I am trying to grow an onion plant from an onion bulb after learning vegetative propagation.

I do in this way:

  • Phase 1: Put the onion on a piece of wet tissue, wait for it to grow a shoot with a leaf.
  • Phase 2: Put the prepared onion into a box with soil.

However, I never manage to get the onion to grow a leaf. Grey rot appears on the onion after a few days and flies soon dance around it.

Any suggestion of how to not get rot on the onion or any method for the onion to grow a new leaf?

  • PS: I had already tried twice, no luck yet.
    – Benny10033
    Jun 7, 2015 at 1:51
  • Welcome to the site! Could you please describe: Are you trying to grow your onion from a store-bought "cooking" onion or from a smaller tiny bulb sold for planting? One hint though: Onions go directly into the soil, no further fuss required.
    – Stephie
    Jun 7, 2015 at 21:21
  • I am not sure is there any different?
    – Benny10033
    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:34
  • Yes there is. Mature (=for cooking) onions are typically grown in two steps, first year, from seed to small bulbs about the size of the top part of your thumb, then dug up and stored, the second year these small bulbs grow into large onions. The one-year old onions ("sets") are also sold for gardeners to plant.
    – Stephie
    Jun 8, 2015 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


I have always just plant onion bulbs in the ground. I do not think your Phase 1 is necessary at all. Here are a couple of links with detailed information on planting onions Wikihow Grow Onions or Gardeners.com.

  • I have heard from some people about doing phase 1 will increase success rate.
    – Benny10033
    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:33
  • 1
    My success rate is close to 100% for planting sets directly into soil.
    – Debbie M.
    Jun 8, 2015 at 15:39
  • I will try that in this month.
    – Benny10033
    Jun 9, 2015 at 13:35
  • I'm guessing the reason for the extra step is because some people might plant them too late, too deep, or such, where the success rate might not be as high. I could be wrong. Maybe there are soil differences between the two groups. Nov 2, 2017 at 5:06
  • 1
    @Shule it's working for me both on desktop and mobile, but I added the link you provided to the answer in case anyone else has problems.
    – Debbie M.
    Nov 2, 2017 at 19:40

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