How to Transplant Onions


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    Onions are so versatile. They can be used in recipes, as well as to make homemade onion rings or French onion soup. Transplanting onions is a simple process that only takes 6 steps! Onions are perfect to start in cool weather and can take a light frost. Transplant your onions during the early spring when it starts to warm-up outside and there is no more danger of frost.

    Did you know that transplanting onions is actually pretty easy? Growing onions is a simple process, plus you need to start the onion seeds indoors! Transplanting onions in the fall will give them enough time to establish themselves before winter. Although it is risky, you could transplant onion plants in the spring. If the weather is too cold or rainy, then your onion plants might not have enough time to grow.

    The easiest way to start your onion seedlings, or your onion transplants, is to get a propagation tray, fill that up with a basic starting mixture of soil, and pack the soil down to a nice firm base. Take your onion seeds and plant them close together on top of the soil. Then with your fingers, scratch the seeds into the soil, a quarter inch deep and water them in immediately. Onion seedlings are indestructible once established.

    After 8-12 weeks of growth, you can pull the onion plants to add to your garden. Here are four steps for taking care of your transplanted onion plants:

    Key Things to Consider

    1) Transplants must be grown indoors at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

    2) Transplants should never be planted deeper than their original soil level.

    3) Transplants need plenty of water, but make sure they don’t get wet feet (this means over-watering)

    4) Don’t Transplant Onions in Cold Weather. If it’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside, your onion seedlings won’t survive.


    1. Spading fork
    2. Propagation tray
    3. Shovel
    4. Water can
    5. Potting soil
    6. Fertilizer

    How to Transplant Onions Step By Step Guide

    1. The first step in transplanting onions is to loosen the soil around the onion root. Loosening the soil allows more room for the bulb formation.

    You can loosen the soil with a trowel or spading fork. Be careful not to disturb the onion bulbs as you are working around them!

    2. Gently pull up on the onion bulb, but do not yank it out of the ground by its roots. Pulling the onion bulbs too hard out of the ground can cause damage to its roots.

    Instead, dig around the plant so you can place your hand under the base of the plant and gently lift it up while also pulling on any long stems that are still in the soil. This will help get rid of extra dirt around the onions without disturbing them too much!

    3. Loosen and remove any weeds that may be growing near your onion plant. Weeds that are growing near your plants can drain their water, nutrients and light that they need to grow.

    Be sure to keep your transplanted onion plants watered! Transplants are fragile at first so make sure you give them plenty of water until the roots have grown into the soil. You can use a garden hose or drip irrigation system to provide consistent watering for up to two weeks.

    4. With your shovel, dig a hole in an area where you want to relocate your onion plant and make sure there are no rocks or other obstructions nearby. When planting onions, you will need to dig a hole twice the size of your bulbing onions.

    5. Place your new location for the onion plant at least six inches away from anything else growing in order to avoid disease transfer.

    6. Add new potting soil, surrounding your onion plants with loose soil. Take the water can and water your onion plants immediately. You will need to fertilize your newly planted onions after 3 weeks from planting and then every 2-3 weeks.


    Do onions transplant well?

    Yes. You need to transplant them indoors immediately, and be sure to keep them at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

    How big can onions be transplanted?

    5 to 6 inches after 8 to 12 weeks of growth.

    Can you move onions once planted?

    Yes. Onions need loose soil to survive and thrive. You can move the onion into a larger space if you want mature onions or a bunch of dry bulb onion.

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