Growing Shallots, also Eschalots

Allium cepa, aggregatum : Amaryllidaceae / the onion family

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" ( - 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 sometimes 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

11 Feb 23, Elaine (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Just wondering where I can get grey shallots in NZ South Island? I've read they are the best.
26 Feb 23, Kevin (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Sometimes called French shallots try Trademe sometimes
13 Feb 23, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Best to find someone who grows them which could be very difficult. I have researched about shallots so much 60-80 hrs. I have grown them for 40+years. I have the ones that are purple skin when harvested and then have a brown outer skin after maturing. I planted 50 three weeks ago and 100+ this morning. Asian ladies buy them to use in sauces. I keep bulbs from one year for the next year planting. I'm in Qld Australia. Try looking on the internet for seed selling sites.
02 Jan 24, ET (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What's better to keep for planting the next season? I have had a great harvest this year from 10 bulbs planted in July. The harvested bulbs are varied in sizes. I want to save some for planting but I'm not sure to save the big or small bulbs due planting. I would appreciate advise. THANKYOU
16 Nov 22, Gloria (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted about a dozen shallot bulbs 3 months ago in a slightly raised bed in partial shade Waited for them to start flowering then died back. Today I dug them up and they had not developed shallots. Is this overwatering we had had lots of heavy rain during this period or do they need more sun
17 Nov 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have grown shallots for 40 years and I had problems this year when it rained a lot. The tops were wet a lot and died back and the bulbs never developed. They were in good free draining red soil in Bundaberg. Shallots grow best in good rich friable soil. I start planting in March and usually pick the last by late Oct. If you want to eat the stem bulb pick before they start flowering. I have sold a lot of mature bulbs to people who use them in sauces. In the cooler months they stay like a spring onion longer, but in the warmer/hotter weather they go to bulbs quicker. Plenty of sun.
16 Mar 24, Hong (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
That's great to see that you can grow them well in Bundaberg. May I ask what variety is good for your region? I'm in NNSW but it is still subtropical.
12 Nov 22, rodney (Australia - temperate climate)
Planted shallots mid August are about 60cms high and flowering, are they ready for harvest
15 Nov 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
yes - try and pick just before the go to seed.
16 Sep 22, Audrey Whitnell (USA - Zone 5a climate)
My mom successfully grew "multiplier onions" for many years but eventually lost her seed. What is a good variety to plant in Northeast Missouri zone 5.
Showing 1 - 10 of 183 comments

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