The Egyptian walking onion is getting more steps per day than I am! These alliums are one of the most prolific and fun vegetables to grow. How to grow Egyptian Walking Onions in your garden, and where to find the unusual bulbs.
The onion family is always available, even though perennial vegetables are hard to find. Egyptian walking onions are my favorite because they keep growing and are one strange vegetable only gardeners can identify.
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My first Egyptian walking onions came from my experience at a Community Garden. I feel warm and fuzzy whenever I see these onions.
In my latest move, I am building a new garden from scratch, and certain plants make me nostalgic. Egyptian walking onions are a favorite of mine, and I’d like to share this fun but bizarre vegetable with more gardeners!
This article will cover…
What are Egyptian walking onions?
The Egyptian walking onions, Allium x proliferum, are members of the allium family. They make a wonderful addition to the perennial vegetable garden. Egyptian onions are also known as tree onions, walking onions, and top set or topsetting onions.
Like most alliums, they have a grassy stem with a flower at the top. This flower will then turn into a group of tiny bulbs called aerial bulbils.
The plant will droop as the bulbils get heavier. It will eventually fall over and start to grow again. This cycle will repeat itself over time, and the plant will “walk” slowly around the garden.
Egyptian walking onions can be a fun and easy-to-grow plant. They’re wild and prolific and will plant themselves, so you can enjoy them and eat them whenever you want.
These onions show me how amazing plants can be. Some onions spread by flopping over, while others are so delicious and tasty that birds will eat, poop them out, and spread the seeds elsewhere. How little sticky burs can get to places? Nature has many ways to pass on its legacy.
The Egyptian walking onion flower is not as ornamental as the other allium varieties.
How to Plant Egyptian Walking Onions
Egyptian walking onions, like other alliums, are best planted during the fall. As soon as it is time to plant garlic, you can also plant onions. When the first frost is over, the ground will still be workable.
Egyptian Walking Onions: How to Plant them
Planting Egyptian walking onions is very simple. The onions even grow themselves.
The bulbs do not need to be soaked. Plant them at least 2 inches deep with 1/2 inch of soil on top.
Place the onions in a full or partial sun. After planting, give them a good soaking.
You can add compost if you wish to boost the growth of the bulb. Egyptian walking onions prefer soil that drains well so the bulb does not rot.
You can treat bulbils like a perennial clump ready for division , either leaving as one or separating each bulbil.
Where to buy Egyptian walking Onions
Egyptian walking onions are often obtained from other gardeners rather than from a garden center or farmer’s market. Home gardeners love them.
It’s easy to share the bulbils since they are so plentiful. When I was a Strathcona Garden member, I received my first Egyptian walking onions.
It can take up to several years before the seeds flower. It’s because of this that people tend to grow them from established bulbs.
You can buy Egyptian walking onion online if you are still looking for it in your community.
- Eagle Ridge Seeds
- Territorial Seed Company
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
When to harvest Egyptian Walking Onions
You can enjoy the stems in the spring, like green onions and chives. New ones with a strong onion flavor will be available in the summer. Summertime brings thicker stems.
The bulbils will appear after the flowers fade. The bulbils will be ready to harvest once the stems are brown and dry.
The bulbil stage will not be reached until a year after planting the plant. It is best not to harvest spring green shoots the first year.
All plant parts, including bulbils, stems, flowers, and bulbils, can be eaten. The bulbils taste delicious, and that’s my favorite way to eat them.
The plant will not return next year if you eat it below ground. The bulb of this onion is smaller than other onions. I leave it on the floor.
Fry the bulbils in your next meal for a savory onion flavor.
Egyptian Walking Onions: Frequently Asked Questions
Are Egyptian walking onions edibleThe aerial bulbils, stems, flowers and bulbs of the Egyptian walking onions are all edible. The bottom bulb should be avoided because the plant will not return if you eat it next year.
What is the best way to use walking onions? You can treat the greens as you would green onions. The bulbs can be sliced and treated like small onions. You can eat them cooked, pickled, or dried for storage.
Do Tree Onions Reappear Every Year? Tree onions, known as Egyptian walking onions, are a perennial vegetable. The bulbils will grow from the main bulb and multiply by themselves.