Cultivation of Onion; A Complete Information Guide

Cultivation of Onion ; A Complete Information  Guide
Cultivation of Onion; A Complete Information  Guide

Onion (Allium cepa L.) belongs to the family  Amaryllidaceae  India ranks second in the onion growing country of the world The onion is one of the most important commercial vegetable crops grown in India. The demand for onion is worldwide. It is used both in the raw and mature bulb stage as vegetables and spices. The pungency in onion is due to a volatile oil known as allyl-propyl disulphide  The bulb of onion consist of swollen bases of green foliage leaves and fleshy scales. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, A.P., Bihar, and Punjab are the important onion producing states

The onion originates from the region comprising North-West India, Afghanistan, the Soviet Republic of Tajik and Uzbek, and Western Tien Shan. Western Asia and the area around the Mediterranean sure the secondary centers of development 

Some Facts and Figures About the onion ;

1)India ranks second in the onion growing country of the world.
2) Maharashtra is the leading state in onion production with a 28.2% share of total onion production in the country.
3) India has exported 11,49,896.85 MT of fresh onion to the 
world for the worth of Rs. 2,320.70 crores/ 324.20 USD 

Millions during the year 2019-20.

4) Onion has two harvesting cycles in India; The First is from November to January and the second is from January to May.
5)Yellow onions are  considered the most popular cooking onions because they add excellent flavor to most stews, soups, and meat dishes
6) Sweetness of the red onion is its greatest strength.

Nutritive Value of Onion

The nutritive value of onion in 100 gm edible portion is given below


  Big Onion

      Small Onion


86.8 gms

84.1 gms


.26  gms

1.8  gms


0.1  gms

0.1  gms


11.6  gms

13.2  gms


0.4   gms

0.6   gms


0.18  gms

0.04  gms


0.05 mg

0.06 mg


0.70   gms

1.20  gms




Vitamin A



Vitamin B

Vitamin C

120 mg

Nicotinic Acid

0.40 mg

0.50 mg


100  mg


Climatic Requirement for Onion Cultivation ;

Onion is a cool-season crop. It is grown during winter and harvested before the real hot season begins. Onion can be grown under a wide range of climatic conditions. But it succeeds best in a mild season without extremes of heat and cold. it can be grown as a rainfed crop even at an elevation of 1500 to 2000 meters between April – August. Onion produce bulbs more rapidly at warm (21°C to 26°C) than cool (15°C to 21°C) temperature

Soil and its preparation for onion Cultivation;

Onion can be grown on various soils. But sandy loam, silty loam, and deep friable soils are best suited for the onion crop. The land is prepared by giving 5-6 ploughings. The optimum pH range is between 5.8 and 6.5.

Varieties of Onion;

Multiplier Onion – Co­ 1, Co­ 2, MDU­ 1, Agrifound Red
Small Common Onion – Agrifound Rose, Arka Bindu
White Onion – Bhima Shubra, Bhima Shweta, Bhima Safed, Pusa White Round, Arka Yojith, Pusa White Flat, Udaipur ­102, Phule Safed, N­257­9­1, Agrifound White.
Spanish Brown – Bhima Light Red, Bhima Kiran, Phule Suvarna, Arka Niketan, Arka Kirthiman
Red onion – Bhima Super, Bhima Red, Bhima Raj, Bhima Dark Red, Bhima Shakti, Punjab Selection, Pusa Red, N­2­-4­-1, Pusa Madhavi, Arka Kalyan, Arka Lalima.

Sowing of  Onion Seeds ;

(a) Sowing time. Onion can be grown at any time of the year. But the sowing time varies from region to region. The region-wise details are as follows ;

1. North India ; 
 Sowing time in the nursery;  October to Mid. November
Transplanting Time of Seedling; Middle of December  to January 
2. Poona & Niphad area in Maharashtra 
Sowing time in the nursery;  October 
Transplanting Time of Seedling; Middle of  November
3. Andhra Pradesh 
Sowing time in the nursery;  October 
Transplanting Time of Seedling; November
 4. M.P. and Vidarbha region of Maharashtra
 Sowing time in the nursery;  Middle of  December
 Transplanting Time of Seedling; End of January
 5. West Bengal 
 Sowing time in the nursery;  September to November
 Transplanting Time of Seedling; October to December
 6. Hills 
Sowing time in the nursery;  End of February to March
 Transplanting Time of Seedling; March to June
(b) Method of Sowing. Onion is generally propagated by seed and bulb. There are three methods of sowing onion.
(1) Transplanting method. The bulk of the main onion crop is grown from transplants which are raised from seeds in the nursery bed. The nursery bed should be prepared properly and the seed is sown broadcasting @ 2.25 to 3.6 kg per acre. The bed is irrigated immediately after sowing and kept moist for about a week till the seedlings have come out of the soil. The seedlings are ready for transplanting in about eight weeks when they are about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. it is better to plant medium seedlings than the small or taller ones. Transplanting of seedlings should be done at 7.5 x 10 cm spacing
(2 ) Planting bulbs in the field. The bulbs or bulbills are planted in the main field for the early green crop of onion. They are planted on ridges or in beds or in furrows prepared by country plough at 15 cm apart in a row of 45 cm. About 135 to 180 kg bulbs are needed for one acre.
(3) Sowing seed directly in the field. The seeds are sown directly sown in the main field by broadcasting or drilling in rows 30 cm apart during August-September in plains and February to June in the hills. The plants may be Thinned to maintain the proper distance when they are six to eight weeks old. About 6.75 to 13.5kg of seeds are needed for one acre. 

