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val_8

'Pregnant Onion' houseplant

Val - 8
24 years ago

Does anyone have any information on this plant? It is a green bulb with a single onion 'leaf' sprouting out of the top - it gets 'baby' onions growing off the sides of it every once-in-a-while. A friends is putting out a flower stalk - at least that what she thinks it is. It is definately an 'old-fashioned' house plant - we have all gotten ours from an older lady in the area. Thanks

Comments (112)

  • simplylisa
    17 years ago

    I am interested in finding a pregnant onion and/or mother of millions. Does anyone know where i could find one? Feel free to e-mail me at LisasAvonPLace@aol.com

    Thanks,
    Lisa & Kayla

  • hajir
    17 years ago

    i just got 6 babies um.. they havent rooted yet. but i water them every tuesday.. is this good that im doing thatt.. how long does it take for them to root?

  • Kristi
    17 years ago

    I just pulled up a few of these from my grandmother's house. She had them planted around her trees in the backyard. We pulled up 2 that were the size of softballs and the 3rd one is in a pot with a bunch of babies on it. My question is, how far in the soil should this be planted? Do I need to do anything special to the soil like put rocks in the bottom? Thanks.

    Kristi

  • geojen
    17 years ago

    where can i find one of these beauties..

  • sheajc
    17 years ago

    I've had my Pregnant Onion for two years, and it is quite large. I recently left the plant with a friend to go to Europe for a four month period, and my friend couldn't stop talking about how easy it is to care for. Pregnant Onions are almost like an heirloom houseplant because they were popular during the early 20th-century, but also because the concept is that one gives a bud ("baby") to a friend who plants the bud, and so on and so forth. There are opportunists who sell these on auction sites for up to $4.00 per bud, but that is a shame. These plants also have "healing" properties (they are known as Meerzwiebel in German, which means "Sea Bulb"), as it is said that a chopped up piece of the stalk will soothe burns and that mixing a chopped up piece of the bulb with sugar will cure colds. Of course, I doubt this is true based on the fact that these plants are known to be poisionous. Anyway, my plant has no "babies" on it right now, but if you want one in the future (when they come off), let me know and I'd be happy to send you one.

  • carrie_grow
    17 years ago

    I have just received a pregnant onion baby from a friend. It is so cute. My concern is I think I may be killing it. When I first got the onion the bulb was green and firm. Now the bulb is kind of brownish and a little bit mushy. It gets plenty of indoor light, and I have only been watering it once a week, or when it appears dry. Also I did give it a fertilizer stick and the pot is well draining. The outer part of the bulb looks like it wants to peel. Other wise the leaves are green and healthy appearing. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong. Any suggestions would be great/

  • jellybean2006
    17 years ago

    Hello
    I have never seen a pregnant onion. If anyone wants to unload some babies. And if anyone has any other plants that they can do with out it will be will appriecated.
    I had a lots of plants and lost then in a fire. trying to get some back. You can e-mail me at mildred_riggs@hotmail.com
    thank ya

  • jellybean2006
    17 years ago

    Hello
    If you still have some kalanchoe mother of millions that you want to unload i would like some.
    you can e-mail me at mildred_riggs@hotmail.com
    for my Address.P/S this is my frist time on this web site so i dont no how this works
    Thank ya

  • wendywc
    17 years ago

    I got one pregnant onion from a friend a year ago and now I have 4 baseball size moms plus a couple of dozen babies and teenagers. If anyone wants me to send a sprouting bud their way, please email me. I'm overflowing with them. I've already emailed you jellybean2006.

    I'm south of Houston, Texas, but I can pack it well so it'll be safe sent through the mail. I've never packed a plant for shipment before, but at least they start out tiny and the US mail has always been speedy for me. However, if anyone has tips on mailing them, let me know.

    wendy@etherspring.com

  • wendywc
    17 years ago

    jellybean2006, the email I sent you kicked back on me. Is your email working? If you're still interested, let me know.

  • normaplants
    17 years ago

    About your pregnant onion plant!
    About 15 years ago I purchased this plant at a farmer's market in North Carolina and brought it home in an empty jar in my suitcase, flying home to Missouri. I know this plant as a SEA ONION. It is a member of the lily family and is a half-hardy perennial found wild on semitropical seacoasts of Africa and India. Her generic name comes from the Arabian tribe Ben Urgin, in Algeria. She is closely related to Scilla and Ornithogalum. One of her names is Scilla vivipara which means life bearer. The plant is light green all the way through and sits like a queen on top of the soil which should consist of equal parts loam, leaf mold and sand. Bulbs live a long time and many attain a foot in diameter. The long, straplike leaves may run to five feet or more and the flowers assume the shape of white stars and are borne in short racees on the ends of slender stalks in summer.Seeds will follow the florets and will send up shoots around the base of the bulb. Also bulblets may develop on the surface of the mother and you will note the sides begin to swell and bulge. When a split appears, one or more blbles will pop into view. You can pick these off or let them drop as they mature, to make more plants. The sea onion is a medicinal plant. The thick juice makes an excellent healing ointment for burns. This is an easy plant to grow.

  • nazz1013
    17 years ago

    if any one could part with one of there babies,id love to get one!!! ive tryed finding one to with no luck.im at nazz1013@aol.com id keep it forever thanks lmk

  • Susan McClure
    17 years ago

    I'd love to have one of these onions as well. I'd be willing to trade if I have something you want. Please email me if you have one you're willing to part with!!

  • wendywc
    16 years ago

    I've given away lots of buds thanks to this forum! But I do have more buds developing again. I would love to trade them for some herb plants, like mint or sage... but if you don't have any, that's okay. If anyone's interested, please email me. wendy@etherspring.com

  • jaded1
    16 years ago

    TBLadybug, I also live in the bay area. I have had my onion for about 2 years now, and just this spring planted the mother in the ground. It has always been an outdoor plant with no problems except for at times getting too dry when I forgot to water. We have very sandy soil here(Alameda), and it's doing quite well. It also blossoms every year.

    jaded1

  • emerald1951
    16 years ago

    I have a 2 year old sea onion,its as big as a baseball. how long does it take for it to grow to 12 inches???

  • beverly65
    16 years ago

    I have always heard the pregnant onions were poisonous. Does anyone have first hand knowledge of this? What are the symptoms? I have two cats and when they were 15 weeks old they ate the leaves from 3 baseball sized onions and then played ball with the bulbs while I was gone one day. They cats grew into my loving babies and the onions into my pride and glory. They hung in an east bathroom window and bloomed constantly. The leaves grew to 5-6 feet long and the flower stocks 6-8 feet and the flowers were from 12-20 inches long. They were proped up on the shower curtian rod. The shower was closed! They had more babies than I can count and they outgrew their pot. They never recovered from the transplanting and I moved 4 times which didn't help. I still have them and am babying them along. I moved them outside in their pot so I can bring them in if it gets too cold. I live in Phoenix so that doesn't happen too often. They do seem to do better outside. The bulbs are firm. Their leaves are green, but the leaves are no more than 3-4 inches long. They do have many babies, however. This is 4 years after I transplanted them. I would be grateful for any advise to bring my plants back to their fromer glory. I have heard of dogs, cats, ducks and other animals eating pregnant onoins without harm. Would love to have more info!!

  • blondetazz0924
    16 years ago

    Please if anyone has a few preg. onion babies they can part with, I would love to give them a good home. I have been searching for these in my area and have had no luck. Please e mail me at blondetazz09@aol.com if you can offer me any help. Thanks so much:)

  • birdie73
    15 years ago

    I have a ton of babies. email me if you want one.

  • angolita
    15 years ago

    I know this is late but,my pregnant onion is having babies and didn't know when to take the outer layer of skin off? so they can grow? If anyone has any personal info from experience or a detailed website they could lead me to on how to grow pregnant onion-please let me know. Thanks,Angela-dior2versace@yahoo.com-email

  • plantitwatchitgrow
    15 years ago

    I have something my neighbor called a pregnant onion but mine doesnÂt look like the pictures I see here. Mine has dark red/brown bulbs and the paper peeling off is red also. The leaves come out the top and are olive green with mottled darker green spots. It does bloom and the stems are long with tiny white flowers. Finally, the babies are not as tightly attached to the mother bulbs and are easily separated. Any information would be appreciated.

  • dbrown1973
    15 years ago

    I just bought 25 bublets from ebay... They arrived safe and sound today (even in the 23 degree weather!) They are soooo cute!! lol I showed off all my babies to my co-workers and now they are all interested in getting some.

    I'd love to trade a few for mother of millions if at all possible!

    Thanks,

    Dani in ND

  • machavinfun
    14 years ago

    I would love to adopt some babies. Thanks shea

  • nimke51ford
    13 years ago

    I was reading up on the pregnant onion.
    I had one given to me that was 75 years old and gave off lots of babies.
    Unfortunately I didn't keep any and then moved away from the office that I got it from.
    A couple years later it perished and have not been able to find another one.
    I would love it if someone could mail me a baby one and I can return the postage.
    Thanks,
    Erin

  • Jackie
    13 years ago

    I have just recieved a plant that my friend called a sea onion i just looked at the internet and found out it was a pregnant onion. My husband says it looks like something from outer space. It is HUGE and pot bound i will have to cut the pot from the plant. and there are vines all over it. my friend that gave it to me said she had to cut some of the vines cause they were climbing and attaching to her plant shelves. I really need someone to tell me how to transplant and seperate the babies from the momma. That is why my friend gave it to me. Her and her husband was afraid to do anything to it they didnt want to kill it cause it came from a lady that we both take care of in and assisted living place.

    Jackie

  • wvdiana
    13 years ago

    Several years ago, I had a large pregnant onion plant with lots of babies. I gave away a lot of the babies to others on GW (posted July 2002). My plant has since died and I was hoping that someone who'd received babies from me might have a few babies that they'd be willing to share with me. I don't have anything to exchange at this point but would be glad to reimburse postage.

  • jeff farnham 3
    13 years ago

    trying to find a couple babies as had one a long time a go moved around so lost main plant can anyone help thanks

  • Gaella
    13 years ago

    I just started my Pregnant Onion garden a month ago...and I have lots of babies. They are so fascinating. I used Grow Max mix in with my potting soil when I transplanted them and I cannot believe how fast they have grown.

  • Gaella
    13 years ago

    I could send you one if you like just email me your information
    Gaella (Kathy)

  • D McKellar
    12 years ago

    I have had a pregnant onion plant for about nine years. I have been looking at this blog and believe that is what I have. It has had many babies and I have repotted them and they are growing. I have also had problems with scales and when it gets real bad I take the plant outside, take it out of the pot, wash it real good with dish soap and water, wash the pot and start again. I had nothing to lose because the scales were getting so bad and it has lived through this type of bath two or three times in nine years.

  • Cindyod1
    12 years ago

    I am looking for a pregnant onion plant if there is anyone out there willing to send me one , I will pay for it...please contact me

    cindy

    email : cindyod1@aol.com

    thank you so much.............

  • Shirley 7
    12 years ago

    I was given some babies several years ago and planted them nothing happened I used the soil out of the pot I had planted them in and one of the babies began to grow. I was wondering I think I have the baby in to large of a pot should you start with a smaller pot? Also anyone that has grown these for awhile any growing knowledge would be helpful. oh one other thing my baby is just barely in the soil should I put more soil up on the baby? Thanks

  • snoopy010503
    12 years ago

    I use to have quite a few pregnant onion plants when I lived in Southern California that I bought off of eBay. I remembered I had a neighbor who grew them and they facinated me. I haven't been able to forget about my plants that I couldn't bring with me when I moved back to Illinois. I miss those plants. Does anyone have a few extra babies they are willing to part with? Please email me so we can talk. My email is snoopy010503@hotmail.com. Thank you.

  • scsva
    12 years ago

    I'd like some bulblets also if anyone has them to spare. I will gladly pay postage.

    Thank you,
    Susan Shaw

  • Angela Ballinger
    12 years ago

    I got mine at the Philadelphia Flower Show. It has had lots of babies but so far no luck keeping them alive. I got many tips here so maybe the babies will do better. Thank you! (If I had some to spare, I would share)Check out your local flower show.

  • Augie Amarino
    12 years ago

    I have a lot of pregnant onions ranging in sizes ranging from babies to baseball size. Long, exotic leaves (Some 4 ft. long). Amazing flower bloom. I live in California. If you would be interested in getting some, please e-mail me. I've had tremendous success with them. Glad to answer any questions.

  • shannon
    12 years ago

    I have several of these plants and most of them are in my garden. I would be glad to give them away but have one WARNING!! I broke one of the leaves and got the sticky clear fluid on my skin. It burned my skin and the discomfort from it didn't go away until the end of the day. I went online to get information about it and found out it is poisonous. I have this around children and animals and when I got this plant I was told it was safe.

  • phragmipedium
    12 years ago

    My mother in law told me a cautionary tale about a pregnant onion baby that my sister in law almost got ahold of when she was tiny. I've been fascinated with them ever since, but I've never seen one in a store here in Oregon. If anyone has any babies they would be willing to part with, please email me. I don't have much to trade except spider plant babies and I'm not sure how they would travel, but I'd happily pay shipping. wood dot kim at gmaildotcom

  • KatyaKatya
    12 years ago

    Very interesting! My 5 cents. Some 20 years ago ladies in Russia shared bulbs of this plant and a tale about how a woman repeatedly saw sick dogs eating this plant and getting well (must have been in the South since it only overwinters outdoors when quite warm). Everybody had it in their house. My turtle loved it.
    A few years ago I saw it at the Missouri Botanical garden and got its name.
    If your dog wants to nibble on it, he may know what he is doing.

  • plantlover56
    11 years ago

    Hello I am looking for someone that might have a pregnant onion I could possibly get a clipping off.

