Growing Shallots, also Eschalots

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    P           P      

(Best months for growing Shallots in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Plant small bulblets, with stem just showing above ground. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Keep a few for your next planting.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Lemon Balm, Borage, Carrots, Beets, Silverbeet, Lettuce, Amaranth
  • Avoid growing close to: Peas, Beans
  • "Tree Onions" (commons.wikimedia.org - Liez - CC BY 3.0)

Shallots are grown from small bulbs kept from the main plant. Once they are established, you can keep your supply going indefinitely by saving a few bulblets each year.

A type of small mild multiplying onion, popular in French cooking.

Tree onions or 'walking onions' produce bulbs at the top of the stem.

Shallots are not spring onions and are quite different to the green bunching "Eschallots" (Allium fistulosum) which, just to confuse us, are also called shallots in Eastern Australia.

They are more like garlic in their growth as they form a clump of bulbs at the base of the stem.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Shallots

Use in any recipe instead of onions
Can be cooked whole, braised gently with other vegetables.
Sometimes pickled.

Your comments and tips

30 Apr 20, Mike Goodson (Australia - tropical climate)
The Philippines sebuyas tagolog successfully produces small clumping onions in the tropics. I have grown them in PNG.and used them as an onion substitute. Is there a source of planting material in Australia. I live in Cairns
01 May 20, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What I call shallots and grow are similar to these. I looked them up on the internet and mine are similar to a photo that shows a couple of purple bulbs with green leaves. I plant 3 bulbs together and when they grow I end up with 12-15 stalks. I eat them when they are like spring onions. If you let them go they will form bulbs. Keep some bulbs from one year for the next year. I could send you some. email [email protected]
09 Apr 20, Michelle (USA - Zone 8b climate)
When do you plant the shallot seed? Is it recommended to direct sow? If so when? Or is recommended to start indoors (if so when?) and then transplant outside (if so, when?). Thank you
07 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
I grow a product which I know as multiplying onions. These produce small bulblets on top of growing leaves which I retain for seed. This seed in due course produces a cluster of around 5-6
08 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Very interesting - thanks for sharing. I just grow shallots. Plant 2-3 together and they produce up to 10-15 stalks, eat in about 6-8 wks.
14 Mar 20, Kiti de Jager (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I haven't bought scallions for years. I just cut off the bottom half cm with the roots, replant roots, and they grow again. Maybe I should get some new ones, just for fun. I also have 2 types, one with just one bulb, the other multiplying like yours. Just divide the bulbs and replant. They will form new clusters.
16 Mar 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have used bulbs from one year to the next for 40 years.
22 Feb 20, Greg (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, Its now 22 Feb 2020 and I live in Wollongong (temperate region). I'm going to start growing eschalots. I purchased a pack with about 6 bulbs from the local fruit and veg store. Not sure what variety, but they have a brown 'skin' and are a purple/mauve colour when the skin is peeled off. After reading some of the posts ( and the growing guide for temperate regions in Australia) , I see that I can start to plant the bulbs in March through to May. So far so good. I grow all my plants in containers (polystyrene boxes from fruit and veg stores) and raised corrugated iron garden beds (Aldi) For my Ginger, Turmeric and edible Pandanus I use a '50% coir and 50% premium potting mix' for my soil. Coir is a compressed coconut fibre. I got this 'soil recipe from Daleys plants (www.daleysfruit.com.au) BUT they are North NSW Coast and specialise in tropical plants, not eschalots. Will probably test try this soil medium for some of the eschalots but QUESTION : I am wondering what the best soil to use in containers (40cm x 80cm) and raised garden beds (approx size - 210cm x 90cm) ? Thanks in advance. Feel free to comment on any aspect of my post, but I'm mainly after the soil to use.
13 Sep 20, Debra (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Greg - I am researching for a new vege garden the planting out of shallot seedlings (located in Kiama not far from you) as I've not grown them before and my husband bought a punnet - as a result I read your comment on Gardenate with interest (a very interesting post I might add) given your location. My research has totally confused me re the bulbs - I'm thinking of the shallots we buy in the supermarket. My understanding from the research is the bulbs are formed from mature plants and can be eaten and/or saved for future planting. Do you know how I can grow them to harvest similar to those we buy? Also I have never grown tumeric or ginger before - any tips? :)
22 Apr 20, Meme (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I haven't tried growing eschalots or onions or garlic before so your tips in your comment are very helpful. I love ginger and hope to grow it when the plants are available again as well as potatoes. Wanting to grow a lot more of the basic staples other than tomatoes lettuce carrot and peas.
Showing 1 - 10 of 166 comments

Hi, Its now 22 Feb 2020 and I live in Wollongong (temperate region). I'm going to start growing eschalots. I purchased a pack with about 6 bulbs from the local fruit and veg store. Not sure what variety, but they have a brown 'skin' and are a purple/mauve colour when the skin is peeled off. After reading some of the posts ( and the growing guide for temperate regions in Australia) , I see that I can start to plant the bulbs in March through to May. So far so good. I grow all my plants in containers (polystyrene boxes from fruit and veg stores) and raised corrugated iron garden beds (Aldi) For my Ginger, Turmeric and edible Pandanus I use a '50% coir and 50% premium potting mix' for my soil. Coir is a compressed coconut fibre. I got this 'soil recipe from Daleys plants (www.daleysfruit.com.au) BUT they are North NSW Coast and specialise in tropical plants, not eschalots. Will probably test try this soil medium for some of the eschalots but QUESTION : I am wondering what the best soil to use in containers (40cm x 80cm) and raised garden beds (approx size - 210cm x 90cm) ? Thanks in advance. Feel free to comment on any aspect of my post, but I'm mainly after the soil to use.

- Greg

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