In fact, the onions grow so fast I sometimes find myself trimming them back when I don’t need any, just because they’ve gotten so tall!

Not only is this a useful little “kitchen garden,” it also makes a pretty little plant to sit on your windowsill. The best part, though, is knowing you’ll never have to buy green onions again!

This has been a guest post by Whitney from Lancaster, OH
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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50 thoughts on “I’ll Never Pay Again: One Simple Way to Free Green Onions”

  1. Lainey says:

    Do they eventually lose their “kapow” after being used so many times?

  2. I eat the root part lol!

  3. Leilani says:

    I saw this on some TV show and tried it and was AMAZED how quickly they grew.  I actually finally had to throw mine away because I could use it up fast enough, lol! Even after 2 days of it being planted, you’ll see a difference. Then it starts to go even faster!

  4. ritaskeeter says:

    Actually I’ve done two different ways and with the water they last for a little while. If you put them in a pot of dirt in the kitchen window they last a LOT longer! And they grow faster and larger!! Seriously! Just cut them off where they turn white-ish, poke a hole with your finger and put them in dirt (any dirt works too – trust me!). They grow quickly. A lot faster and better than when put in just water.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great tip!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so impressed, I will do this as soon as I get the next, and last bunch of onions…thanks

  7. G Hazel says:

    We always cut up the entire green onion and add it to the dish. I’ll have to see about keeping that root section a little longer and regrowing it.

  8. Loraine says:

    I tried this and it did NOT work. The ends did not grow at all- in fact they started to stink and I had to throw the whole mess out. It was gross. What did I do wrong? I followed these directions to the letter.

    • Tammi Kibler says:

       I’m guessing here, but I wonder if something happened to the onions before you got them–maybe they were frozen briefly–and the plants were too dead to revive.

    • ritaskeeter says:

      put them in dirt in a pot in the kitchen window. The water method is gross and they don’t grow very fast at all (and yours didn’t even grow). Seriously the potted method does work and it’s awesome. I’ve done this for years. They last about 7 months and you have to buy more but that’s 7 months worth of green onions :)

  9. I use the white part of the onion too….does this work when you use that part?  Maybe if you just plant the roots?

  10. Leah Vachani says:

    Awesome! For once I am excited to go buy green onions instead of cringing at paying $1.50 per bunch!

  11. margaret jablonska says:

    I just soooooo looove U 4 this tip …wow
    Im  almost a vegetarian  and Im constantly looking for frugal  ways to  save on my  greens…this  is  soo easy and great…mmmmm cttage cheese  with this ????yumm….
    also U can  store  all root vegetable     for  up  to few months in your fridge…
    I like juicing …beets  are great with that…just my tip…………lol

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have some in my refrigerator right now that I was thinking of pitching because they are starting to look a little suspecto, I’ll try this and if it works for me I won’t feel so much like i wasted produce!

  13. Jason says:

    Thanks! That’s pretty neat. 

  14. last summer I planted green onions and an herb mix in some soil in two separate planters on my deck. Even though it has snowed and we have had terrible windstorms, the green onions and parsley will not die…I cannot kill these things haha and honestly I havent watered them since August so they are very easy to grow with little to no care.

  15. Linda says:

    I don’t really use much of the green part. What I want is the white part, so I don’t see how this would work.

    • Tracy says:

       Someone said try saving the roots and a bit close to them. Not sure if it would work, but it’s worth a shot! :)

    • crazy1 says:

      above, ritaskeeter said that you should be able to cut the roots close to the white part (probably like the part you would discard anyways with the root) and replant those! I have some to use in the fridge right now and then will be trying this myself!  I have also seen that you can do this with celery. 

  16. Angie Wilms says:

    I love this idea in theory (and would love to start this practice today), but there are things I don’t understand.  Soil is nutrient-rich, and I would think nutrients would be necessary for long-term growth and sugar production within the plant).  Do you have to treat the water with anything?  And, if not, has anyone noticed a loss of flavor over a few cycles of trimming?

    • Tracy says:

       I haven’t tried this yet, but I have heard a lot of people who have. From what I hear, after 3 or 4 times they do lose flavor. I think if you put them in dirt and fertilize just like you would if they were in the garden they would be fine. I would try that. If I did it it water, I would try adding a hydroponic fertilizer.

    • margaret jablonska says:

      well I think  important part is  a  chllorophyle  which all green plants have ….its  just great for our bodies…..etc

  17. Thanks.  Great suggestion.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’ll just pay the $0.33-cents.

  19. Anonymous says:

    IIm definitely gonna try this

  20. Anonymous says:

    Love it! Thank you!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Great idea! Lol a girl from hometown posted this, small world!

  22. Fabulous..we have a small herb garden but just as you say come winter..no more herbs. I’m definitely doing this.

    • Anonymous says:

      I showed our teachers and boys and girls clubs how to do this and the kids “regrow” the green onions root ends from the school cafeteria and put them in their school garden and boys and girls community gardens…very cool and the kids eat all the veggies they grow themselves!

  23. Christina Kirk says:

    Only problem for me is that I love the white part.  Goes great with white beans and cornbread! :)  

  24. ritaskeeter says:

    Actually I’ve done two different ways and with the water they last for a little while. If you put them in a pot of dirt in the kitchen window they last a LOT longer! And they grow faster and larger!! Seriously! Just cut them off where they turn white-ish, poke a hole with your finger and put them in dirt (any dirt works too – trust me!). They grow quickly. A lot faster and better than when put in just water.

  25. always use them in my soup :)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Love it! Thanks!

  27. I planted some in the  small pot.. 4 years later still alive..they survived sun and snow.

  28. Are there any other things/herbs you can do this or something similar with too? And they don’t need soil or plant food?

  29. I will definitely start doing this! 

  30. Anonymous says:

    That’s a great idea!!  Thanks!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Been doing this for over 20 years………

  32. ive been doing this for years, its awesome and my kitchen window always smells good:P

  33. Jadda says:

    Will definitely be trying this!! They dont ever need dirt or anything? Just water? That’s amazing!!

  34. AJes Mum says:

    that is an awesome idea about regrowing and reusing the green onion root! I love these onions and eat them in almost everything and did not realize they were this easy to grow!!! I cannot wait to try it! thanks for tip!!!!