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propagate vegetable scraps in water

How to Grow Vegetables from Scraps + Propagating Herbs from Cuttings

June 4, 2021

Learn how to grow vegetables from scraps with this easy guide on growing window sill plants from kitchen scraps. Plus discover how to propagate herb cuttings to regrow herbs in both water and dirt indoors. Explore these easy garden hacks to save you time and money, while also feeding your family healthy, delicious produce.

how to grow celery from scraps (1)

Growing Vegetables From Scraps

Growing your own food is a rewarding experience. However, planting a garden can be costly. You can learn how to grow vegetables from scraps to start in your outdoor garden. Some of these vegetable scraps can also be grown indoors. So you can start a scrap garden in your kitchen for fresh food to use as you are cooking.

Most vegetables start from seeds that get planted in dirt. However, there are some propagating plants that will grow from the scraps of a mature plant. This is a great way to save money and grow your own vegetables with or without a garden. Similarly, you can also do the same with many common herbs that are used to season and flavor food.

When you learn how to grow vegetables from scraps, you’ll be able to grow fresh vegetables that you can use to feed your family. You’ll save both time and money. Plus you’ll have an almost endless supply of these plants.

Keep reading for information on propagating vegetables and herbs indoors to plant later in the garden or to grow as windowsill plants.

windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

What Fruits and Vegetables Can You Regrow From Scraps?

Generally, you can grow the following vegetables from scraps:

  • Root vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Radishes
  • Some herbs

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How to Grow Vegetables from Scraps

Not all vegetables are propagating vegetables, but you can learn how to grow vegetables from scraps from those that are. Following are instructions on how to grow different vegetables from scraps.

Green onions, onions, garlic and scallions are from the allium family. They are perhaps the easiest vegetables to learn to grow from scraps. They also make perfect windowsill plants from kitchen scraps.

grown green onions from scraps

How to Regrow Green Onions and Scallions in Water

Here is how to regrow green onions and scallions from scraps in water:

  • To regrow green onions, cut off a section of the bulb at the end of the plant. Make sure some of the roots are still intact.
  • Then place the root in a shallow dish.
  • Add some water, and you’ll regrow vegetables.
  • Simply cut off the end to eat and continue to regrow the plant.

How to Propagate Garlic from Cloves

How to Propagate Garlic from Cloves

Learning how to grow garlic is also easy and straightforward:

  • To propagate garlic, save the small cloves from the inside of the head of garlic and remove the skin. Then plant the cloves inside a pot of dirt with the roots facing down.
  • During spring and summer, you can place garlic outside to grow in large pots with good drainage on a sunny patio if you don’t have a garden. However, during the cooler months, garlic is one of the best windowsill plants to grow from kitchen scraps. Just make sure it gets plenty of sunlight.
  • Feel free to mix your garlic cloves in with other garden plants or even flowers! It grows well among other vegetables.
  • Otherwise, you can plant garlic in the fall outdoors in your garden. It will grow the following spring and vice versa. Planting garlic in the spring means a fall harvest.
  • You’ll know it’s time to harvest your garlic when the leaves turn brown and die.

vegetable and herb cuttings growing in water

How to Regrow Onions from Scraps

Large onions, such as red or yellow onions, can also be grown in water. Here is how to regrow onions from scraps in your home:

  • To regrow onions from scraps, cut off about one inch of the bottom of the onion.
  • Then let it dry on the counter for 24 hours
  • After the drying period, place toothpicks in the onion on each side to create an X.
  • Place the onion cut side up in a bowl of water, making sure the water touches the bottom of the onion.

You can also plant the onion outside in large pot or in your garden. To do this, simply place the onion with the cut side up into the ground. Then cover the onion with 1 to 2 inches of soil. Make sure to water your onions regularly.

how to grow lettuce in water (1)

How to Grow Lettuce and Leafy Greens From Scraps

Most types of lettuce and leafy greens will grow from kitchen scraps. To learn how to grow lettuce from scraps, follow these steps:

  • Save the root section from your lettuce or leafy greens. You may use or discard the tops.
  • Then place the roots in water and wait for more leaves to grow.
  • Trim off what you want, as needed. These windowsill plants from kitchen scraps will keep growing as long as the roots are kept alive in water.

how to grow celery from scraps

How to Grow Celery as Windowsill Plants from Kitchen Scraps

Celery is a good vegetable to start with when learning how to grow vegetables from scraps. It’s also a fun windowsill plant for the kids to watch grow from kitchen scraps.

Here is how to grow celery from scraps:

  • Simply cut off the bottom of the vegetable and place in a shallow bowl of water.
  • After a week, you can replant the celery it in a pot or in your garden.
  • You can also eat it as it grows. Or let the celery keep growing for a while before replanting in dirt.

propagate vegetable scraps in water

How to Grow Potatoes From Scraps

Potatoes are one of propagating vegetables that you can regrow from a mature plant. Look for a potato that has eyes and cut a chunk of potato with the eye or simply cut a potato in half. Then plant it with the eye facing up where it will get a lot of sun.

How to Grow Root Vegetables From Scraps

To grow root vegetables like beets, turnips, radishes or carrots, you’ll just cut off the top of the vegetable to regrow vegetables from scraps in water. Place the tops in a shallow bowl of water. It should start growing new tops in a few days. You can also plant them in your garden once they start growing.