Manuring in the cultivation of onion crop;

An onion crop yielding 300 quintals per hectare removes 73 kg of Nitrogen, 36 kg of Phosphorus and 68 kg of Potash. The recommended fertilizer dose is 48 kg N, 24 kg P,, and 48 kg K, per acre. Some of the studies recommended the application of 49 cartloads of FYM. 44.80 kg Nitrogen and Phosphorus and 22.40 kg of Potassium per hectare for onion crop.  Apply 25 to 30 tonnes FY.M. per hectare or penning of 15,000 sheep per hectare in addition to this 80 to 100 kg of Nitrogen, 10 to 80 kg of Borate, and 1.5 to 2.0 kg of Molybdenum salt per hectare. 

Intercultural Operation in onion Cultivation;

The land should be kept free from weeds to get a good crop of onion. Onion is a shallow-rooted crop. So shallow cultivation should also be followed. Herbicides such as   Oxyflurofen @ 23.5% EC (1.5 -2.0 ml/L)/ Pendimethalin @ 30% EC (3.5-4ml/L) before transplanting or at the time of transplanting followed by one hand weeding at 40-60 days after transplanting have been found effective in controlling the weeds of onion.

Irrigation in onion cultivation;

The onion needs sufficient moisture in the soil for its growth. The crops planted between June and October will need occasional irrigation depending on rainfall during its growth, while the crop planted in October will require more irrigation. The crop planted in summer is to be irrigated after each 4th to 6th day. The last irrigation is given two to three days before listing of the bulb 

Pest and Diseases in Onion Cultivation 

Diseases of Onion;
1. Onion Blight 
C.O. : Alternaria palanduli and A. porri.
Small white sunken lessions with purple center appears on leaves and they enlarge rapidly, girdling the leaves and flower stems which fall over and the bulb decay follows in the storage
Control Measures
This disease can be controlled by spraying the crop with a one percent Bordeaux mixture or Mancozeb (Dithane M-45) @ 2.5 gm per liter of water or Copper oxychloride (Blitox-50) @ 5.0 gm per liter of water. 
2. Onion Smut 
C.O.: Uracystis cepulae Frost.
A dark, slightly thickened area appears on cotyledon of young seedlings with numerous raised blisters near the base of scales of older plants, which on rupturing expose black and powdery mass of spores.
Control Measures
The disease can be controlled by seed treatment with Thiram @ 45 gm for 0.45 kg of seed  and spraying formaldehyde solution in the furrow. 
3. Basal rot 
C.O. : Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht.
It is due to this disease that yellowing and drying back from the tip of leaves occurs. The aerial parts of the disease-affected plants may die in one or two weeks or decay may extend over a much longer time.
Control Measures
(1) Crop rotation with plants not affected by this fungus may help to control this disease.
(2) Spraying the crop with Mancozeb (Dithane M-45) @ 2.5 gm per liter of water may reduce the incidence of this disease.
4. Downy mildew
 C.O. : Peronospora destructora.
violet furrow growth on the surface of the leaf or seed stem is the Girl characteristics symptoms. The stalk when attacked may become weakened and break from the weight of the umbel
Control Measures
Spraying the crop with Bordeaux mixture plus cottonseed oil or cupros oxide plus rosin soap may reduce the incidence of this disease.
Pest of Onion ;

1. Onion thrips:
Adults as well as by nymphs lacerate the leaf tissue and feed on the plant juice. The insects are just visible to the unaided eye and are seen moving briskly on the flowers and leaves of onion and garlic plants. They usually congregate at the base of a leaf or in the flower. Leaves of attacked plants turn silvery-white, curl, wrinkle, and gradually dry from the tip downwards. The plants do not form bulbs nor do the flowers set seed. Leaf tip discoloration and drying is the main symptom.

Control ;

Use neem coated urea to reduce the infestation of the pest.
Install sky blue color sticky traps@ 25/ha
Spray 625 ml of malathion 50 EC or methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC  500 ml- 750 ml in 500 – 750 L of water per ha as soon as the pest appears. A waiting period of 7 days should be observed, before harvest.

Harvesting of onion;

Onion sown for green vegetable purposes is pulled by hand when they are at the edible stage. The bulb crop is ready for harvest in three to five months after transplanting depending on the variety. Maturity is indicated by the top falling over, while the leaves are still green . The onion should be harvested when the tops have fallen over and the leaves have turned yellow. The bulbs are pulled out of the soil or they are dug up from the soil by spade or khurpi. 

The yield of green onion varies from 2400 to 2800 kg per acre and the yield of bulbs is 4000 to 7200 kg per acre.

3 thoughts on “Cultivation of Onion; A Complete Information Guide

  • Pingback: Cultivation of Baby Corn; Zea mays L. - Agrovista-Farming

  • December 10, 2023 at 7:49 am

    Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I am experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting equivalent rss downside? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  • December 11, 2023 at 11:57 pm

    It’s onerous to find knowledgeable folks on this topic, but you sound like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thanks


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights