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Learning how to regrow veggies from those you have already purchased is a great way for anyone to stretch your dollar and enjoy fresh produce.
Veggies You Can Regrow From Scraps
I’m always looking for ways to save money on our groceries. Produce is typically what takes up so much of our grocery bill so trying to stretch that budget out can sometimes be a challenge. I do try to purchase local produce as often as I can, but sometimes going to the store is the only option.
One of the best ways I’ve found for saving money on produce is to regrow veggies from the storebought scraps! With just a little water and sunlight you’d be surprised how quickly you can grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs indoors.
—Looking to cut down your grocery budget? Here are 12 Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Even if you don’t have room for a full garden outdoors, you can usually find a nice windowsill or another bright area in your house that will be perfect to get these started so that you can enjoy them again and again.
How to Regrow Veggies from Scraps
Green Onions – Green Onions are great to try as your first experiment, they are so easy to grow and require very little work. Simply cut your green onion so that you have at least 1-2 inches of the white bulb and place the bulb in a shallow cup of water. After just a few days, you’ll have fresh green onions. Chop off what you need and they will continue to grow back again and again. All you need to do is keep them in a well-lit area and change out the water every few days.
Leeks, Scallions, Fennel, and Lemongrass can also be regrown just like Green Onions.
Celery – Celery takes a little more patience but grows just as well as green onions. To regrow celery, chop the stalks off and place the end nub, cut side up, into a shallow bowl of water. Change out the water every few days to keep it fresh and spritz the new growth that begins to grow from the top with water daily. Your celery plant will take a while to grow big stalks, but you’ll have leaves in just a few days. Celery leaves are great to add a little extra flavor in dishes, use as a garnish, or you can even make fresh pesto with them.
Bok Choy – Bok Choy can be regrown just like celery. Both Celery and Bok Choy can be planted in the soil after they begin to grow roots and leaves, at just about 7-10 days.
Carrots – While the carrot itself cannot be regrown, you can use your carrot top scraps to regrow more carrot tops. Simply cut the top off of the carrot and place in a shallow dish of water in an area that gets good sunlight. The green carrot top will begin growing in just a few days. Carrot tops are full of nutrients and make a great addition to stock, salad, soup or in a pesto.
—Want to make your own chicken stock? Learn how in this post about Cooking a Whole Chicken Easily and What to Do With It.
Romaine Lettuce – Stretch your head of romaine by chopping off the leaves and leaving at least 1 inch at the base of the head of lettuce. Place the base into a shallow dish of water in sunlight. New leaves will begin to grow in just a few days. Once roots have formed you can plant in the dirt or continue to grow in water, making sure to change it out every few days to keep it fresh.
Garlic – You can regrow an entire bulb of garlic from just one clove. Place a clove of garlic, root side down, into a pot and cover with water. Keep in a sunny spot and keep it well watered. Your garlic will begin to grow shoots in just a few weeks. Your garlic will be ready to harvest after it flowers and the leaves begin to die back, around 9 months. After your plant is well established, you can cut the tops of the plant off 6 inches above the dirt so the plant focuses on the bulb to speed up this process.
Shallots – Shallots can be regrown like garlic but should only take about 2-4 months to harvest.
Onions – Onion can be regrown similarly to garlic and shallots, just cut the onion in half and place the root end in a pot. Cover with soil, place it in a sunny spot, and keep it watered when needed. Your new onions should be ready to harvest in 4-5 months.
Ginger – To regrow ginger, pick a nice piece that has a few eye buds. It’s best to use a nice, firm piece and not one that is dry or shriveled up. Soak the eye buds in warm water and then place them in a pot. Cover the eyes up with 1-2 inches of soil and spritz daily to keep moistened. Your ginger plant will begin to put off shoots in several weeks and will be ready to harvest in 3-4 months.
Sweet Potato – To regrow sweet potatoes, place them in a jar of water. Use toothpicks to keep one half of the potato above water. Your sweet potato will begin to grow roots on the bottom and leaves on the top. When your sprouts up top are about 4-5 inches long, pull them off and place them in a jar until they begin to grow roots. (You can leave your sweet potato in the jar and it will continue to put off more sprouts, just change the water every few days to keep it fresh) Once the sprouts are well rooted, planted them outside.
