Wonderful Welsh onions

I harvested two Welsh onions this afternoon.  They were approximately 95 cm tall at the highest point and yielded 200g of green leaf  and 125g of stem.  I use the leaves raw in salad, or if they are a bit tough they can be lightly cooked, maybe in an omelette.  The stem is pungently oniony and is best cooked.  I have just eaten a very small raw slice of it and my mouth is hot!

Welsh onions are reliably perennial and hardy – I have been growing them for four years with no problems, although some did die last winter.  If you are wondering how they can be perennial after being dug up and eaten – they tend to clump and grow new bulbs / stems from the base.  The two plants I dug today began as one plant.  I was going to dig one and leave one, but that was not practical.  I could have re-planted the second, thus preserving the clump.  As an experiment I have cut off the bottom 2 – 3 cm of each and replanted those sections to see if they grow.

This year they have performed better than ever before.  Previously they have had to contend with a succession of very wet, cool and sunless summers and I think that they have appreciated this year’s drier and warmer conditions.  I have plants dotted about the garden, trying out different types of location; and their favourite place is at the edge of a deep bed which is fertile, moist (because well mulched) and well drained. 

I have raised my plants from seed and on the strength of the good results this summer have got lots of young plants coming on.  Seed is currently available from:

The pictures below show before and after photos to give some idea of the size of the plants and the yields.



and ready to eat

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
This entry was posted in Forest Gardening, perennial greens, Perennial Vegetables, Permaculture, Suppliers, Telford Garden and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Wonderful Welsh onions

  1. Antony Hollinshead says:

    Just going to plant my seeds at my allotment but wondered if to put in a row or create a special area for them!?


    • Anni Kelsey says:

      These are about the most tolerant plants I know! I have been growing them for years now and they certainly don’t need special treatment (I am assuming you are in the UK or similar climate). I’d just put them where is actually most convenient for you / makes most sense for your planting scheme.


    • Anni Kelsey says:

      PS, just thought I may have missed the point of your query! As they are perennial plants it may well be better to set aside a separate area for them (and any other perennial veggies you may want to try out).


  2. Gordon Scott says:

    Hi, I have some clumps and would like to split them up. Is now (August) a good time of year to divide mature clumps? Thanks.


  3. Matthew Anderson says:

    Just bought some seeds, can you just snip the greens off and they will grow back each year as opposed to digging them up?


    • Anni Kelsey says:

      Yes you can. They divide at the base as well to make mor eover time. They are properly perennial and very hardy. When they flower – which is this week in my garden – the bees scramble for them, I even saw one landing on a flower that had just started to lose its outer casing – it couldn’t wait to get there! Super plants.


      • Grace says:

        Mine are flowering now, and i leave them for the bees. Is it ok to cut them down after flowering and will they grow again? I was just concerned that letting them flower exhausted the plants and they need renewing.


      • Anni Kelsey says:

        It is fine to let them flower, mine always do. I find that perennial veggies are tougher than we expect more traditional annual veggies to be. Assuming you don’t live in a very difficult or harsh climate, just let them do their thing!


      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks Anni, I’m off up the allotment now and will cut back after bees have had their fill. This is my first year of growing them, these are last year’s plantings, so I look forward to harvesting them later and sharing some of the off shoots with others on the plot.


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  5. Grace says:

    Very helpful blog. I had filled a bed on my allotment with Welsh onions that had been given to me. They are mixed in with leeks. I had been wondering whether i could leave them over winter and it seems that I can. Sounds like they flower next year and i divide them up to make new plants. Every bit can be eaten and they don’t seem to suffer from disease. What’s not to like? Not sure i’ll ever bother to grow bulb onions again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stewart patterson says:

    Anonymous is Stewart Patterson Bedworth cv128 be

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anonymous says:

    Got my first pant this year can’t wait to try them

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good web site – you have got here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David Bell says:

    I grew them for the first time this year and I am very impressed by them

    Liked by 1 person

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