ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Grow Onions In Pots And Containers

Updated on September 12, 2013
Young spring onions intercropped with carrots
Young spring onions intercropped with carrots

Growing Your Own Onions

Onions are a popular stable in our cooking so it's always handy to have a ready supply available. Conventional large onions take up a lot of growing space so aren't the best suited for container growing, but will still grow happily in pots or containers. A better option us to grow spring onions. These take up less space and many can be grown quite happily close together. As they grow relatively fast and take up little space they can be grown alongside other plants. This is known as intercropping, placing smaller faster growing varieties of vegetables in the same containers as larger growing plants. By the time the larger plants start to take up all the space in the container, the smaller, quicker growing plants will have already been harvested. Onions are also good for companion planting. They are a natural deterrent to many pests and so, grown with suseptable plants, can act as a protective shied. In particular, onions are meant to be a good protection for carrots against carrot fly. The smell of the onions disguises the smell of the carrots foliage, that attracts the fly, which causes damage to the carrots, making them unattractive and unedible.

If you prefer other types of onions rather than spring onions, it is worth considering shallots and picking onions which take up less space and can be grown closer together than large onions. All onions can contribute to a healthy diet. They are a good source of vitamin C, A, calcium and iron.


Spring onions will happily grow in small pots and containers so are ideal if space is very limited. If the only available growing space you have is a sunny window, spring onions are a good choices to grow, maximizing the amount of crop that can be grown from the limited space. Large onions, although shallow rooting, ideally require deeper containers but smaller shallots and picking onions can be sown in slightly smaller ones. The containers don't have to be fancy or purpose made. Any container can be used as long as it is suitable in size. Make sure it is thoroughly clean and avoid using anything that has previously contained chemicals or other hazardous substances. If it is used outdoors make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom as without these the pots can become waterlogged and the plants will rot and die. It's worth considering the attractiveness of the containers if they are on display, but even so, even tin cans can make attractive and inexpensive homes for a few spring onions.

Growing Medium

Onions will grow well in good quality compost, though as they are less keen on nitrogen than many other plants, prefer a more alkaline medium. If re-using compost, avoid growing them in compost which has been previously used to grow beans in, which add nitrogen to the compost, and maybe add some potash to it. For spring onions, especially when harvested young, this should be less of a problem and they will usually grow without any problem in good quality multi-purpose or compost for vegetable growing. Loose compost does not make for happy onions so make sure it is compact within the.pots or containers.


Onion sets can be planted the previous Autumn/Fall for an early summer crop or planted in early spring for harvesting in late summer, making sure when planting that their tips are showing just up above the compost. Sets are small 'baby' onions and are ideal if grown in an area with a short growing season as they have in essence got a 'head start'. Seeds can be sown from early spring to late summer. Regular sowing of spring onion seeds will insure a regular supply throughout a large part of the year and will avoid having a glut, resulting at them all being ready for harvest at the same time. Spring onions aren't as hungry as other onions but all onions will benefit from a regular feed as well as regular watering.


Rotting can be a problem with larger onions if there is not adequate drainage or poor air circulation around the plants and growth can be slow if the onions do not receive enough sunlight. This is less of a problem with faster growing spring onions, which are also a good call to grow if your growing space suffers from a degree of shade as they will grow with less sunlight. Onion fly shouldn't be a problem with spring onions or small onions grown in containers but protection can be easily provided using a fleece covering.

Spring Onions
Spring Onions | Source


The rewards of all your efforts are brought forth when the time comes to harvest your crop. Shallots and picking onions planted as sets the previous autumn should be ready by the following summer when the leaves start to turn yellow. Spring onions can be harvested young or allowed to mature to full size and can be harvest regularly if successional sowing is followed. Nothing beats the pleasure of eating the freshest possible vegetables, grown yourself.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)