How to Store Onions at Home

I thought it was nonsense a few years ago when our family friend Birger demonstrated how he stored onions. He waved with a cardboard box and talked about keeping it standing. Indoors. Full of onions. Well, it turns out he was right!

Store yellow onions before drying them.

I let the onions dry in the sunshine on hot days until the leaves wilt. This is the first step when you want to store onions.


I was skeptical and believed that I would need some type of treatment to keep the onions fresh. Well, I was proven wrong.

All types of onions are valuable in a kitchen garden, especially the perennial ones of course.  But yellow onion is one of my favorites to grow a lot of, simply because it is so easy to store for a long time. No need for root cellars, freezers or special preservation methods. All you basically need is your home and your onions. That's why I grow as many onions as I can. Everything I harvest can be used at some point!

Follow me in the garden on YouTube: My channel


Lök hänger för att torka längs en faluröd fasad.

The onions are drying in the sun for a few days before I bring them inside.


I harvest the onions when the leaves start to wilter and bend. Then I make sure to let the onions dry properly outside (in a dry spot) or preferably inside. When the fresh onions start to dry, the leaves somehow create a natural seal to the onion so that they don't go bad with time. The outer layers of the onions also dry up and form the crispy orange-brown husk that surrounds the onion itself. I dry the onions as thoroughly as I can, and then a bit more to be on the safe side. It's best to keep the onions in an airy and uncluttered space.


Before you store onions

The next step before storing the onions is to clean then. I usually do this when the leaves are so dry and crisp that I can remove them easily just by pulling. This usually takes a few weeks. You can dry your onions outside in an appropriate spot, but I think it's best to do it indoors. When the onions are dry, I bring them in and remove the leaves, cut off any roots and clean off any excess skin. After that, I put them in a shallow box  (or rather, several boxes because there is usually a lot of onions!)

Here's what I wrote in a previous post about onions:

"When the leaves dry up, I just rub the onions to remove them, any soil or extra skin and other debris. Then I place them in baskets or boxes and store them at room temperature. Usually under the sofa in the living room, on top of a cabinet, or even hanging from the ceiling. Periodically, I go through and remove or use any onions that start to look a bit wrinkly. If many onions start to go bad at the same time, I freeze them instead. Some onions keep fresh longer than others, and I haven chosen varieties that you can store for a long time."

You can also braid your yellow onions. Or, at least the ones where the leaves  haven't completely disintegrated. Braided onions look so nice in the kitchen, and is also a good method to store onions.


I store onions on a tray.

Homegrown onions on a nice platter is a lovely decoration for the kitchen. Remember not to store onions in the refridgerator!


Read more about onions here: What are potato onions?

So, there you have it, storing onions made easy! Yellow onions are a treasure to have in abundance because it's so easy to keep them fresh for a long time. Birger really knew what he was talking about. Just remember that you might need to adapt your techniques to the particular variety you grow. Just like with any other vegetable, it's all about choosing your varieties thoughtfully. Look for varieties that you can store for a long time, you can usually find more information about this on the back of the seed packet. .
/Sara Bäckmo


08. November 2023

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