Growing vegetables from scraps: our guide to regrowing vegetables

Growing vegetables from scraps: our guide to regrowing vegetables

You can use your vegetable scraps to grow back whole veggies again. Celery, spring onion, lettuce, carrots and many others can be regrown back.

To many this may be hard to believe but, yes, a lot of vegetables you buy every week can grow almost infinitely in your kitchen. The lower end or stems of spring onions, celery, beetroot and the like can be easily rooted in water and then planted in a pot or container of your choice. In this way, the kitchen waste is reborn again and does not have to end up in the compost pile.

In recent years, people have become more aware of waste and recycling. This trend has also been true in the gardening sphere because many have started regrowing their vegetable waste. And no wonder why: it saves money, reduces waste, is very simple and adds more greenery into your kitchen or a balcony. Moreover, it is fun to do and you can have your own homegrown veggies whenever at your disposal. Also, you do not need a lot of space to regrow your vegetables. A simple windowsill is enough!

Find out which vegetables are best suited for regrowing and how to grow them back again below. It is not just veggies that can be brought back to life. Herbs and some fruit, such as pineapple, mango and avocados can be planted and cultivated at home, too.

Instruction for regrowing vegetables:

  1. Celery: The stalk should be at least 5cm long and is placed in a glass of warm water for 5 to 7 days. The water should be replaced at least once during this time. The celery is then planted into soil. There, it will form roots in the coming weeks and should grow steadily. If you have a garden, about 10 recycled celery plants will fully cover your needs.
  2. Romaine lettuce: The at least 5cm long stalk is left to grow in a glass for 5 to 10 days. During this time, the plant forms the so-called cambium on the cut surface and develops its first roots. After that, the lettuce is placed in soil and kept slightly watered at all times.
  3. Onion: The piece of onion intended for regrowing should be at least 4 cm x 4 cm and 2 cm tall. Unlike the other veggies, the onion can be placed directly into soil.
  4. Spring onion: In order for the regrowing to be successful, the spring onions should be at least 5 cm long. The fresher the roots are at the end of the bulbs, the higher the chances of success for healthy, regrown plants. Place the spring onion in a glass of lukewarm water for 5 to 7 days and change the water at least once. After that, the spring onions should be re-planted into substrate.
  5. Leek: The same procedure applies here as for spring onions.
  6. Kohlrabi: The piece of kohlrabi should have at least 4 cm x 4 cm as a base and be about 2 to 3 cm tall. Kohlrabi can also be planted directly into the soil and does not necessarily require to be first planted into water.
  7. Potatoes: This probably happened to everyone: you have bought way too many potatoes and can’t use them all fast enough. If the potatoes are stored warm and light, they begin to form shoots and become wrinkly. However, there is no need to dispose of the tubers! Plant them in some soil and new potatoes will grow soon.
  8. Carrots: The carrot must be at least 3 to 5 cm long. In the water, the carrot forms new green leaves after a few days. Then, it is ready to be planted in soil. After about 2 to 3 weeks, roots follow. The regrown green sprouts come in handy to rodent owners, who love munching on this stuff.
  9. Sweet potatoes: These trendy vegetables need just a small piece to be regrown again. In water, a piece of sweet potato forms roots and shoots after about 15 days.
  10. Basil: Basil can also be easily propagated with cuttings. Remove the lower, larger leaves from the 5 cm long shoots and leave the upper, small leaves on the shoot. After 15 to 20 days, the plant forms roots and can be planted in a pot with soil.
  11. Chinese cabbage: Chinese cabbage can also be reused. However, the shoots only form leaves and not a compact head. The leaves are very tasty and can be added to wok dishes. In order for the Chinese cabbage to root, it should be at least 4 cm x 4 cm large and 2 to 3 cm tall. The lower part of the cut should always be in contact with water. The first shoots form after 15 days.
  12. Beetroot: Those who love beetroot will be delighted that it is so easy to revive this tuber. However, only in rare cases does the planted section develop into a completely intact tuber. The freshly grown leaves can be used very well as a crunchy side dish.

General recommendations for regrowing vegetables:

  • The piece of vegetable waste should be large enough, so that the plant has enough energy to form roots and shoots.
  • If the vegetables are rooted in water, the water should be replaced every few days, otherwise there is a risk of rot.
  • If you put the recycled vegetables in soil, they must always be kept slightly moist. The plants still lack roots, which is why they wither quickly when dry.
  • Very helpful are special heating mats, which make it much easier for the plants to form roots.
  • To keep the plants humid, use small nursery houses. These fit perfectly onto a windowsill.
  • The purchase of special growing soil is just as useful, as it also has a positive effect on root formation.


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