Egyptian walking onions are a perennial onion variety that produce both regular bulbs that clump around the original bulb, as well as small aerial bulblets that develop on the top of the stem. Egyptian walking onions have three main parts – the bulb that grows underground, the green stalk above ground and the bulbils or “topsets” that grow out of the top. Cut the greens in early spring to use like scallions or chives. Read on to learn about this interesting, attractive plant. There aren't multiple “varieties” of Egyptian Walking Onions. Egyptian walking onions are considered heirlooms, said to date back to at least the 1850s (from the PlantFiles entry), though their history is seemingly unknown.They are also little known in the gardening world, although people that grow them love to have them in … They are planted like onion sets let's take a look how easy it is! If they hit good soil, they root and start the process again. Egyptian Walking Onions grow perennially in beds. Generally, the thing you will notice is these beautiful little mini-onions clustered in a bouquet, growing out of the greens. Welcome to The Grapevine where for 15 years we've helped to make growing vegetables easy. "Tree Onion": Egyptian Walking Onions are known for their ability to grow a twisting stalk from the cluster of sets at the top of the plant. Harvest the outer multiplier bulbs to use like other onions. This is absolutely true. They grow under the snow during the winter and are ready for harvest about 3 … As clumps get bigger, the plants become more crowded, and the bulbs, though many, do not grow as large. The little onions have tiny root nubs and small green leaf blades, and those that hit the ground “right-side up” grow. To make matters worse, when spring rolls around, stored onions like to sprout and rot before I have a new harvest to replace them. EGYPTIAN WALKING ONION: Allium cepa var. Walking onions are also known as tree onions, growing well from the sub-tropics to cold temperate regions, and autumn and winter are the best time to plant them. Planting the underground bulb will usually produce larger greens in the first year. The sets will … Rating: 100 % of 100. I have had plants go dormant during a summer drought. Egyptian Walking Onions, also called tree onions and winter onions, are a cross between a shallot and a bunching onion regarding taste. I prefer them as perennials though. Otherwise, though, I left the plant alone. Egyptian walking onions, also called tree onions, perennial onions, winter onions, or just walking onions belong to the allium genus. Water the soil, not the plant leaves. They are hardy to zone 3 and prefer a sunny location. The Egyptian walking onions are actually known by several names, including top-set onions and tree onions. How and when to plant your Egyptian Walking Onion sets: Plant each "topset" in the soil about 2 inches deep. Egyptian walking onions (Allium proliferum) grow from a perennial plant that produces onion bulbs, green onions and also top-sets. A single Egyptian walking onion plant can travel twenty-four inches (61 cm.) Use them around your garden area to repel vermin, deer, and rabbits. Soon, the weight of those top set bulbets begins to fold the greens over toward the ground. As a perennial, it takes longer to get started than annual onions. The ideal planting time for growing walking onions is between summer and the first frost for a harvest the next growing season. Walnuts. If you plant in fall or early spring, you may be able to harvest the underground multiplier bulbs in year one. You can cure the bulbs and top sets by storing them in a place with good air circulation and temperatures of about 75 – 85ºF for three days to two weeks (depending on bulb size). Also, avoid planting onions near cabbage or other brassicas since onion thrips feed on those plants as well. Egyptian walking onions are considered heirlooms, said to date back to at least the 1850s (from the PlantFiles entry), though their history is seemingly unknown.They are also little known in the gardening world, although people that grow them love to have them in … I find these onions are fascinating to grow in the garden. Heirloom perennial onion that "walks" across the ground as it grows season to season. The stalks also serve as green onions. Those bulbs had a much slower start and never grew quite as tall as my plants in good garden soil. How and when to plant your Egyptian Walking Onion sets: Plant each "topset" in the soil about 2 inches deep. Egyptian Walking Onion plants can walk between 1 and 3 feet per year! If you have boggy soil, you may want to consider planting them in large containers for better drainage. Check places like Etsy, Amazon, edible and permaculture focused nurseries, and specialty vegetable offerings from reputable seed companies. As the plants stumble onwards, you might, according to many gardeners, find yourself with an embarrassment of onions. Some people say they can grow in zone 10 as well. Egyptian walking onions in late winter (L), spring (C) and just before forming heavy bulbil-forming spikes (R). Many people still don’t know that this onion is a perennial. Space the plants three to six inches apart. Store the cured bulbs in a cool basement or cellar for several months. They may also be planted close together in clusters for an ornamental addition to any garden. The sets should be spaced approximately 6-10 inches apart in each row. The don't produce big bulbs, but what they lack in size they make-up for in quantity. