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Regrow from Scraps

Some vegetables and herbs will keep on growing if you give them a chance! Try these fun money-saving and regenerating experiments at home.

Many of these only need water and sunlight to continue to grow, but if you have a little space for a container (whether inside or outside) or even some outdoor garden space, they may flourish! Give them an extra boost by adding compost, which builds healthy soil. Visit StopWaste's gardening page to learn all about gardening with compost, and additional resources to get you started. 

We've listed our favorite foods to regrow below, but please share any tips, photos, and success stories of your own in the comments at the bottom!

Lettuce and Bok Choy

Make sure the base of the lettuce or bok choy are intact and cut down the leaves, leaving 2-3 inches of the base. Place the base in a bowl or cup, making sure it stays upright, and fill with enough water to reach halfway up the base. Keep in an area where it can get some sunlight and watch the new leaves grow! Change out the water every few days, or when you notice it starting to get cloudy. Once you get some nice root growth, you can transfer the base into a pot of soil or into the garden. 

The base of lettuce will regrow roots and can be transplanted into the garden.


Similar to lettuce, keep the base of the celery intact and cut the stalks to ensure there are about 2 inches remaining. Place the base of the celery in a shallow bowl of water, keeping about half of the base submerged, and place it in an area where it will get some sunlight. Transfer to a pot or into the garden once roots start to get established.

Place the base of celery stalks into water and regrow until ready to be placed in the garden.

Carrots, Beets, Turnips

Regrowing carrot, beet and turnip scraps will provide you with more green, leafy tops, as opposed to the orange/yellow/red/purple/white root vegetables. Carrot tops can be blended into tasty pesto and sauces, while beet and turnip greens are great source of vitamins and minerals and are delicious sauteed. When chopping off the top of the vegetables, leave about 1/2 to 1 inch, and place them in a shallow tray or bowl of water and place them in a sunny spot. You should see some new leafy greens coming through within a few days.


Small potatoes with one or more eyes can be planted whole. Cut large potatoes into pieces ensuring each piece contains at least one eye. Allow the cut area to cure for at least two days to prevent the potato from rotting in the ground. Plant potatoes 4 inches deep in loose, fine soil with the eyes facing up. Potatoes use a lot of nutrients and will benefit from soil prepared with compost.

Fresh Herbs

Many fresh herbs can regrow roots by simply cutting a few of inches of the top of a stem, remove the lower half of leaves, and place the cut, bare stems into water (make sure the remaining leaves don't fall into the water as they will become slimy). Keep the cuttings in an area where they get natural sunlight and in a short time they will grow roots and can then be transferred into a pot of soil or out into the garden. We've had most success with basil and mint, but are excited to hear tips and stories of any other successes.

Shallots/Green Onions

Cut scallions, or green onions, down to the last inch or two of the white base and place them upright into water (about halfway up the base). Make sure they are in a place that gets some sunlight and watch the green stalks grow every day! Roots will also form and you can move the green onions into a pot of soil or into the garden, but you can also cut these back and they will continue to regrow in the glass of water. Just be sure to change out the water ever few days or when it starts to become cloudy. Some people skip the water step and simply cut off the roots and greens (leaving the white base) plant directly in soil. 

green onions can be placed in water in a sunny spot to regrow the green shoots

Read more about regrowing green onions and many other kitchen tips in the Food Shift Kitchen Guide.

For more information on regrowing vegetables and herbs from scraps, visit:


John Jeavons Gardening Blog

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