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10 Fruits and Vegetables You Can Regrow in Water

Scallions and other food scraps regrowing in water on a window sill.
Mehriban A/Shutterstock

You’ve probably seen clever video hacks where people seem to magically regrow produce in a jar on their window sill. It turns out it’s not magic but just some good old (simple!) science. Here are 10 fruits and veggies you can regrow at home.

Some of your water-grown vegetables may be able to stay in their water-filled containers and harvested right from there. Some, however, should be transplanted in your garden or in pots with dirt.

Here are some of the easiest veggies to grow in water, and which ones should be transferred to the garden once they root.

Green Onions

When cooking with green onions, or scallions as they’re sometimes called, you use the green parts and often toss the white part with the roots in the trash or in compost. Regrowing scallions is really easy, and you never have to transplant them into the dirt (although you can).

Avocado

Stop tossing your avocado pits in the trash. If you want to save money on those expensive green goodies that are full of healthy fats, you can start the regrowth process in a cup of water.

There’s a trick to growing the avocado pit in water; you can’t just toss it in a cup. Check out the video above to see how you can use toothpicks to create the necessary scaffolding for the hefty seed.

Pineapple

Pineapples are delicious, and the pineapple crown (the greenery part of it) is kind of neat looking. The crown is the part that you’ll need if you want to regrow your pineapple.

This is another food that you can use water to sprout roots before you plant it in the dirt. By going through these steps, you ensure a healthy root system.

Lettuce

While you’ve had to transplant the other two kitchen scraps into dirt pots or into the ground when the root sprouts, you can leave lettuce to grow permanently in water. Hydroponic gardening makes growing easier on plants, which can lead to faster plant growth (plus, you’ll save money on pots and soil).

The video above shows the process of romaine hearts regrowing in water alone. You can transplant them into some dirt once the roots start to grow, or you can keep them growing in water alone.

Celery

Regrowing celery is easy to do in water, though your regrowth may not ever look exactly like the celery you started with. You’ll notice in the video here that the stalks are skinnier, but you’ll still get the taste and crunch you expect.

Celery is another food you can keep growing indoors in water alone (like all hydroponic plants, you need to change the water every few days), or you can plant it outdoors and allow for even more growth once the roots have started sprouting.

Carrots

Carrots grow mostly underground. Their leafy greens are the only thing we see atop the Earth, before digging them up to clean and eat. We eat the root of the carrot plant (though the greens make great additions to salads or for feeding your pet bunny).

Keep the end of the carrot (the one that had the greenery coming out of it) in a small dish of water. Once greens start to sprout, you can transplant it into your garden, or you can keep clipping the greens before they seed and use them in recipes. Those greens are where you will get the seeds (and they’ll drop off and “plant” themselves for you).

Bok Choy

Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage, is another leafy green that is easy to grow from scraps in water. It’s best to keep it in the water until the roots take and then transplant it in a pot or in the garden.

As you’ll see in the video, you need to keep an eye on the growth of your bok choy. If it starts to show signs of flowering, that means it’s past being eaten (but you could plant it and let it go to seed).

Garlic

Garlic is an excellent flavoring to almost any kind of meal (I love it on pizza). While it takes months to get garlic that is ready to harvest, it’s pretty easy to regrow your own garlic from garlic cloves. I like to start getting mine to grow roots when they’ve already shown signs of growing. (You might notice a little green sprout coming out of the top of the clove.)

To get your garlic ready to plant, you just need to set the cloves (root side down) in some water (just enough water to cover the bottom of the cloves). Once roots are established, your garlic is ready to transplant.

Fresh Herbs

You don’t need to buy a bunch of seeds or starter plants to get started on growing your own herb garden. All you need are some whole herbs so that you can snip off a section with just a few leaves to place in a container of water. You can keep growing them in water, or transplant when they root.

Some herbs you can do this with include cilantro, basic, peppermint, catnip, rosemary, basil, and thyme. The video above has info on what amount of sunlight many herbs like and covers which herbs are easiest to regrow.

Sweet Potato

Ever notice when you don’t chop up your sweet potatoes soon enough, they start sprouting runners (roots coming out of them). While sweet potatoes are essentially roots themselves, they will still sprout more roots to continue growing.

Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes both want to keep growing if you don’t eat them soon enough. For sweet potatoes, you want to make sure you place them the right way in the pot of water. The video above walks you through the process because it’s a wee bit different than what you do with regular potatoes.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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