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Why Is My Onion Green Inside? (Read This First!)

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If your onions are becoming green, stay away from the onions. The onion is becoming Hulk-nion! Kidding apart, interesting reasons for onion turning green may remind you of high school biology classes. Read this article to understand why onions turn green and what you need to do.

Why is my onion green inside?

Onions usually have leucoplasts, which are colorless, but when the onion gets sunlight, the leucoplast becomes chloroplast, which is green. The onion is trying to use light to produce food. Green onion is nontoxic but may taste a bit bitter as chloroplast is bitter.

Did you ever wonder why most of the trees are green? Trees are green because they have chloroplasts in their green parts. How does chloroplast help the trees? Chloroplast uses sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce energy with the photosynthesis process.

Are you thinking about what is the connection between photosynthesis and green onions? Those background information will be necessary to understand why the onions turn green. But trust me, it’s fun and easy.

Plastid is a common organ of most plant cells. It has one major work, and that is show color. There are three main types of plastids: chloroplast, chromoplast, and leucoplast.

Chloroplast is responsible for the green color in plants, and it also does photosynthesis. Chromoplust shows up in different types of color.

It is usually located in colorful parts of plants.

Lucoplust have no color. It works as a storage for the plants. Interestingly leucoplast can turn into chloroplast when it gets sunlight. The onion cell is full of leucoplast.

I hope now you can understand the relation between plastid and your onion turning green. You may have kept the onion where they got plenty of sunlight. You can store onions for several months if you store them right.

But onions become active if they get two of one thing: moisture and light. When they get light, they naturally convert the leucoplasts into green chloroplasts, so they can produce some energy and get a chance to become plants. When they get moisture, they start to sprout.

But is it okay to eat onions that turned green? Yes, you can safely eat the onions that turned green. Those are just chloroplast, which is safe to eat. The onions may taste a bit bitter, but you may not sense the taste if you do not try to taste the onions raw.

However, everything that turns green may not be safe to eat. Such as potatoes become green when they get light, but they produce one type of toxin, which is not safe to eat. But as long as the onion is not rotten and does not have molds on them, they are safe.

To stop the onions from turning green, you can keep the onions in the dark and dry place. When you buy a large number of onions for storing, it’s good to make a good storage space for them.

Onions usually do not rot when they are dry and the humidity is less.

Do not keep the onion stacked up for a long time; it will increase heat, and the onions at the bottom can start rotting. Spread the onions in ample space. Stacking up 2-3 onions is not an issue, but more than that may cause the problem.

You may also keep potatoes with the onion, thinking they need similar storage conditions. The storing conditions are the same, but you should not keep potatoes and onions together. Onion produces ethylene gas which causes potato rot.

Are there other reasons for onion turning green? Check out the following points.

Exposed to sunlight:

Onions can turn green when you keep them in a place where they get sunlight. The leucoplasts of onion turn into chloroplasts and start producing food when they get sunlight for a week or so.

Keep the onions in a dark, dry, and cold place to keep the onions in good condition.

Alkyl condition:

If your onions turn greenish while you start to cook them, there can be other reasons. Onion is acetic.

The onions can turn slightly green when you put them in alkyl condition. Such as, beans are alkyl, and when you put onions while cooking beans, they can turn slightly green.


Some species of mold can infest onions and turn them greenish. In this case, you will be able to notice mold in the skin of the onions. It’s easy to understand the difference between a moldy onion and onion green from the inside. Do not eat moldy onions.

Is it safe to eat onions that have turned green?

It’s safe to eat onions that have turned green. Green onions have chloroplast in them, which is safe to eat. Every green vegetable and fruit we eat contains chloroplast and does not harm our health.

However, the taste may differ a bit from the regular onions. Green ones may taste slightly bitter because of the chloroplast.

Make sure that the onion turns green, not because of mold. If you find mold on the onions, discard them. Those are not suitable for eating.

Can you eat white onions that are green inside?

You can eat white onions that become green inside. Generally, the first layer of onion becomes green when you keep them in sunlight. But if the onion is fully green from the inside, the onion may be grown out of the soil.

But there is a low chance that all the onions will be like that. Discard the onion that is entirely green inside, as that will not taste good. But there is no health concern with eating a fully green onion.

What to do with onions which are green inside?

You have a bunch of onions that turned green. So what can you do with the green onion? Here is some interesting thing to do with green onion.

Eat them:

You can safely eat green onions. They are slightly bitter but will not affect the recipe after you cook them. But don’t put them in a salad or eat them raw.

Hair care:

Onions are excellent for your hair growth and wellness. Blend the green onions and use them in your hair and scalp. They can make your hair shiny. They also help to activate the hair follicles, enhancing hair growth.

Plant them:

Do you have a hobby of gardening? You can use green onions to grow new onion plants in your garden.

They do not need much space too; small pots will be enough for their growth. They can be great as indoor plants. You can also harvest some scallions and use them in the salad!

Use them as fertilizer:

If you don’t want to eat or discard your green onions, you can use them as fertilizer. They are a great source of phosphorus and calcium. Just squash the onions and apply them to your plants.

Pest repelling:

Onions can repel bugs and insects. Just cut the green onion into slices and keep them in different parts of your kitchen. Insects do not like the pungent smells of onion. Make sure to change the pieces daily.

Absorb paint and chemical smell:

Onions smell strong but can also absorb chemical smell from your room. Cut the green onion into pieces and leave them in different parts of your room to repel the paint smell.

What happens when you eat an onion which is green inside?

Generally, eating green onions is safe. Check out what can happen when you eat an onion that is green inside.

Nothing happens:

Most of the time, nothing will happen when you eat green onions. But what are the other possibilities? Read the points below.

The onion may feel bitter:

If the onion turns green from the inside can taste bitter because of the chloroplast. But it is non-toxic.

Moldy green onion can cause issues:

If the onion turns greenish because of mold infestation, it may cause food poisoning or similar health issues. If the onion is green and has a powdery substrate on the outside that smells earthy, do not eat that.

Final Thoughts

When the leucoplast of onion turns into chloroplasts in the presence of sunlight, the onions turn green. Onions do that so that they can start photosynthesis. Those types of green onions are safe to eat. But make sure not to eat moldy onion. Molds will make the onions smell earthy.

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