Is Onion A Vegetable Or A Fruit? (Explained)

There is always a debate going on about whether some plants are fruit or a vegetable. Today this part has come to the very key plant which is part of every food. 

Is an onion a vegetable? Yes, an onion is a vegetable as it doesn’t grow from ovaries and has parts of the vegetable plant like bulbs and leaves and stems which all come under the part of the vegetable. The part under the soil is called a bulb but the whole plant is a vegetable plant. 

Now you know that onion is a vegetable, but how we came to this conclusion and how it doesn’t come under the fruit? Let’s discuss these in detail. 

Is Onion A Vegetable Or A Fruit? (Explained)

What Is A Vegetable?

A vegetable is the edible portion of a plant that is consumed by humans or other animals as food and usually grouped according to the portion of the herbaceous plant that is eaten such as leaves (lettuce), stem (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato), bulbs (onion) and flowers (broccoli).

Vegetables can be eaten as raw food or can be cooked together or singly and have an important part in the human diet. Vegetables are low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. 

What Is Fruit?

Fruit is a plant that grows from the ovary after flowering and bears seeds that can be used to produce more plants in the future. Fruits are how flowering plants spread their seeds. 

In simple terms fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of plants that are typically sweet or sour and can be eaten raw or mixed with other fruits and can be cooked in some dishes like apple pie.

Difference Between Fruit And Vegetable

So the main difference between a fruit and a vegetable is that fruit grows from the flowering of the plant in the ovary. On the other hand, the vegetable doesn’t and fruit also has seeds but vegetables don’t bear any seeds. Unlike fruit, vegetables consist of roots, stems, and leaves.

What Is An Onion? 

Onion is also known as Allium cepa L is a biennial plant but is usually grown as an annual that has widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Onions close relatives include the garlic, scallion, leek, chive.

 The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant “the bulb” begins to swell. The bulbs are composed of shortened, compressed, underground stems which are surrounded by leaves that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. Onion plants typically grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm.

The onions are cultivated and used around the world as a food item and they are usually served as cooked but can also be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. The onion contains certain chemicals which come out when you chop it and can make your eyes irritated.

Is Onion A Fruit?

No, onion is not a fruit, fruit comes from the ovary of the flower and has seeds in it but an onion doesn’t grow from a flower and doesn’t have any seeds. So an onion is a vegetable because it has all the parts like bulb, stem, and leaves which all consist of a vegetable. 

Why Do People Think Onions Are Fruit?

People think onion is a fruit because of its raw nature and its availability. As onions can be grown in almost any garden and can be used as raw food or cooked with other plants. This makes people think that an onion is a fruit and not a vegetable. 

Is Onion A Root?

No, onion is not a root but a vegetable because roots are a part of the plant which is thin and long and is shaped like a rope and serves primarily to anchor the plant in the soil and take up water and minerals.

 But in onions, the underground part consists of a bulb which is the main part used as food by humans and this bulb is surrounded by shallow roots to provide water and other minerals to the plant. So onion can’t be classified as root and is a whole plant consisting of bulb, root, stem, and leaves which can be classified as a vegetable.

Is Onion A Bulb?

The onion is a vegetable plant and has a stem, roots, leaves, and bulb. The onion plant has a bulb in it but it is classified as a vegetable and not a bulb as it consists of other parts also. Onion is disc-shaped and it is an underground alteration of the stem, but saying onion is a bulb can be wrong as the onion plant has more parts than just a bulb. 

Is Onion A Stem?

As the onion plant is consists of a stem, bulb, roots, and leaves. It is not a stem but a vegetable plant consist of all the parts. The onion is a vegetable plant, whose main part is the bulb growing underground with shallow roots and stems and leaves growing above.

Where do onion seeds come from?

Onion seeds develop in the flower of the onion plant and collecting these seeds from these flowers is very difficult as onion is a biennial plant which means the flower comes only once in two years. But the onion doesn’t come to grow from the flower but the seed or the bulb

Is Onion A Vegetable?

Yes, from all the details we can classify the onion as a vegetable, the onion plant consists of stem, root, bulb, and leaves which all are a part of the vegetable plant. Onion cannot be classified as fruit as the fruit grows from the ovary of the flower blooming and has seeds in it to spread to different areas.

How To Grow Healthy Onion?

Onion is a cool-season crop and is very easy to grow because it is a very hardy plant. The onion can be planted in either the spring or fall and can be harvested in mid-summer. 

Onion can be planted in a raised bed or a normal garden that has at least 4 inches deep soil to provide all the essential nutrients.

  1. Choosing the method – you can grow onion in two ways, you can sow seeds or you can plant onion sets. Everyone knows about seeds and seeds take a lot of time to establish themselves and take a longer time for harvest than onion sets.

But onion sets are small onion bulbs that are available for gardening. Onion sets once planted take less time than seeds and can be fully grown around 3½ months.

  1. When to plant onions – onions can be planted in spring or fall as onion is a very hardy plant and can face any conditions but loves to grow in the spring season. If you plant the onion set in the fall the plant will establish itself in the soil and will be ready to grow in the coming spring.
  1. Preparation – before planting the onion sets or onion seed, the preparation of the soil is very necessary as unhealthy and compacted soil can make the onions bulbs grow badly. So, prepare the soil with healthy nutrient-rich compost and loosen the soil with the help of a rake. Also as every plant sunlight is important and onion plants need proper sunlight to grow, so make sure that you plant onion where there is proper sunlight or you will not get the best result.
  1. Planting – planting onions properly is very crucial and if you do it properly you will get very good results.
  • Choose onion sets between ¾ inches in diameter as they give very good results.
  • Keep the distance of the plant between 2 to 6 inches apart.
  • Don’t put the sets more than one inch deep into the soil. Onions grow better just under the soil and not deep into the soil.
  1. Maintaining – to maintain the onion plant fertilize it with nitrogen every few weeks and water it properly as water gives sweetness to the onion. When the onion bulb starts to appear above the ground don’t put soil over it to hide it as the bulb needs to come out. Fertilizing and watering is the key to maintaining an onion plant.
  1. Harvest – if you have planted in spring then it will be ready to harvest around mid to late summer. Pull them out when you see the top part become yellowish and begin to fall over. Loosen up the soil to speed up the drying process as wet onions can rot in storage. 
  1. Storing – clip the root of the onion and bundle them together from the top. Dry them out so there are no chances of rotting or fungus. Dry onion is the best to store and if you have wet onion harvested then use it as quickly as possible so that the onion doesn’t rot.

Hope now you find the answer if the onion is a fruit or a vegetable. Keep Gardening!