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How To Grow Onions In Containers

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Onions can be short-day, intermediate-day, or long-day so before growing your onions, make sure you select the varieties that match the daylight hours in your garden. Just like how onions can be directly planted in your garden, onions can also be planted in containers and as long as you take the necessary steps and care, you have your onion plants grow well and produce healthy bulbs. This article explains all that you need to know about growing onions in containers.

Different varieties of onions

I) SHORT-DAY ONIONS: They have their best performance in warmer, southern parts of the country where 10 – 12 hours of daylight is available in summer.

II) INTERMEDIATE-DAY VARIETIES: They grow well where 12 – 14 hours of daylight is available to form bulbs.

III) LONG-DAY ONIONS: They grow best in the northern part of the country where 14 – 16 hours of daylight is needed to form bulbs.

Three ways by which you can plant your onions are by seeds, by onion sets, or by onion transplants but most gardeners prefer to plant using either onion sets (small bulbs) or transplants. Asides from the varieties in relation to the required amount of sunlight, onions need rich well-drained soil, fertilizer, and room to grow into bulbs. For areas with colder, shorter seasons, start your onion seeds indoors for about 8 – 10 weeks before transplanting them outside.

Read also: How Many Onions Grow From One Bulb – Step By Step Answer

How to grow onions in a container

To grow your onions in a container, prepare a large container with potting soil and dig in a slow-release fertilizer so as to help roots have a good start. Plant your onions when the temperature reaches sixty degrees.

When planting onion sets and transplants, plant about 2 – 3 inches deep and 1 – 2 inches apart. Allow 12 inches apart if planting in rows.

After the plants’ growth begin, add an organic mulch, like dried leaves or straw to help the soil moisture. Also, avoid weeding around the delicate, shallow roots.

Water at the soil level using a hose and nozzle, soaker hoses, or drip irrigation to help keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Avoid using overhead watering as the leaves are needed to be kept dry so as to avoid fungal problems.

Read also: Learn about the Onions Growing Stages

Taking care of the onions

Use floating row cover cloth to protect plants so as to avoid insect problems. Try as much as possible to grow as many healthy leaves as possible. This is because the size of mature onions depends on the number of healthy green leaves.

Onion plants require fertilizing through the season. You can fertilize using a watering can containing a water-soluble plant food or you can as well, carefully dig in fertilizer between plants and then water.

Stop watering when you see that the onion tops have started falling. In the absence of water, the onion bulbs will start to harden. After the tops have fallen, carefully lift the onions from the soil but do this before the leaves get a chance to dry completely.

How to store onions

To cure the onions, let the leaves of one row shield the bulbs in another for between 7 – 14 days. For rainy/wet weather, cure the onions undercover and ensure that air is allowed to circulate around the bulbs for them to dry completely. After the tops dry out completely, remove them from the bulb, leaving like one inch above the bulb. Remove any soil on it gently and store it on a flat surface in a cool, dry place.

Tip: learn more about how long onions take to grow


I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions. Also, learn how to grow onions in a plastic bottle.

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