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Walking Onions potted plant


SUPPLIED AS FOUR BULBS WITH GREEN SHOOTS IN A 1L POT. You can separate out the four onions on arrival and plant them out separately. The onions may be trimmed for shipping, but this will not harm the plants.

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Walking onions, also known as tree or top setting onions (Allium × proliferum) are a fantastic perennial hardy edible and ornamental plant to add to your perennial vegetable garden and work well as part of a polyculture. Once you have them growing, they will always be around. A really useful addition to your permanent larder of edible plants. Supplied as a POTTED PLANT WITH SPROUTED BULBS. Full growing instructions below. 


Walking onions, we love these alliums which grow like bunching onions, but during the summer they make a curious ‘top setting’ head of bulbils on the end of the flowerstalk where the flower should be. They are also known as ‘Tree onions’ or ‘Top setting onions’ because the weight of the top setting bulbils causes the stalk to fall over and root where they touch the ground gradually forming a colony. The next year, these form onions in the new location and the whole process happens all over again. They will gradually walk around your garden, sneak into your neighbour’s yard then make a bid for freedom!

How to grow

Bulbs can be planted at any time of year and will begin to sprout very soon after planting out. Top setting bulbils normally appear in June and July.


Harvest onion greens for most of the year by snipping off with a pair of scissors. Top setting bulbs can be harvested in summer.

Propagating more plants

Walking onions can be simply left to propagate themselves and they are quite happy to do their own thing. You can however collect the top setting bulbs and scatter them in a new place to start a new colony. Sometimes the patch can become a little bit crowded so it doesn’t hurt to divide and separate a few clumps now and again.

Life Cycle

Walking onions remain green for most of the year, once the top setting bulbs have matured in summer and fallen over, the main stems will dry out and can be trimmed back. The fallen bulbils will start to sprout in small clumps a few inches from your mother plant. We have found that the mother plant will generally re-sprout from the base too.

Cooking and eating

Use as any bunching onion, while the bulbils can be used in pickles, or chopped up for cooking.

“Thanks for everything, the info sheet was great. I planted the cuttings the day they arrived and have just multi sown the 9 star in seed trays. All very exciting, we’re now planning our perennial area.”

“You are right, perennial kale is fantastic! Thanks so much for the cuttings. I am a convert to having a corner of perpetual kale in the patch!”

“As the evening sun back lit the plants at Incredible Vegetables, I felt I was standing in one of the most important gardens of our time. Wildflowers working alongside an abundance of edimentals and perennial vegetables. A ‘food glade’ to rival the aesthetic of our greatest plant designers.”

– Jon Davies, garden designer, London Glades –

“I love your website and the work you’re doing. What you’re doing is exiting, useful, and one day will help to replace and enhance what human kind has damaged.With that our natural friends will return and we’ll be better for it.”

“Mandy, thank you. I am delighted with this plant – it is so strong and healthy and exceptionally well packaged – all done with loving care obviously. I shall look forward to having more plants from you.”

“Plants all arrived lovely and are growing well. I just wanted to say i was very impressed with the quality of the cuttings.. and its been a pleasure dealing with you. And I look forward to any purchases in the future.”

“The kale cuttings you sent survived the winter and are thriving. Thank you Mandy Barber you are the super hero of edibles, loving your work!!”

“I bought some Skirret seed’s off you last year. Well they grew and yesterday some got cooked and this message is just to say, they were delicious. Looking forward to a lot more next year. Thank you.”

“The Taunton Dean cuttings arrived a short while ago and never have I seen healthier looking cuttings! They are now firmly ensconced in some nice compost and are having a good drink. I even loved the packaging, which will be composted.”

“Hi I just wanted to let you know that I sowed half of my Caucasian spinach seeds and every single one grew, absolutely amazed, thanks for the seeds and keep up the good work.”

“Just to let you know that the lovely healthy looking plants arrived. Your plants are simply outstanding, every single tuber and plant are growing amazingly.”

“The plants arrived safely, I did not expect such magnificent specimens! I didn’t think I would be successful at stratification etc but I now have a whole bunch of Hablitzia seedlings sprouting after following your excellent advice.”

“Just to say, the Daubentons Kale is in the ground and looking well – thanks to the lovely damp compost encasing its roots…you do a good job at your end, I can tell by the way you package. Will be back for more of your wonderful perennials.”

“Thank you so much for all the vegetables, they really are incredible. I’m sure I’ve never before seen a healthier rootball than the one that arrived with our happy looking daubentons kale, and seeds and tubers are thriving thanks to all the useful information provided.”

“Thank you so much for sending such wonderful, healthy and very large plants. They are beautiful !! You packaged them so well and they arrived so quickly – I couldn’t get to the post office till the following day but they were absolutely fine. They’re now potted up and sitting in my ‘cold’ greenhouse while they adjust.”

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Mandy and Julien