What's wrong with my onions

shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Vegetables

I started Egyptian Walking Onions as a container project in the house. They are planted in new, organic potting soil inside a deep pot. Sunshine is mostly indirect. They started out strong, but now....

My research implies that the sets I bought came with a viral disease, or the previously unused soil was somehow contaminated.

Has anyone seen this before?

Also, if they all die, is it safe to incorporate this soil into my yard, or will it forever contaminate other growing things?

Thanks for any help you can provide.


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Addendum: I think I have virus on the mind -- I meant to say maybe the onions have a fungal disease?

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have discovered what killed my onions: fungus gnats. Apparently, the onion family is particularly susceptible to these attacks.

    I exposed the potting soil to lots of sun/heat before I used it -- fungus gnat eggs survived anyway. After the larvae killed the onions, the adult gnats proceeded to infest my house. Lucky me.

    The battle continues...

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,522 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh no!

  • Sheila
    Sheila Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    Just on a side note - the onions like full sunshine once adapted to it and a sandy soil will help with those pesky gnats as well as keeping your onions from having wet feet. If even one survives they will develop bulbs on the end of the flowering stalk and reproduce from that. Good luck - gnats are a pain:(

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sheila Thanks for the advice. My next onions will be planted in cactus soil.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    How do I propagate? Do I simply allow them to do their thing? How do I harvest and use?

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @MissPatricia I would let them do their thing. When they form the cluster of bulbs at the top, it will get heavy, fall to the ground, and grow many more little plants. I believe the whole thing is edible. I used to have a great patch until the gophers ate mine.

  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    @MissPatricia Yes walking onions will propagate by both the top sets in spring and also in fall they’ll also propagate like bunching onions. The onions are edible, peel away the outer layer as it won’t cook down (ask how I would know that). If a few survived let them grow for a season or two and you’ll have plenty of them. I was given 3 bulbs a few years ago, 2 made it and now I have more walking onions than I know what to do with. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

  • Sheila
    Sheila Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    Once the bulbs get heavy enough to bend the stalk over and they release easily from the stem you can take them off and plant where ever you want them. I find this keep the clumps from getting too dense and starting to die out in the middle.