Alliums as houseplants

User avatar
Shule
Reactions:
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:29 pm
Location: SW Idaho, USA

Alliums as houseplants

#1

Post: # 42850Unread post Shule
Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:22 pm

So, I'm thinking about growing some garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) and bunching onions (Allium fistulosum) as long-term houseplants, in trough-shaped pots in windowsills.

Has anyone here ever tried growing Alliums as long-term houseplants? I mean, not just for food, but also for the same reason you grow inedible houseplants.

I figure garlic chives and bunching onions would be good choices for edible houseplants, for a number of reasons:

* They can tolerate both cold weather and hard freezes, so they should be able to handle a windowsill in winter without problems.
* I imagine they won't spread to the sides of the container much; they'll mostly just grow up, I suppose. This is great for a trough for a windowsill, since there's not much space to grow horizontally.
* Garlic chives flower very heavily, and the flowers look nice. I imagine they'd even flower indoors.
* I don't have a spider plant. I want a spider plant. A big healthy pot of garlic chives (before it flowers) looks kind of like a spider plant. :P
* I like to eat bunching onion greens and garlic chives greens. It'd be nice to have them fresh all year long.
* I'm guessing the mites that appear frequently in my house wouldn't bother them, since they don't seem to bother Allium cepa (regular onions) indoors. They sure ravage tomatoes, peppers, and garden huckleberries, though.
* Alliums grow fast. So, I imagine they might produce oxygen more than slower-growing plants. I could be wrong.
* I like the way Alliums look.
* They seem pretty shade-tolerant outdoors (maybe they'd handle indoor light situations decently). Although my south window has lots of sun, I imagine they'd work well in any window (or even a ways away from a window).
* They don't require a terrible lot of soil. The troughs I have should be plenty, I'm guessing.
* If they multiply and pack the pots, I can take some out to plant outside (and/or eat).
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet

User avatar
pepperhead212
Reactions:
Posts: 2228
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:07 am
Location: Woodbury, NJ

Re: Alliums as houseplants

#2

Post: # 42852Unread post pepperhead212
Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:34 pm

I have grown both regular and garlic chives in containers and and hydroponics, and they do well, with no mites, or aphids (the two main problems with some indoor plants). Chives will become rootbound in windowsill pots outside, by the end of the season - about 5 months, though it would probably take a while longer inside. Even rootbound, however, they didn't start dying off, as they can dry out considerably, without showing any signs.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

User avatar
worth1
Reactions:
Posts: 9914
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: 25 miles southeast of Waterloo Texas

Re: Alliums as houseplants

#3

Post: # 42853Unread post worth1
Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:57 pm

My store bought green onions have been going strong for I think close to or over a year now.
Even through the freeze and summer neglect.
Worth
25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

User avatar
Bower
Reactions:
Posts: 4036
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Alliums as houseplants

#4

Post: # 42854Unread post Bower
Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:59 pm

I have often had green onions of the A fistulosum type indoors for the winter. I had two varieties that responded differently: one of them always dies down when the days are short enough, regardless, afaict. The other one is called "Hardy Evergreen" and it will stay green and keep growing regardless of day length.
To keep the green onions as a perpetual supply, I cut them about 1/2 inch from the ground instead of pulling them out. they regrow in no time! That works for leeks too, at least, baby leeks are fine with it. They come on back.
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

User avatar
Growing Coastal
Reactions:
Posts: 1090
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:49 pm
Location: Vancouver Island Canada

Re: Alliums as houseplants

#5

Post: # 42859Unread post Growing Coastal
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:26 pm

Years ago, someone I knew gave me a start of her house grown Egyptian walking onions. I grew them indoors for a long time with no special care at all. The bulbs crowded and filled the surface of the soil. I would call them super easy to grow indoors. Now I have some outdoors where they are up sooner than my regular chives.

User avatar
Shule
Reactions:
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:29 pm
Location: SW Idaho, USA

Re: Alliums as houseplants

#6

Post: # 42865Unread post Shule
Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! That's very helpful. I never thought about growing leeks indoors. I've been worried about planting them outside, since they might not be sufficiently cold hardy for some of our winters (they'd probably survive most of them, though).

I found this about growing garlic (not garlic chives) indoors:
https://www.thespruce.com/growing-garli ... ers-848232
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet

Post Reply

Return to “House Plants”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests