15 of the Best Onion Varieties to Grow at Home

There are so many different kinds of onions to choose from. Some are delicious when they’re picked early, lending a subtle flavor to salads and stews, while others prefer to remain in the soil for a full growing season and store well in cool, dry temperatures.

Vertical image of white onions with green tops, growing in brown soil.

Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite onion varieties that will grow well in your garden, so you can pick the best cultivars to meet your personal taste preferences.

Bunching Onions

Bunching alliums, sometimes called spring onions or scallions, are delicious additions to any meal. They are tender and fresh, and are ready to pick after about 2 months of growth.

Top-down image of a pile of green onions with small white bulbs and off-white roots, on a brown wood surface.

Super versatile, you can grow them in containers or plant them directly into the ground, which is wonderful for gardeners who might not have a large outdoor space.

1. Crystal White Wax

Three 'Crystal White Wax' onions on a brown wood surface.

‘Crystal White Wax’

The small, roundish bulbs of this variety are perfect for pickling, and they will reach maturity in about 95 days.

With a mild, sweet flavor, you can expect these to produce larger bulbs in the south, or tiny pearls in the North. Want to take advantage of the tinier, pearl-sized variety in warmer climes? Just pick them earlier!

Seeds are available from True Leaf Market.

2. Evergreen Long White

Bundles of bunching 'Evergreen' onions wrapped with blue rubber bands.

‘Evergreen’ Bunching

These early beauties are certified organic and produce bunches of long, slim, tender stalks with green ends and small white bulbs at the root.

They grow five to nine inches long and are ready to pull from the soil anytime after 65 days. These non-GMO seeds are robust producers and are well suited for spring or fall planting.

Evergreen long white bunching seeds are available from True Leaf Market.

3. Tokyo Long White

A pile of 'Tokyo Long White' bunching onions with green tops, on a brown wood table.

‘Tokyo Long White’ Bunching

Possibly the perfect green onion, ‘Tokyo Long White’ offers long white bulbs with sturdy blue-green tops.

Though they’re not recommended for overwintering, they’re resistant to hot weather and reasonably cold tolerant as well, making them perfect for planting in a variety of climates.

On top of that, they offer good resistance against pink root disease, smut, Botrytis leaf blight, and thrips. The Incredible Hulk of bunching onions!

You’ll find they take 65-100 days to reach maturity, depending on where you’re located and when you plant.

Get your seeds now, from True Leaf Market.

Fresh Onions

These will require a longer growing season to reach maturity. They have a sweet and less fiery flavor than storage cultivars, and are an extremely pleasant addition to any recipe.

Piles of yellow and red onions with green tops.

If you’re growing a big crop, plan to share these with the neighbors (or revel in the joys of big batches of homemade soup)!

4. Ailsa Craig

200 Open-Pollinated ‘Ailsa Craig’

These large heirlooms are mild and sweet with beautiful gold-hued skins. Also known as ‘Kelsae Sweet Giant,’ they produce shorter stalks, which means they can be stored for a few weeks longer than other fresh types.

With large white bulbs, ‘Ailsa Craig’ is a long-day variety that will be ready to harvest in about 100 days.

You can find ‘Ailsa Craig’ seeds from David’s Garden Seeds, available on Amazon.

5. Italian Torpedo

300 Heirloom ‘Italian Torpedo’

This is a unique variety, with pinkish-red skins and an elongated shape. Often used in Italian cooking, this long-day cultivar has a sweet and mild flavor with tender flesh.

‘Italian Torpedo’ takes about 110 days to reach maturity. Seeds are available from Burpee via Amazon or directly from Burpee.com.

6. Red Burgundy

A row of 'Red Burgundy' onions with green tops growing in black soil, with a picked specimen in the foreground.

‘Red Burgundy’

This short-day globe type is best enjoyed fresh, producing large 3- to 4-inch bulbs that are white with red rings, and dark red skins.

‘Red Burgundy’ is an heirloom with a very mild and sweet flavor, and this type offers good resistance against pink root disease.

Seeds are available from True Leaf Market.

7. Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish

A pile of cured "Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish' onions.

‘Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish’

Another sweet variety, this long-day cultivar produces huge bulbs in about 115 days. An intermediate day type, they’re sweet and mild.

If you’re located in the Western United States, this is the heirloom variety for you, since they’re well suited to local climatic conditions. They also do fairly well in storage.

Seeds are available from True Leaf Market.

8. Walla Walla

Closeup of a pile of cured 'Walla Walla' onions with golden colored peels.

‘Walla Walla’

Hailing from Washington State, this popular long-day variety is known to produce vegetables up to 2 pounds each!

Extremely sweet and very mild, they will keep for up to a month in storage, but they are not suitable for curing. Offering some extra versatility, they can also be cured and stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

‘Walla Walla’ can be grown in warmer or cooler climates, producing bulbs of various sizes, depending on when you choose to harvest. They will reach full maturity in about 90 days.

Purchase organic ‘Walla Walla’ seeds from True Leaf Market.

9. White Grano

'White Grano' onions with green tops, growing in brown soil.

‘White Grano’

This short-day variety produces large, white, spherical bulbs in about 100 days.

With soft, mild flesh that’s perfect chopped and sprinkled on a taco, these also lend themselves well to short term storage.

Seeds treated for resistance to pink root disease are available from True Leaf Market.

10. White Sweet Spanish

100 Organic ‘Spanish White’ Seeds

A compact white type, these are perfect for fresh summer salads, and lend a sweet and subtle flavor to any recipe.

Also known as ‘Late White,” you can expect them to produce compact, white bulbs about three inches in diameter. This cultivar requires about 110 days to reach maturity, and is not meant for storage.

As a long-day type, it is best suited to Northern gardens. But in the South, it can also be grown for harvest as a fresh green variety in the fall.

‘Sweet Spanish White’ seeds are available from Country Creek Acres via Amazon.

Storage Onions

Five bunches of onions hanging from brown wooden rafters to dry.

These are the type that is known to stay fresh and usable long after they are pulled from the ground and cured.

Storage cultivars tend to have smaller and more narrow necks that don’t hold as much moisture as fresh varieties. And less moisture means more crisp flesh that has a significantly more pungent flavor, and keeps months longer in storage.

11. Candy

Four cured 'Candy Hybrid' onions on a dark brown wood surface.

‘Candy’ Hybrid

This intermediate or day-neutral variety is a beautiful and reliable producer, with light yellow flesh and thin, paper-like skin. With a long and narrow stalk that doesn’t hold much moisture at all, the ‘Candy’ variety is known to keep very well in storage, if cured properly.

These have a mild bite to them, but are pleasantly crisp and tangy. They will reach maturity after 200 days, and are delicious either fresh or from storage.

200 Hybrid ‘Candy’ Seeds

Purchase ‘Candy’ seeds from David’s Garden Seeds, available via Amazon.

This type is also available directly from True Leaf Market.

12. Patterson

200 ‘Patterson’ Seeds

This long-day cultivar has a reputation amongst farmers for being one of the longest storing alliums on the market today. If you’re craving homegrown allium goodness year round, this is the type for you!

‘Patterson’ is easy to grow, and it’s a very hearty producer of 3- to 4-inch round bulbs that are firm, with a beautiful golden color.

In terms of flavor, they have a bit of a bite to them, and are a mainstay in my daily cooking, from the early fall straight through the winter.

They can be harvested any time after 105 days and, with proper curing, will remain fresh in cold storage for up to a year.

‘Patterson’ seeds are available from Jays Seeds via Amazon.

13. Redwing

1000 ‘Redwing’ Seeds

These long-day alliums are famous for their deep red color and superior storage ability. They reliably produce large and round bulbs that are hard and crisp, with very thick skins.

Ready for harvest in 115 days, when properly cured, this type will store for a year or more in a cool, dry place.

‘Redwing’ seeds are available from Hazzard’s Seeds via Amazon.

14. Southport Red Globe

Two whole and three slices of 'Southport Red Globe' onion.

