Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are bulbs. When planted, they produce green ‘tubes’ known as onion or garlic tops. Both are essential cooking ingredients that are easy to grow and can be started off indoors. For best results, buy freshly harvested, live onions and garlic (not preserved).

All you need to do is place your onion or garlic bulb on the top of a jar of water. Make sure it is the right way round though, with the pointy bit at the top. After a few days, you will start to see roots growing down from the base.

It is now time to plant it in a pot. You will need some stones in the bottom of the pot (to help with drainage) and some potting compost. Make sure the whole bulb is covered by the compost, with just the green tubes showing.

Onions like to grow in the cooler months in full sun. Onion plants need watering, however they do not like being over fertilised. Place on a windowsill or grow in your garden during summer. Keep watered and, eventually, it will flower.

Source: Local Safari, The Jane Goodall Institute Australia, 2020, page 118.


Onions are one of the easiest plants to grow using hydroponics. The term derives from the Greek word hydro (water) and ponos (labour). This soil-free cultivation method lets water do the work of distributing food to the plant.

(Copyright: Australian Science Teachers Association 2021, except where indicated otherwise. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.)