Growing Egyptian Walking Onions, The Perennial Onion

Egyptian or Walking Onions
Egyptian or Walking Onions | Source

What is an Egyptian Onion?

Egyptian onions are an onion that puts on baby bulbs at the top of the plant every year.The plants don't put on a seed head like other onions. It is known as a perennial onion, but it is really self-planting. You'll have green onions to cut early in the spring when other plants aren't ready to harvest yet. You can continue pulling them throughout the spring.

There are many other names that these onions have been given, that you may recognize. Many people refer to them as tree onions, top-sets, or multipliers.The onions are a native to the United States.

The bulbs are hardy in Zones 3-10, so can be grown in almost every state in the US.They make a wonderful edition to the garden and if properly cared for will return year after year.




How to Plant Tree Onions

Fall is the best time to plant the bulbs. If a friend is sharing a plant, these can be planted anytime. Plant the tiny bulbs as soon as they arrive if possible. If not, store them in a cool dry place until planting.

Planting should be done in a fertile well drained soil. If you have sandy soil ,mix in some organic matter. Each tiny bulb should be planted individually.


Egyptian Onions Growing Along a Fence
Egyptian Onions Growing Along a Fence | Source

How to Harvest

Don't pull the plant like you would regular onions. Instead, Just cut off the top and leave the root in the ground to produce another green onion. Eventually, in late spring they will become tough and inedible. Leave the root in the ground to produce the bulblets that you will plant later in the ground.

Fall Care

Replant the tiny bulbs that the plant has produced in the spot where you'd like new onions next year. Sometimes the plants will replant the bulbs on their own, but this isn't always reliable.

Green Onions
Green Onions | Source

Where to Find Egyptian Onions

My original plants came from an elderly great aunt of my husband's. The bulbs are a little hard to find, but there are a few places online where you can purchase them. The bulbs are only sold in the fall. I couldn't find any of the major seed suppliers that carried them.

One way to get the bulbs or plants is to join the Garden Web site. Gardeners exchange plants there. This can be a lot of fun, because some of the gardeners have unusual plants to exchange. I tried trading one summer and everyone wanted my coneflowers that grew like weeds in my garden. In return, I traded for hostas and daylily varieties that I didn't already have. Once in a while you'll run into a dishonest trader. I did a lot of trading and only had 2 people that didn't return their trade.

A website where you can order the sets is the Egyptian walking Onion.At the present time they are 70 cents each in lots of ten. They aren't inexpensive for onion sets, but remember you'll have fresh onions for years. They aren't available until August.

If you are lucky your local greenhouse may carry the plants or the bulbs. Just ask.


How to Use the Onions

These onions will be the first thing you can pick in your garden in the Spring. They make tasty green onions. Use the bulbs that set on the plant later for soups, stews, potato salad or anything you'd use onions for other than slicing. The onions that set on the top of the plant are small, but work well in cooking. Use them just like you would a pearl onion. They make especially good pickled onions.

Don't forget to leave enough bulbs for your onions next year. Give them a helping hand in the fall if you'd like.

Don't forget to share the onions with friends.

Recipe for The Onions

Recipe Using Egyptian Onions

Cheese Dip

Cheese Dip

16 oz cream cheese
2 bunches green onions, chopped with tops
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 14 oz. jar salad olives, drained and chopped

1. Mix the cream cheese with onions and chopped olives until smooth.
2. Add mayonnaise.
3. Refrigerate overnight and serve on crackers or bread triangles.

Other Ideas for Using The Onions

Add the chopped onions to soups. They would be especially good with potato soup.

Add them to green salads or potato salads. Any recipe that calls for onions would work great.

Have you grown Egyptian onions in your garden?

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Comments 22 comments

Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

I have some of these! We call them winter onions because they don't die in the warmer southern climate. They just keep making onions! I also grow wild onions which do the same thing. In fact, I have a bumper crop already. All of my onions have multiple blooms, and each bloom is making bulbs that are falling. These have already sprouted again. And the onions are reproducing underground! I have onions in every flower bed, in the yard, along the fence...but they are so tasty. Easy to grow too! And you can move them around your yard and they don't even wilt. Just keep on growing.

Cool hub! Sharing!


Vickiw 3 years ago

Hi BarbaraKay, like you, I enjoy these every year, and they are incredibly hardy. They are also very prolific, and it is so nice to be able to go out and pick them at almost any time of the year.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Sharye11, I wish we could grow things in here in the winter. Thanks for commenting.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Vickiw, I liked them for making potato salad for picnics during the summer. It was so nice to get them out of the garden. Thanks for commenting.


Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 3 years ago from Central Florida

Great info on these small onions. Thumbs up and shared.


Healthy Pursuits profile image

Healthy Pursuits 3 years ago from Oregon

I have planted onions, but really do prefer plants that keep producing. I'll have to try this. Thanks for such an interesting hub!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Healthy Pursuits, You won't get big onion bulbs from them, but they are great to chop up and put in anything. Good luck and thanks for reading the hub.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Angelo52, Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

My grandparents had some of these. I had forgotten about them until now. Thank you for the trigger of a fond memory. :)


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

brsmom68, Thanks for reading and I love to bring back fond memories to people.


CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Great visuals to go with your hub. Voted up!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

CarlySullens, Thanks. I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend.


mailxpress profile image

mailxpress 3 years ago from New York

Sound easy food to plant. I enjoy all onion types.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

mailxpress, It is one of those things that take very little care. I'm for any plant that will return year after year. Thanks for your comment.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Incredible about Egyptian onions, the recipe is great, and so easy to follow, thanks for this informative hub.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

DDE, Thanks for reading the hub. It is nice that they come back every year.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I will have to find some for next year. I would like growing them. Voted up and shared.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

moonlake, These are nice to have in the garden since they come back every year. Thanks for voting it up and sharing.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago

I can’t believe that I come from a rural Southern culture and have never heard of these little onions. I’ve got to have some! We grow a limited amount of onions and garlic, and these will be ideal for our tiny space. Thank you for the great instructions and the video—and for including the website that sells these cute little things. Your photos are a nice touch, too. Voted you up++


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

MizBejabbers, Thanks for visiting and voting this up.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

here, we call them shallots and when they grow, we call them spring onions, thanks for the gardening tip


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 22 months ago from USA Author

peachpurple, Thanks for reading. Something here is called shallots, but I am not sure what exactly they are. The Egyptian Walking onions are small when ready. I'll have to look at the store and see what they call shallots.

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