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How to Regrow Vegetables: 14 Vegetables You Can Regrow

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Jun 1, 2020 • 6 min read

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Ron Finley Teaches Gardening

Regrowing produce from cuttings is a great way to start a garden—whether you’re looking to make fewer trips to the grocery store, turn food waste into a DIY renewable food source, or simply add some unique and beautiful house plants to your kitchen window.

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Ron Finley Teaches GardeningRon Finley Teaches Gardening

Community activist and self-taught gardener Ron Finley shows you how to garden in any space, nurture your plants, and grow your own food.

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14 Vegetables You Can Regrow

If you’re interested in regrowing some of your produce from kitchen scraps, here are a few great ones to start with:

  1. Basil: To grow new basil from scraps, you’ll need a stem of basil at least four inches long—any shorter and the plant may not have enough energy to regrow. Place the stem into a jar with a little water at the bottom (making sure not to submerge any leaves), and put the jar in a sunny spot. Within a few days, roots should begin sprouting from the bottom of the stem. Plant your new basil in potting soil and you’ll soon have a thriving new plant.
  2. Bok choy: To regrow bok choy, save two to three inches of the base then submerge the bottom half of the bok choy in a small bowl or shallow cup of warm water. Place the bowl or cup on a sunny windowsill—within a day, you should start seeing new leaf growth in the center of the plant. Change the water every couple of days. New leaves should sprout within a week or two.
  3. Celery: Celery may be a slower grower than other vegetables, but it’s relatively simple to grow from scraps. Save the bottom two inches of your celery stalk and place them in a shallow bowl with a half-inch of water. Place the bowl on a sunny windowsill. Within 48 hours, the celery will begin developing small roots. Change the water every couple of days. To continue the growing process, you will need to transfer the young celery plant into a pot. Fill the pot an inch or two from the rim with potting soil and continue to water regularly until harvest.
  4. Cilantro: To grow cilantro from scraps, you’ll need a stem of cilantro at least four inches long—any shorter and the plant may not have enough energy to regrow. Simply place the stem into a jar with about an inch of water at the bottom (making sure not to submerge any leaves) and put the jar in a sunny windowsill. Change the water every day or two. Within a few days, a root system should form at the bottom of the stem. Once the roots are about two inches long, you can plant your new cilantro in potting soil or in your herb garden.
  5. Fennel: To grow fennel from scraps, save the bottom inch or two of your fennel bulb and put it in a shallow bowl of water in a sunny windowsill. Change the water every couple of days. You should see new green stalks within a few days.
  6. Garlic: To regrow garlic, take one of the cloves from your bulb and plant it (roots down) in a pot of soil. Keep it in direct sunlight, water twice a week without about two inches of water, and you’ll soon see garlic sprouts poking out. These sprouts will eventually grow tall and develop a new garlic bulb under the soil.
  7. Ginger: As a root vegetable, ginger grows underneath the soil. To regrow ginger, plant a cutting of the ginger root in potting soil (buds facing up) near a sunny windowsill then water lightly. Ginger is a slow grower so it may take a few weeks for shoots to emerge from the pot, so continue to water lightly. After a few months, the ginger will be ready for harvest. You can harvest your ginger by pulling up the plant and taking a cutting of the growing roots. Replant the cutting to keep your ginger harvest going year-round.
  8. Leeks: To grow leeks from scraps, save the bottom inch or two of your leek stalk and put it in a bowl of water in a sunny windowsill. Change the water every two to three days. You should see new green shoots emerging from the center of the plant within a week.
  9. Lemongrass: To regrow lemongrass, take a cutting with at least two inches of the bottom of the stem and place it in a glass of water. Place the glass on a sunny windowsill, and in two weeks you should start to see roots growing from the base of the stem. Plant your new lemongrass in potting soil and you’ll soon have a thriving plant.
  10. Onions: To regrow a bulb onion from scraps, cut off the root end of your onion, including at least an inch above the root. Plant the onion bottom (roots down) in potting soil, evenly water the soil, and place the pot near a sunny windowsill. Keep the soil moist with routine watering. You’ll soon see green sprouts poking out, which will grow tall and develop a new onion bulb under the soil.
  11. Potatoes: With a little patience, you can grow a new bunch of potatoes from scraps of just one tuber. Select two pieces of potato with eyes on each side (indentations where roots emerge) to regrow. Leave the potato halves out at room temperature until they’re completely dried out. Next, plant the pieces a few inches deep (eyes facing up) in potting soil and add a couple inches of water. Potatoes need about an inch or two of water per week during the growing process. In about a month, you can begin harvesting the potatoes by feeling around in the soil and pulling up potatoes when you want them.
  12. Romaine lettuce: To regrow romaine, you’ll need to save two to three inches from the base of your lettuce. Place the base in a bowl or shallow cup with enough water to cover the bottom half of the lettuce cutting then put the cup or bowl on a sunny windowsill. Within a day, you should see regrowth in the center of the plant. Change the water every two to three days. New leaves should sprout within a couple weeks of planting.
  13. Root vegetables: Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beets, and turnips can serve double-duty in the kitchen—providing both the root vegetable and the green tops as edible produce. Regrowing root vegetable tops (a great addition to salads or pestos) is simple: save the top inch or two of the root vegetable, place it in a shallow bowl of water on a sunny windowsill, and in a week you’ll have fresh green tops. If you want to grow the root vegetable itself, wait until this cutting has grown more roots, and then transplant it into the soil. With routine watering, the root should be ready for harvest in around a month.
  14. Scallions, green onions, and spring onions: Take a cutting with at least two inches of the bottom of the stem and place it in a glass with an inch of water. Put the glass on a sunny windowsill and change the water every two to three days. In two to three weeks, you should start to see new roots growing from the base of the stem and fresh green stalks growing upward. Simply trim off the stalks as you need them and the plant will continue growing.

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Grow your own food with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the MasterClass All-Access Pass and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.

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