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How to Grow the Pregnant Onion (Ornithogalum longibracteatum)

Warning

The pregnant onion is inedible. It can cause allergic skin reactions in some individuals.

The pregnant onion (Ornithogalum longibracteatum or caudatum) is a plant that is easy to grow both indoors and outdoors where there are no hard frosts. It is an odd plant that people either adore or despise. The pregnant onion gets its name from the fact it grows large and round and sends up baby bulblets all around its perimeter. It is native to South Africa. so it will grow successfully outdoors in similar climates, like southern California.

Allow the soil to dry dry out somewhat between waterings. Do not overwater.

Plant the pregnant onion outdoors in nutrient-sparse soil, rather than rich soil. If planting as a houseplant, use an all-purpose soil mix.

Give the plant good light -- even full sun if you can -- if grown as a houseplant.

Peel off dead leaves and the "onion skin" around the bulb after the plant's long, straplike leaves die off.

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