Why are My Onions Small and Going to Seed?

The onions in our garden are small and the tops are flowering and going to seed. Why are they doing that and is it a problem?

Hardiness Zone: 7b


By Kathy from Whitesboro, TX

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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

Remember to snap off onion flowers as they appear. If you let the plants flower, they will become woody and unusable. Try to remember which ones started to bolt and use these first as they won't keep well if you try to store them.

For more info call your county extension office, good luck.

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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

Weather is what usually makes onions bolt, especially a fluctuation in temperatures. The onions think their season is done so they send up flowers to make seed. There are bolt-resistant varieties available but I don't know much about them.

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May 19, 20100 found this helpful

My dad would plant rows of onions.When the green tops came up, he would take a long plank of wood and flattened them out. He said the strength would go into the onion below instead of going to all the green stuff on top of the ground and eventually going to seed.

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May 25, 20100 found this helpful

Onions flower in their second year naturally. If you started with sets, this is their second year and they will want to do this. Weather and daylight length can contribute to the problem.


Using seed or buying bundles of plants reduces the problem.

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