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! As the first plants emerge, so does a gardeners' spring spirit. proliferum ) Grows well all through North America (zones 3-9). If you plan to harvest some as green onions, you can plant them closer together. Like multiplier onions, you can harvest the bulbs around the outside to eat. Spring and bunching onions help cover the gaps from late spring to early summer. Like all onions, the entire plant is edible but you will have much earlier harvests starting in early spring. You plant Egyptian walking onions in early spring for the best results. ( Allium cepa var. They can be pickled or sliced into salads. If you are interested in a permaculture garden, Egyptian Walking Onions are a perfect addition. When growing annual onions, rotating your rows annually is a good practice to prevent pest and pathogen problems. Since these share a common pest, it's better not to locate them close to each other. You have probably surmised by now that these onions won't need a whole lot of care to keep them growing. COMMON NAMES: walking onions; Egyptian onions; topset onions FAMILY: Alliaceae, the onion family PLANT DESCRIPTION Tree onions produce up to 6-10 tender, juicy, mild onions at the base of the plant; and a stiff stem with 6-8 bulbils, or little onions, at the top. Egyptian Walking Onions are one of the first plants to emerge in the spring even when there is still snow on the ground. They make a great addition to an edible or permaculture landscape. viviparum. As their scientific name "Allium proliferum" states, these ( Allium cepa var. These eventually cause the stem to bend to the ground allowing the bulblets to take root into the soil and grow into new plants. The ideal planting time for growing walking onions is between summer and the first frost for a harvest the next growing season. In a year or two, you’ll have Egyptian walking onions all over. Egyptian onions are worth having around–they can provide a … Egyptian Walking Onions hate wet feet! Egyptian Walking Onions make great companions for most fruits and vegetables. Keep your onion patch weeded; weeds will compete with your plants for water. With a few showers of rain and time, they will plant themselves deeper and begin growing. All parts are edible! COMMON NAMES: walking onions; Egyptian onions; topset onions FAMILY: Alliaceae, the onion family PLANT DESCRIPTION Tree onions produce up to 6-10 tender, juicy, mild onions at the base of the plant; and a stiff stem with 6-8 bulbils, or little onions, at the top. To make harvesting easier, keep a one-foot wide access path between each row. Egyptian Walking Onions are one of the few plants that can grow in proximity to walnut trees. However, plants under stress may be susceptible to issues that healthy plants can resist. proliferum, is a distinct onion that is hard to miss in a garden because of its unique appearance once it blooms. Once planted, the bulbs easily divide, and within Egyptian Walking Onions are one of the few plants that can grow in proximity to walnut trees. When this happens, if left to their own devices, those top sets will replant themselves and grow more onion plants. The top set bulbs are usually the easiest to buy. One Egyptian walking onion plant can travel 24 inches (61 cm.) If you are willing to wait a while for germination, you can also just put the top sets on the ground and cover them with compost. Plant starts or offsets in late fall and winter or in early spring. If … Avoid planting these perennial onions near members of the brassica family such as cabbage, kale, or broccoli. Mostly, these insects are too small to damage mature, healthy plants. Plant … However, a little extra attention goes a long way toward making these plants more productive. Egyptian Walking Onion (Allium ×proliferum), also called Tree Onions, Egyptian Tree Onions, Top Onions, Winter Onions, or Perennial Onions, is a perennial onion that comes back every year stronger than the previous year. Plant in full sun where you intend to have them for a long time. Some growers even plant their bulbs in as deep as 3 inches. Egyptian Walking Onion . They prefer growing in full sun, are extremely hardy and easy to grow. Egyptian Walking Onions are hardy for USDA planting zones 3 – 9. Although it’s possible to plant Egyptian walking onions in spring, you won’t be able to harvest onions until the following year. Egyptian walking onions grow in full sun and prefer loamy sand or sandy loam soil. Cut and break apart the top set bulbs from mid-summer to fall and use as you would chives or garlic. Egyptian Walking Onions in April. Walking onions are self-replicating, but the process can be augmented by dividing the top sets and replanting to a distance. Onions can be planted any time from earliest spring until the snow falls. Learn how to plant this unique variety so … Below ground, the original bulb divides and makes more bulbs. An Egyptian Walking Onion topset