When Do You Stop Watering Onions? (Exact Time)

Onion is a favorite to grow in every home as it has become an indispensable ingredient in many dishes. Onions are easy to grow, easy to care for, have a short harvest time, and onions are easy to store.

Onions are one of those plants that love sun and moisture. However, the amount of water supplied to onion plants in each stage will be different, so the best time to water as well as stop watering is extremely important.

Normally, onions need more water at the young and growing stage. Then, during the tuber formation stage, the onion plants need less water at this stage. However, onions also have a period when watering needs to be stopped to get the best results.

When do you stop watering onions? Let’s learn about when to stop watering onion plants and the appropriate amount of water in each stage of their growth.

When Do You Stop Watering Onions?

Stopping watering onions may sound ridiculous, but it’s necessary to get a good harvest. You should stop watering the onion plants when the season is over when the green leaves have fallen and wait until the onion leaves dry and start harvesting.

When do you stop watering onions

The time to stop watering onions is 7 to 14 days before harvest, depending on the dry or humid climate where you live. Stopping watering during this period will help the onions ripen quickly and not rot.

During the rest of the time, you don’t need to water the onion plants as often. You only need to water once a week and 1 to 2 inches of water per watering.

During this period, when the onion leaves have begun to age and fall off, the onion plant does not need to be watered as often.

If you water too much at the end of the crop, when the onion leaves have fallen, the onion will be easily flooded and rotten because there are no leaves to do the photosynthetic task and regulate the amount of water.

Notes On Watering Onions In Each Stage

Onions are sun-loving plants and they need 10 to 14 hours a day when onions start to form. So the watering of onions also depends on each stage of their growth.

Normally, onions need to be watered more often at the young plant stage and when the onion leaves begin to grow rapidly. Regular watering during this period will help the onion plant to grow quickly and achieve an ideal number of leaves of about 13 leaves per plant.

With this ideal number of onion leaves, the onion plant can produce a standard-sized onion because there are enough onion leaves to transport sugar and water to the onion.

Onion plants need at least 1 to 2 inches of water per week or ½ to 1 gallon of water per square foot to keep the soil moist. The watering of onion plants needs to be determined according to the dryness in the soil to proceed.

You can use your fingers to feel the moisture in the soil and water the right amount of water each day to make sure the soil is moist and porous. You can water the onion plants daily if the weather is too hot and the soil dries out quickly.

You should water in the morning to avoid water getting on the leaves, creating favorable conditions for the growth of fungi that are harmful to onion plants.

If the weather is too hot, you should cover with a layer of straw or humus to keep the soil moist and prevent moisture in the soil from evaporating quickly.

At the end of the crop, you should stop watering 7-14 days before harvest to quickly ripen the onions and avoid being flooded, causing rotting. At the same time, stopping watering during this period also helps keep the onions dry and clean during harvest.

Read more: Why Are My Onions So Small? How To Make Onions Bigger?

How To Know If The Onion Has Too Much Water To Stop Watering?

One of the most obvious signs of an onion plant being over-watered is mass yellowing of leaves, falling leaf tips, and softening of onions.

Early signs include wilted, drooping, yellowing leaves of an onion plant, and an unhealthy plant in the sun.

The reason is that the onion plant is over-watered, causing the roots to overwork, providing too much water to the leaves and causing them to become soft and rotten.

Onion plants that are dead due to waterlogging and excessive watering will not be able to recover, so you need to regularly observe and fix them in time to avoid waterlogged and rotten onions.

Onion plants prefer moist soil but they don’t like too much moisture during the onion formation stage because onions need loose soil to easily increase in size during the mature stage.

You need to consider the moisture and stickiness in the soil before watering the onions. Make sure the soil has porosity and good drainage to avoid waterlogged onions for a long time leading to plant death.

On the other hand, onion plants have very shallow roots, so you should not let the soil get too dry, it will lead to the onion plants quickly losing water, wilting and yellowing leaves.


Onions need different amounts of water during each growth stage. Usually onion plants need a lot of water at the young plant stage and when the leaves begin to form.

Water plays an important role in this stage to help young plants and leaves grow quickly to increase the size of the onion plant.

However, at the end of the season, you need to stop watering the onions for 7-14 days when the leaves are yellow to avoid waterlogging and rotting onions.

Also, stop watering onion plants when they show signs of overwatering such as yellowing leaves, wilting, soft bulbs, sticky, and not draining soil.

Join us to discuss more about how to grow and care for onions in the articles below.

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