Allium cepa var. cepa
'Onion' is a plant in the Allium genus with a scientific name of Allium cepa var. cepa.
Onion can be grown from seed or from sets and is a popular mainstay of vegetable gardens around the world. This species produces a large, round pungent scented bulb that can be used for a variety of different culinary uses and can be brown, pink, yellow red or white in colour.
In general, onions tend to be grouped into two major categories: long-day or short-day. These groupings indicate the day length required for the bulb to start to form – if the day length of the area is too short for the variety of onion, small, stunted bulbs will result – so it is important to plant at the optimum time and choose an appropriate variety for your area.Onion grows as a perennial and is an edible vegetable / flower. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater). Onion is known for growing with a forb habit to a height of approximately 45.0 cm (that's 1.46 feet in imperial). This plant tends to be ready for harvesting by early autumn. Popular varieties of Onion include: Red Onion, Yellow, Walla Walla Sweet, White, and Red baron.
Onion is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Onion have been kindly provided by our members.
Keep onion sets free from weeds as grass and weeds tend to compete for nutrients and moisture. Side apply fertiliser during the season if need be.
Try and keep the moisture levels in the soil as consistent as possible – applying mulch is often a good idea.Plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 10 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Try to keep the ph of your soil between the range of 6.0 and 7.0 as Onion likes to be in weakly acidic soil - neutral soil. Keep in mind when planting that Onion is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will typically do well in a plant of different extremes of cold temperature.
Growing onions from seed can be trickier than growing from established sets, but it is possible, and can often produce more disease resistant plants.
Sow into flats in a soilless medium and keep in a warm place for about a week to germinate.Sow at a depth of approx. 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) and aim for a distance of at least 1.95 inches (5.0 cm) between Onion plants. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 13°C / 55°F to ensure good germination.
By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Onion about 28 days before your last frost date .
Onions are often transplanted from sets – this is typically the quickest and most foolproof strategy to grow onions as growing from seed can be problematic. Sets (or bundles) can be purchased from garden stores and over the internet, and typically contain around 60 – 80 plants.
Onions can be planted out as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. If you are growing to harvest as green onions, seedlings can be planted quite close together as they will be harvested before they reach full size. If growing for mature dry onions, try to plant as far apart as practicable and thin and use as green onions as you go if you misjudge the distances initially. Keeping good distances between plants is very important for achieving good onion bulb size.
Harvest onions when the tops turn yellow and begin to topple over. To dig them up, loosen the soil around each bulb and then lift them up carefully – make sure not to damage as they can rot quickly.
Spread them on a flat surface above the ground and leave to dry out – this will take anywhere from 2 to 10 days if left out side, or 2 weeks if taken inside. Cut the tops, and then store in mesh bags in a cool, well ventilated space.
Onion seeds can be saved by carefully cutting off the flower head (floret) when the seeds have fully developed, and then placing in a paper bag in a cool dry location for a couple of weeks.
These plants have been known to grow well alongside Onion so consider planting:
fruit trees, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc), brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc) carrots 1
Onion loves Lettuce
Protects lettuce against slugs.
These plants will not grow well with Onion so avoid planting these within close proximity:
beans, peas, parsley 1
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Onion plants:
rust is a fungal disease which appears as orange pustules on the leaves. This disease is favored by high humidity and cool temperatures. Crop rotation and isolation of different onion family members may help prevent incidence.
The common name of “Onion” is probably derived from the Latin unus, meaning “one.”
- Onion is said to relieve the pain of dog bites and toothaches.
- The Romans are said to have brought the Onion to England.
- Growing onions in warmer climates tends to produce sweeter tasting onions.
Garden onion, Common onion, Cebolla
Allium cepa Cepa Group, Allium cepa (Cepa Group)
Misspellings: Oignon, ognion, Allium capa, Onions
19 Feb 2013
Easy to grow from seed. They require some space as they will clump together. Great taste in salads & cooking. Soak the soil well before “pulling”, especially if you only need a few from a bunch.
12 May 2012
My first time growing onions this is one of the varieties I am trying.
25 Jan 2012
Leaves dying off nicely will harvest soon
09 Jul 2011
Onion care instructions
How long does Onion take to grow?
Our when to plant Onion estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!
Popular varieties of Onion
- Red Onion
- Walla Walla Sweet
- Red baron
- Yellow Sweet Spanish
- White Sweet Spanish
- Sweet Spanish Yellow Utah Jumbo
- Ailsa Craig
View the complete variety list for Onion »
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