Onion (Scallion) – Lilia



Onion (Scallion) – Lilia is a dual-purpose variety which can be grown and harvested as very attractive red-skinned scallions (spring onions) or it could be left to mature into a red bulb onion which can be stored.


February to March – for bulb onions

For bulb onion production:

Sow in February to March. Sow 4 seeds per cell in modular trays and plant out 5 to 6 weeks later as a bunch.

For scallion production:

Sow small quantities every two to three weeks from late March until July. Sow 8-10 seeds per cell in modular trays and plant out 4 to 5 weeks later as a bunch.


Between plants (bunches): 25cm

Between rows (bunches): 25cm

Approx. seed count: 70


Growing Onion (Scallion) – Lilia
Latin name: 

Allium cepa


Alliaceae (commonly known as Alliums)

With the help of a polytunnel or greenhouse you can harvest scallions for nearly twelve months of the year.  In order to achieve this you need to get into a routine and sow small quantities at regular intervals.

Onion (Scallion) – Lilia are grown for their small, red and slightly bulbous shanks and tender, green stem and leaves. They are also very easy and quick to grow.

Soil and site:

Scallions prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7 and grow in any reasonably fertile soil.


In order to get regular crops of freshly harvested scallions you need to sow them at regular intervals every second week starting from late January (on a heating bench) until early September.

I usually sow the seeds into modular trays, ten seeds per cell and about 1.5cm deep.  The trays are placed on a heated bench or a warm, south-facing windowsill.  About four weeks after sowing each module is planted out together as a bunch (without separating the seedlings).  In addition, because they are planted like this they are a lot easier maintained and also harvested.


I plant bunches of ten seedlings together at a spacing of 25 x 25cm.

Plant care:

Regular watering is absolutely essential because scallions prefer to grow in moist soil.  Also if the soil is too dry they may develop a bulbous growth.


Onion (Scallion) – Lilia are ready about four to six weeks after planting out. Harvesting is very easy if they are already growing in bunches.  Simply pull or fork out the bunches, knock off some excess soil from the roots, cut off the tops so the bunches are about 30cm long and tie them together with a rubber band. Only harvest scallions as you need them because they will not keep well once they are harvested.

Potential problems:

Scallions may suffer from the same pests and diseases as onions but to a much lesser extent because they mature so much faster.

Downy mildew is the only problem I have encountered with scallions and only if I left the plants too long in the ground in the first place.  There is a case for composting (or giving away) any excess scallions when they are over mature.

How much to grow?

If you require 2 bunches of scallions per week you can sow 6 bunches (10 seeds per module) every 3 weeks. At a spacing of 25cm x 30cm you will get 12 bunches per square metre.

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