  • barefootannie
    11 years ago

    hey plantlover56...i have ton's of 'em..happy to share with you..e-mail me with details.....annie

  • laceyw
    9 years ago

    I kno u can trade plants on Dave's Garden.com

  • Roy Long
    8 years ago

    I was given a tiny little planter with three tiny little bulbs in it about 5 years ago, the woman could not get them to grow and did not know what they were. I transplanted them into a large indoor container with about 1 yard of soil in it and have let them go nuts ever since. I now have around 50 or so of these plants planted in various containers and arrangements here in the house. The original 3 have become 5 and are about 4 inches in diameter each. I have 3 more in other planters now almost that large as well. I am getting 4 of the plants to flower each year, in fact I am beginning to get two flowering seasons a year out of some of the plants. Very cool plant, the four to six foot long leaves hanging everywhere get in the way a bit but have a cool jungle look to them. I am here trying to find out what everyone else does to transplant full size bulbs, mine are getting to be a bit much for my planter and seem to be interfering with one of my 5 ft avacado trees. I think there may be a bit too much root competition and the bulbs have grown to within 1/2 inch of the base of the tree. I would let the tree die and keep the pregnant onions if given a choice between the two, I have a dozen other avocado trees in other planters in the house.

  • Austin Wilson
    8 years ago

    My daughter brought me a potful of these guys and I feel like I'm killing them. The tips turn pale red and dry up. I thought maybe we had too many in our pot, but I read that they are okay to crowd. We have tried different windows (including a skylight) and indirect light. I water it sparingly. Any advice is welcomed!

  • Judy Hurley Goodman
    7 years ago

    I have been growing this plant for years. I first saw this plant in a computer store. The lady gave me 3 babies from it, and told me how to start them. She said use a small plastic container that has a lid. Place the babies between two paper towels, place the babies in the container, and wet the paper towels, and cover with the lid. Check the babies every couple days, and add water to the paper towels, don't drown them with water, just make sure the paper towels stay moist. I can't remember how long it takes, but the babies will start to get little sprouts at one end, let them get pretty good sprouts, then pot them in a pot with good drainage holes with good potting soil, I use Miracle Grow Potting Soil. My plants have always been in a very sunny location. When we moved from Illinois to Florida, I gave all my plants away, I kept a couple babies from my onion plant so I could start another plant, the picture is from the babies that I kept, it really needs to be put in a larger pot" need to get that done"This plant sets on the back patio with my other plants gets the hot afternoon sun for about 5-6 hours. I turn it every day, it has two flower shots coming out right now. These plants are poisonous. I cut off a bad stem that was breaking off, I turned the plant and felt some sticky stuff on my neck which caused a burning on my neck and turned my neck red, lasted for several minutes. The flower that comes out from the shoot is the most poison part of this plant. Be careful if you have small children or pets, because both the long stem that hangs down and the flowers on the shoot can make them sick. I always watch the flower, once I see that it is almost finished blooming and before the little petals start dropping off, I cut the flower off, I don't want out little dog to accidentally eat one. I hope I was of some help to someone. If someone would like to grow this plant, I would be happy to send you some babies. Have a great day. Judy gj459@yahoo.com

  • smilingback
    6 years ago

    We have had a pregnant onion for yrs- hidden under a deck- it did just fine....once moved it propagated all over the place by itself...I did transplant some to pots but beware- it does propagate on it's own...I like it placed high and then the leaves hang down & get very long.

  • FloridaNina
    6 years ago

    I was at a thrift store about 15 years ago and someone had donated a large pregnant onion. I didn't know what kind of plant it was at the time nor did they. I brought it home and did some research to find out what kind of plant it was. It ended up having tons of babies which I gave away but when we moved across the country years later it died. I would love to have one again. Does anyone have some babies they would like to trade for some succulent starts? Please email me if you are interested in trading or selling one. Thanks. Nina calboog71@gmail.com

  • FloridaNina
    6 years ago

    Another question. I recently purchased some pregnant onion seeds. I assumed they would be the little babies but the seeds came dry like regular seeds. Does anyone know how to plant them this way? I can't seem to find any information on planting a pregnant onion with dried seeds. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • sailorsmom1983
    5 years ago

    Hello -

    I have a pregnant onion that I purchased from Amazon. It doubled in size on my south-facing balcony, and I have 1 baby that has leaves almost as big as the mamma, and 2 more babies sprouting under mamma. My problem is one side got scorched, and I can't find anywhere on how to care for this onion, if this side of it will rejuvenate, or what to do. Does anyone have any assistance they can provide? I feel so horrible that I want to do something and not just sit and watch, unless that is all I can do. Please email me with ideas/suggestions on how to care for this poor thing patti.quarles@gmail.com. Thanking you in advance.

  • HU-620783540
    4 years ago

    Who's I rejuvenate

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