Potatoes – Regular potatoes are a little easier than sweet potatoes, all you need is a potato with a few eyes on it. If you’re like me, you probably already have one on top of your fridge. Cut the potato in pieces so that each piece has 2-3 eyes on it. Allow the potato section to dry out for a few days and then plant it in the ground.
Pineapple – Pineapple is pretty simple to grow as well but it takes quite a bit of time and a humid environment. This would be a good one to try if you have a sunroom that stays warm year-round. Twist off the top of the pineapple removed the bottom rows of leaves and place the leaves into water. Roots will begin to grow from the bottom. When they are 2-3 inches long you can transplant them into well-drained soil. The pineapple plant will make a beautiful addition to your space, however, don’t expect any fruit off of it for a few years.
Herbs – You can regrow herbs such as Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, and more. Take a long stem of the herb and remove the bottom leaves, leaving a few on top. Place the stem in water so that all the areas where you removed the leaves from are covered with water. Roots will begin to sprout in a few days to a week. Transplant the plant into soil once roots get 2-3 inches long. Make sure to change out your water every few days to keep it clean.
Aloe– ok, this isn’t exactly a veggie, but it’s so easy to grow I wanted to include it. To regrow aloe, cut a 2-inch section of leaf and plant in soil. Keep it well watered and it will begin to root and regrow leaves on top.
How to Regrow Veggies from Seeds
These plants can be easily regrown with seeds from the storebought produce. For best results, use organic vegetables.
Also, to note, sometimes when you buy tomatoes or other produce in the store they are a hybrid breed. A cross between two types of tomato plants, mixed to give you the best of both. Sometimes that means a sweeter tomato mixed with a larger tomato, other times they cross them for more favorable growing conditions- such as shorter plants or heartier plants. When you regrow plants from a hybrid seed, you won’t be growing the exact plant. Your new plant will be one of the two originals. They should still make great plants, I’ve done this many times with tomatoes and always had great results.
Tomato – Tomatoes are very easy to regrow. Simply save a slice of tomato and plant in under 1-2 inches of soil. Keep it watered and in a warm, sunny place and you’ll begin growing your own tomato plants in no time! (As your tomato plant grows larger, you can cut suckers that are at least 3-4 inches long off your plant and plant them to have even more tomato plants!)
Bell Pepper – Cut your bell pepper in half, knock the seeds loose into the bottom of the pepper. Plant the entire half of the pepper. Seeds will begin to sprout and the pepper will break down and be a fertilizer to your new plants.
Melons – Watermelons can be easily regrown by harvesting the seeds out of your storebought melon. For best germination, place the seeds in between two paper towels and spray with water. Keep moist for 4-5 days until the seed has softened. Plant the seed outside in warm climate with plenty of sunlight.
Avocado – Avocados can be a fun project for you and the kids but probably not the best option for regrowing as they can take several years to get large enough to fruit. However, if you live in a warm climate and want to give it a go, all you need to do is place a few toothpicks into the middle of the seed and set it in a jar so that the bottom is underwater. In about a month you should have some roots growing. Plant the roots under soil, leaving the top of the seed out sticking out. Keep it in a sunny place, well-watered and warm. As your plant gets larger, you can move it outdoors.
Others – Lots of other fruits and vegetables can be regrown by seed too if you live in a warm climate. Pumpkin, Lemon, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Peaches, and more. All you need to do is plant the seeds in warm soil and keep them watered until they are ready to harvest
–Learn more about How to Save Seeds from the fruit and vegetables you’ve grown or purchased.
This new found love of re-growing vegetables indoors is seriously addicting. I love knowing that I can save a few dollars each trip by ‘re-using” what I already have!
If you enjoyed learning about how to regrow veggies and want to learn more about gardening, check out these posts:
Have you ever re-grown any veggies or fruits? Which ones?
This post on How to Regrow Veggies was originally published on Little House Living in October 2013. It has been updated as of May 2020.