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 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 20 cm 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

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
05 Feb 21, (USA - Zone 7b climate)
A true shallot is grown from bulbs. I plant 3 bulbs together. These can then grow into between 10 and 40 stalks. These stalks will form a bulb if left to do so. I generally pick the stalks before they flower and bulb. I leave the plant to bulb if I want bulbs for replanting and I sell the bulbs to Indian and Asian people for cooking. I believe a spring onion doesn't bulb but has a seed head. Scallions are like a spring onion but do not go to seed. They taste a bit like an onion. You can pick these and replant them, cut most of the top off and plant leaving some stalk sticking out of the soil. In some parts of the world shallots are called multiplying onion, potato onions and I'itoi onions.
17 May 18, Jonathan Pursley (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Can I grow shallots successfully indoors under lights? If so what light cycle will be most successful?
04 Oct 15, Dan (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Thanks for the gardening help, tips, and reminders. Very helpful.

I grow shallots from Feb to Nov in sub tropical, no reason why you can't I feel. In autumn/winter they stay more like a spring onion (straight) longer but when the weather hots up they go to bulb a lot sooner.

- Anon

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