I ended up growing some green onions in my vegetable bad after I planted a couple of overripe ones from my CSA box last year. They’ve done well throughout the winter with a layer of mulch, but now they are sending up giant light-green shoots with ball-ends, which I’m assuming are flowers. Cue panic! Are they bolting? Do green onions even do that?
Should I let these flower stalks go ahead and do their thing? Or cut them off to keep energy in the bulbs? I don’t care about harvesting the bulbs so much as having a constant supply of leaves to harvest.
Thanks for any advice you can give!
I store our green onions in a glass of water on the windowsill. You can cut them down, and they’ll grow back several times. Once I left them for too long without cutting the tops off and they grew flowers. I noticed the ball-ends and then decided to leave them and see what they would do. Well, they got big round allium-type flowers. I bet if you cut the tops off they will go back to making leaves that you can harvest.
I grow more green onions than I know what to do with. Like you, I grow them for the leaves rather than the bulbs. It’s true that the flower reduces the size of the bulb, but I don’t care for the bulbs anyway, and I don’t notice a taste difference in the leaves. I actually love when mine flower. The flower stalk and the flower head are edible. Toss the blooms on your plates or in your salads when guests are over for a little extra wow. I also use them as cut flowers. Alliums are in the onion family and the blooms look very much like spunky little alliums and last for over a week in a vase. The flowers do have a scent, but I can only smell it when I’m sitting at the same table as the flowers. My husband will ask on occasion “Is there onion in this dish?” and I’ll remind him, “No honey, you’re smelling the flowers in the vase.” Don’t worry about the flowers, enjoy them. Oh, and I inevitably miss a bloom here or there and let it go to seed. I let the seeds fall and that’s probably why I have more that I know what to do with.
Yep, I have let my green onions go to flower and seed. They keep spreading out. I have taken the flowers (seeds are hard to get out) and moved them to another mounded area so I have two mounds growing now. They also did well over the winter. These two mounds of green onions have come back for the last three years.
So many species of onions…. So many possible answers…. In general when an onion starts going to seed, I consider it unsuitable for taking to the farmers market… The seed stalk gets tough, and the onion bulb won’t store well. But since you only want green leaves, then harvest as many as you want for as long as they last. Might as well cut the flower off now, no sense letting it use energy that could be put into leaves.
There is an onion I grow called Egyptian onion. I pull it, cut off the root ball with a bit of onion attached to it, and replant that, and eat the rest of the plant as green onions.