Heirloom ‘Southport Red Globe’

This heirloom long-day variety produces large bulbs, with purple skins and pink flesh. Perfect for Northern gardens, you can expect high yields in about 100-120 days.

Seeds are available from True Leaf Market.

15. Sturon

100 Burpee ‘Sturon’ Seeds

This sweet variety produces high yields, and is ready for harvest in 80-100 days.

A long-day type with medium-sized globes, brown skins, and yellow flesh, ‘Sturon’ is known for resisting bolting in hot weather.

Seeds are available from Burpee via Amazon or directly from Burpee.com.

A Note About Alliums

A brown wood surface topped with a bunch of scallions, in front of one yellow, one purple, and one white onion.

Onions are very adaptable, and extremely hardy. They prefer well-drained, somewhat acidic soil that has a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8. To learn more about testing your soil’s pH level, read our expert guide.

Soil can be amended easily by adding lime, available in either powdered or pelleted form. Lime is a wonderful pH regulator, and is not harmful to plants or animals in any way.

They will also need a certain minimum amount of sunlight in order to grow properly. Your garden’s location largely determines what types will work best for you. Let’s quickly cover the basics:

Short Day Varieties

Cultivars such as ‘Red Creole,’ ‘White Bermuda,’ or ‘Yellow Granex’ prefer about 10 hours of sunlight each day in order to form bulbs.

This type grows well in more southern regions of the country, in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and warmer.

Intermediate Day Varieties

Types such as ‘Candy’ or ‘Superstar’ require about 12-14 hours of sunlight per day before they will begin forming bulbs, but they are typically very adaptable. Most areas in the midsection of the US fall into this range, a large swathe of the country.

Also referred to as “day neutral,” these varieties are best suited for growing zones 5 and 6, but will form bulbs in almost any zone. Unless you are in very northern or very southern regions, intermediate day varieties will grow quite well.

Long Day Varieties

Cultivars including ‘Walla Walla,’ ‘Copra,’ or ‘Yellow/White Spanish’ require 14-16 hours of sunlight in order to form bulbs. These varieties are usually grown in northern zone 6 and colder regions. Because of their amazing adaptability to fluctuations in temperature, they are known to be the best for storage.

Your location should determine your selections in large part, so find out which growing zone you belong to, and plan accordingly.

As a grower in Southern Vermont, I find that ‘Candy,’ ‘Ailsa Craig,’ ‘Patterson,’ and ‘Redwing’ are wonderful varieties for my growing zone. The bulbs produced are large and juicy, with a crispness that remains for the life of the vegetable.

The Final Word

Remember that in order to get a good long storage season, onions must be properly cured and left to adequately dry.

This allows the moisture they contain to evaporate, leaving you with a firm, crisp, and dry vegetable that will store in a cool, dry place for many months to come. See our article on growing and harvesting onions for more information.

Closeup of a yellow onion with green top growing in brown soil, with more in the background.

With a little love and patience, and some proper fertilization and maintenance, you can have a beautiful, high-yielding crop that will be ready to eat fresh in the spring and summer, or stored and enjoyed throughout the fall and winter months.

Green onion tops growing in rows in black soil, in bright sunshine.

After all, there is nothing better than eating food that you took the time to nurture, grow, and harvest. Now get out there! Happy planting.

What are your favorite cultivars? Have any questions? Share with us in the comments below!


Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different onion varieties and cultivars.

Product photos via True Leaf Market, Burpee, Hazzard’s Seeds, Jays Seeds, David’s Garden Seeds, and Country Creek Acres. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

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About Leslie M.G.

Leslie M.G. is a lifelong lover of all things natural. She lives in rural southern Vermont with her wife, two dogs named Charlie and Ruby, and one sneaky little cat named Max. She is a grower, a farmer, a forager, and a writer who loves to combine all of these things to eke out a life in her little corner of the world. When the growing season comes to New England, her favorite thing to do is put on her overalls and head out to the garden, where she can plunge her hands into the rocky and fertile Vermont soil and get dirty. Her second-favorite thing to do? Pluck juicy ripe tomatoes from the vine and gobble them up, one by one.

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