How to Grow Yellow Onions – A Beginner’s Guide

yellow onions plant growing in garden
Embark on a journey to grow your own delicious and versatile yellow onions! Known botanically as Allium Cepa, these flavorful vegetables are easy to grow at home. Dive in and discover the ins and outs of growing yellow onions, along with common mistakes you can steer clear of.

Quick Reference Guide for Growing Yellow Onions

Attribute Details
Botanical Name Allium Cepa
Best Time to Plant Early spring once the ground is workable
Soil Requirements Fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0
Spacing 3″ apart in rows, with rows 18″ apart
Thinning Thin seedlings 3″ apart when plants are 6″ tall
Sunlight Full sun, at least 6 hours or more
Watering Keep soil damp to touch, not soggy or bone dry
Germination Time 10-12 days
Days to Harvest 115 days from seed to harvest
Harvest Indicator Bulbs are big and tops turn yellow and fall over
Size 2 to 3-3/4 inches in diameter
Food Use Great for eating raw
Flavor Profile Crisp, sweet, and mild
Container Growing Yes, use a 12″+ container for each plant
Bee Safety Yes, yellow onions are safe for bees

Best Time to Plant Yellow Onions

The optimal time to plant yellow onions is determined by your local climate. Generally, you should start planting yellow onion seeds in early spring when the ground becomes workable. This timing provides the seedlings with the best chance of weathering any challenges that may arise.

To find out when yellow onions are most likely to thrive in your area, consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. For those living outside the US, simply search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Yellow Onions the Right Way

By taking certain factors into account, you can avoid common pitfalls when growing yellow onions in your home garden. One crucial factor is the quality of your soil. Aim for fertile, well-drained soil with a soil pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.

Plant your seeds about 6′ apart in rows,with roughly 3″ between each seed in a row, and keep each row approximately 18″ apart. Sow the seeds at a depth of about 0.5″. To improve the chances of germination, plant a few seeds for each intended plant.

When the plants reach 6″ in height, start thinning your yellow onion seedlings to 3″ apart.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Yellow Onions

Getting the right amount of sunlight is crucial for a bountiful harvest. Too much sunlight may cause your yellow onions to dry out, while insufficient sunlight can stunt their growth or even kill them.

Yellow onions need full sun, which means providing them with as much sunlight as possible, or at least 6 hours or more per day.

How Much to Water Yellow Onions

The quantity of water you provide can significantly impact the success of your yellow onions. Ideally, the soil should be damp to the touch, but not soggy or bone dry. Monitor the leaves of your onions – if they start changing color or looking droopy, adjust the watering amount accordingly.

Be cautious about over- or under-watering your onions, as both can be detrimental to their growth. Instead, keep a close eye on them and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Yellow Onions to Germinate and Grow?

Now comes the exciting part: watching your yellow onions grow! It typically takes around 10-12 days for the seeds to germinate, and a total of 115 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Yellow Onions

Harvest your yellow onions when the bulbs are large, and the tops start turning yellow and falling over. Yellow onions can reach diameters of about 2 to 3-3/4 inches.

What Can Yellow Onions Be Used For?

Food Use: Yellow onions are excellent for eating raw.

Flavor Profile: These onions have a crisp, sweet, and mild flavor.

Can Yellow Onions Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, yellow onions can be grown in pots and containers. Ideally, use a 12″+ container for each plant. This approach helps control weeds and prevents your plants from growing out of control. It also offers the flexibility to move your yellow onions around if you need to adjust sunlight exposure or bring them indoors to protect them from harsh weather conditions.

Are Yellow Onions Safe for Bees?

Yes, yellow onions are safe for bees. According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition. Given the importance of bees in our ecosystem and food supply, it’s essential to note that growing yellow onions is bee-friendly.

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