How to Regrow Herbs From Cuttings

How to Regrow Herbs From Cuttings

You can regrow herbs from cuttings in much the same way you grow vegetables from scraps. Herbs can be grown from cuttings in both water, as a windowsill plant, as well as in a pot of dirt indoors.

How to Grow Herb Cuttings in Water

Most herbs can be regrown just like you regrow vegetables from scraps in water.

These are the most popular herbs that are easy to grow in water:

growing herb cuttings in water how to

Here is how to grow herbs from cuttings in water:

  • Choose new stems from the herb without any flowers.
  • Cut the stems so they are about 6-inches long using sharp garden shears.
  • Remove the leaves from the bottom 4-inches of the herb. For grocery store herbs, also cut off the bottom of the stem.
  • Fill a large jar with either tap or bottled water. You’ll want to avoid using distilled water as it lacks the necessary minerals plants need to grow.
  • Place the herbs in the water with the ends of the stems angled so they can absorb more water. You don’t want them to rest on the bottom of the jar.
  • Set the cuttings to grow in a sunny windowsill or other area where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
  • To encourage further growth, clip off new leaves as soon as they are fully grown.

Once the herbs have strong roots, you can replant them in the garden or outside in a container.

cut rosemary to propagate from cuttings

Regrow Herb Cuttings in Dirt

You can also regrow herbs from cuttings in a pot of dirt as windowsill plants from kitchen scraps or using herbs from the garden.

Shrubby herbs tend to be the best herbs to regrow from cuttings, and can be directly planted in dirt much like succulents. These herbs include:

You can take softwood cuttings from these herbs in the spring to start more plants early on. Alternately, you can also propagate mature herb cuttings to start new plants indoors to plant the following year.

How to Regrow Herbs From Cuttings (1)

Here are some tips on how to propagate herbs from cuttings for windowsill plants:

  • Cut herbs to propagate early in the morning after the herb has been well watered the night before.
  • Choose new growth from the sides of the plant that are free of buds or flowers.
  • The herb shoots should be cut so that they are between 2 and 4 inches long. Use sharp scissors or a blade to cut the stems.
  • Bare the bottom one-inch of the stem once cut by removing the leaves. This helps to prevent rotting and also encourages root growth at these points.
  • Firmly pack the soil for your herbs in a 4-inch pot. Then, use a pencil to make small holes inside the dirt around the edge of the pot.
  • Place the herb cuttings inside the holes you made. Be sure to keep the water moist but not soaked, so that the dirt does not dry out. If desired, you can place a clear bag over the pot to help trap moisture inside.
  • Grow your herbs in a well lit area, out of direct sun. A sunny windowsill is perfect for this.
  • Once the herbs have new growth and start to develop roots, you can replant your herbs in larger pots. You can also transplant cuttings that have taken root into painted planters to give as gifts. Alternately, herbs harden off can be hardened off outdoors on a porch and then transplanted outdoors in a garden. 

how to grow vegetables from seed scraps (1)

How to Regrow Vegetables From Scraps Seeds

Not all seeds from store bought vegetables will grow in a mature plant. Most vegetables that you buy in the store are hybrids, which means that only the first generation will produce vegetables or fruit. However, if you buy organic produce, it will likely spout from a seed.

If you’d like to grow vegetables from the seeds of the produce you buy from the grocery store, make sure you use purchase organic or heirloom produce. Heirloom produce is some of my favorite. They tend to be more flavorful and have beautiful colors.

Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas are all easy to grow from seeds from your store bought produce. As these vegetables have self pollinating flowers, the seeds don’t need much attention prior to storage. However, the seeds do need to be dried and stored briefly prior to planting.

You can learn more about how to save the seeds from vegetables you’ve bought or grown as well as how to harvest and store common seeds here. You can also save and grow seeds from melons, squash and lettuce and other greens.

In addition, you can find information on how to start vegetable seeds indoors here.

Research Propagating Vegetables

I’ve provided a quick guide on how to grow vegetables from scraps. However, if you plan to move your new vegetable sprouts to the garden, be sure to research how and when to plant. This changes by your geographic location, so first identify what zone you are in and then plant accordingly.

Scrap Garden Maintenance

Whether you move your propagating vegetables to your garden or use them as windowsill plants from kitchen scraps, you will have some maintenance to perform. If you plant your new starter plants outside, be sure they get enough water. They should get about an inch of water each week both from the rain and from watering. However, they will need more water when they are young or if it’s really hot.

If you don’t have a garden, you can learn how to grow vegetables from scraps and plant them in containers on your patio. Just make sure that they get plenty of sunlight and the pots are big enough for the root systems.

Now that you know how to grow vegetables from scraps for your garden and how to regrow vegetables from scraps in water, you can enjoy fresh vegetables while saving money.

Help Product Last Longer

Wondering how long does produce last? Want to keep the vegetables you grow fresher longer? Check out these tips for storing and preserving produce and download a free printable. Plus learn how to compost fruits and vegetables that have gone bad.

This post on how to grow vegetables from scraps originally appeared on Becca Ink.

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