How to Keep Green Onions Fresh for Weeks

If your fridge ever becomes home to slimy bundles of only days-old green onion, then here's a tip that will save food waste, save grocery money, even save cleaning the vegetable bin! It's super simple and you don't need to buy anything special. Then green onions will keep for two and even three weeks, fresh and ready for the plucking right from your own refrigerator – like a flower bouquet for your refrigerator!
How to Keep Green Onions Fresh for Weeks, another One Quick Tip ♥ It's like a flower bouquet for your refrigerator!

Once Upon a Time

It used to be, I'd buy a bunch of green onions, use one or two in a salad and then put the rest back in the fridge "for later". R.I.G.H.T. Because you're guessing how this ends, right? Because it happens to you, too, right?

"Later" meant opening the fridge a few days later to find a slimy mess of rotting green onions good for nothing except the compost bowl. "Later" was code for digging for green onions for a salad or eggs or ... only to be disappointed. "Later" was just code for delaying throwing away the unused green onions, well, later.

It's Easy to Forget. Plants Are Living Things.

But when we care for even food plants with care, they'll continue to live, even after being plucked from the ground.

So I began to plop the bulb ends of green onions into shallow water in a tall drinking glass with just enough to keep the roots fresh.

Lo and behold, it worked!

Now My Green Onions Keep for Two and Even Three Weeks!

See the photo? On the right is a bunch of green onions put into the glass only minutes before.

The center glass holds green onions that had been in water for more than a week. The left water glass holds green onions that were in water for more than two weeks.

Amazing, eh? Amazing! No more slimy green onions! No more waste!

Why This System Works for Me

Keeping green onions fresh for weeks takes little effort and zero expense. No fancy refrigerator containers with lids to lose, no special washing soap, no dedicated time to make it all happen.

Once the green onions are in the glasses, they're out and visible, a reminder! It used to be that green onions got buried and bruised beneath other vegetables, now I remember they're there because I see them every time I open the fridge. So I'm mentally aware when the water needs refreshing, when we're getting low on green onions, when I should buy more.

Dare I say? It's like a flower bouquet for the fridge – something green and alive and living! Fresh, growing plants make me happy!

Two Tricks to Know

IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH WATER Wash the green onions under running water (do pay special attention to the root area to remove any crud that's still there), then fill the drinking glass (or even a re-purposed spaghetti jar or something glass that's easy to wash) just enough so that the roots are in water. After a few days, or a week, some times the water dries out. If that happens, just rinse the green onions again, especially the bulbs and the roots, and fill the glass with shallow water again. Some times, the water turns brown, just refresh the bulbs and the roots and the water.

CROP THE TOPS I also give the green tops a quick "haircut," they seem to keep slightly longer this way – and also fit on the top shelf of the fridge! Remove the bottom rubber bands but leave the top rubber bands in place, this keeps the green leaves upright but you can still pull out what you need with little effort.

So What Do You Think?

Would this work for you? Have you tried it? Or do you have your own system to keep green onions fresh? Tell us how you do it and why it works for you!

BUT THAT'S IT! Really! One Quick Tip!

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts I call "One Quick Tip" ... because, well, each one will include a single quick tip, quick to absorb, easy to adopt, memorable to use.

Do you have One Quick Tip you'd like to share?
Leave a comment or send me a quick e-mail via

This time I'm looking for ideas on how you keep fresh herbs fresh. Old or new, big or small, I'd love to know what ideas are useful in your own kitchen!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.