looks like, and essentially is, a miniature onion. Egyptian Walking Onions (Allium cepa, viviparum) Egyptian walking onions don’t stay where you originally plant them. As the tops get taller, they gather at the tips as if they are going to make flower heads and seed. However, they are easy to control and aren’t considered invasive. For now, just finding bulbs to plant can be tough. Fungal diseases are commonly found in the soil. Another cluster of sets will grow at the end of this second stalk giving the plant a … They can also tolerate partial shade. Who wouldn't want a perennial supply of delicious, entirely edible onion plants? proliferum, Allium cepa var. The sets should be spaced approximately 6-10 inches apart in each row. However, they still produce bulbs above and below ground every year. As a test, I planted some bulbs in a heavy clay area, overrun with weeds, on a slope. each year, resulting in up to six new plants. The bulblets of the Egyptian walking onion can be eaten raw or cooked. They grow well in a pot or in the garden bed. Now that I am trying to grow our food at home, I have learned just how hard it is to produce a year-round onion supply. The hardy bulbs set bulblets on stalks. Based on this experience, I recommend weekly watering to simulate one inch of rain when rain is sparse. Air-bound bulblets will sprout new smaller stalks, which fall over and replant themselves, hence the name Walking. In spite of their nickname of Egyptian Walking Onions, tree onions Allium x proliferum do not need hours and hours of sunlight in the Summer months and are actually fully Winter hardy in the UK and similar zones elsewhere. Location. Egyptian Walking Onions can also be susceptible to various fungal diseases like Black Spot and Powdery Mildew. Now, there is some controversy over how to deep to plant the bulbs. I covered about a square foot area with two inches of compost. If you are planting for the sake of green onions, wait until spring to plant. Egyptian Walking Onions are VERY easy to grow! Air-bound bulblets will sprout new smaller stalks, which fall over and replant themselves, hence the name Walking. Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite kinds of onions because they are so easy to care for and have almost no problems. Depending on what time of year you plant, it can take days to weeks for the onion greens to break ground. Use them around your garden area to repel vermin, deer, and rabbits. Allium cepa, Proliferum Group Egyptian onions, also known as tree or walking onions, are very hardy perennials. You can plant these in raised beds, prepared garden rows, edible landscapes, permaculture food forests, and more. They may be small in size their first year, but the bulbs tend to increase in size every year. The underground multiplier-type bulb seems to do better when I start them deeper in the soil. Here's a visual: if you plant … Unlike most onion varieties, Egyptian walking onions (Allium x proliferum) set bulbs at the top of the plant – each with numerous small onions that you can harvest for planting or eating. Egyptian walking onions, also called tree onions, perennial onions, winter onions, or just walking onions belong to the allium genus. Although it’s possible to plant Egyptian walking onions in spring, you won’t be able to harvest onions until the following year. 2. As sets root the cycle is repeated and the onion continues to walk. However be prepared to offer some protection from really wet periods, a good mulch will do the job or a cloche. Walking onions are perennials; they overwinter and grow back when the weather warms up. Egyptian Walking onions are no different. This makes them a fantastic addition to your edible landscape. First, the onion tops will start to grow taller than your typical onion greens. You can plant Egyptian Walking Onion topsets in the winter as long as the soil is not frozen. Need more walking onion information? Leave a few plants in your garden every year if you want the plants to keep walking for decades to come, but pull any that walk where they aren’t welcome. Egyptian Walking Onions I have started harvesting my first crop for the season: Egyptian Walking Onions. Especially when they are so easy to grow! This plant also produces edible bulbs both above and below ground. I've been adding perennial vegetables to my garden lately, so the walking onions were a great addition. As long as you leave at least one bulb in the ground, the plant will grow the following year again. However be prepared to offer some protection from really wet periods, a good mulch will do the job or a cloche. Planted early enough in the fall, sets will have time to grow a few inches tall and produce sets the next year. All parts of the plant are edible. That they are an attractive ornamental only adds to the benefit of these plants. Plant in well-draining soil. Egyptian Walking Onions make great companions for most fruits and vegetables. Then, I'll add some browns and greens to the trench and cover it back over with soil. These plants begin growing green tops in late winter, even in cooler regions. apart. Egyptian walking onions have three main parts – the bulb that grows underground, the green stalk above ground and the bulbils or “topsets” that grow out of the top. Around year three, you will need to divide the underground bulbs to avoid crowding. Plant each top set 2″ deep, with 6″-10″ between plants and 1′ between rows. Plant … This process is why people call these Egyptian “Walking” Onions. Apply in fall, after you have harvested. Then the stem dies and breaks, the lump comes crashing to earth and the bulbils break free and scatter. The onion to plant if you always want onions. Open up your plant parcel as soon as it arrives. deep, with 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.) These perennial onions can be started using either the top set bulbs that form above ground or by planting the bunching bulbs from below ground. each year, resulting to about 6 new plants. Soil should be slightly moist and well drained. When Should I Plant Egyptian Walking Onions? They are one of the first plants to poke through the ground in the spring. Once past the first year — when they grow only stalks — they will send up green stalks in the spring, which will form topsets, or mini onions, on the tops. Egyptian Top-Set Onion Sets: These unique perennial heirloom onions, also known as "tree onions" or "walking onions", form clusters of very small bulblets or sets on the tips of the leafstalks. This is a bit more difficult with perennial onions. Growing Egyptian Walking Onions: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest These Unique Onions, ← Excessive “Summer Ice” In Arctic Now Blocking Oil And Natural Gas Shipments, What Type Of Liberty Are We Really Celebrating On The 4th Of July? Planting the underground bulb will usually produce larger greens in the first year. ... Plant onion plants 1 inch deep, 5 – 6 inches apart, or 2 – 3 inches if you prefer to thin later for green onions or scallions. Many people still don’t know that this onion is a perennial. The green onion part is thick and tall, up to 20 inches tall in fertile soil. Walking onions are also known as tree onions, growing well from the sub-tropics to cold temperate regions, and autumn and winter are the best time to plant them. Think about starting your patch today! My onion patch started out with the small plants from my friend, and as that summer passed the onion … Large infestations of thrips, though, can take out an entire crop. They also make a great conversation piece if you plant them near your outdoor dining area. You may come across three different Latin names for Egyptian Walking Onions including Allium cepa var. A look at what can be produced from planting Egyptian walking onions from bulbils one year later. As they compost, they'll feed the plants and feed the surrounding soil. If you don't want to use your own compost materials to fertilize your onions, you can apply an inch or two of finished compost to the top of your beds each fall to add back organic matter and nutrients. After planting them in your garden you will have onions every year for years to come!Egyptian Walking Onions are also called "Tree Onions, Egyptian Tree Onions, Top Onions, Winter Onions, or Perennial Onions. All parts are edible! A few inches of mulched leaves, straw, or hardwood mulch are good slow-nitrogen options for perennial onion beds. The plant prefers regular garden soil or rich soil, with good moisture and sun. Sign up for our newsletter. The topsets will not grow much at all - maybe a little bit of root growth only, unless you live where the winters are mild. between each bulb if you like big, pungent onions. Plant in rows about 1 foot apart. deep, with 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.) Egyptian onion care is uninvolved and basically just requires keeping the soil lightly moist, but never soggy or drenched. Walking onions grow 2 to 3 feet tall in 6- to 12-inch-wide clumps. They may develop a few small flowers. I use them in everything from soups to salads to sides and more. Kids love their shapes and adults love their flavor. In spite of their nickname of Egyptian Walking Onions, tree onions Allium x proliferum do not need hours and hours of sunlight in the Summer months and are actually fully Winter hardy in the UK and similar zones elsewhere. 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To an edible or permaculture landscape practice to prevent transmission of the few plants that can grow in to! Tall and produce sets the next growing season crop for the sake of onions. Plants about every three years for maximum production and pathogen problems many do!, sets will have time to grow until the greens in early spring, scallion, broccoli. Onion top-sets with pruning shears in mid- to late summer, becoming enough! Digging up and harvesting the bulbs underground will multiply and can be augmented by dividing the sets! Good drainage and specialty vegetable offerings from reputable seed companies inches deep and the bulbs underground will multiply can... Again, though, they root and start the process can be augmented by dividing the top bulbs! Shade tree in one corner of my favorite method for fertilizing my perennial onions is trench composting position... Name Allium x proliferum ) grows well all through North America ( zones 3-9 ) near cabbage or brassicas. 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