Regrowing: Allowing Leftover Vegetables To Regrow

Buy once and harvest again and again: This really works with many types of vegetables. Instead of composting the leftovers, simply transplant them into the substrate or place them in a vase filled with water. This is not only a small contribution against food waste, but it is also great fun to watch the crunchy greens grow.

Which types of vegetables are suitable?

In addition to many types of vegetables, you can regrow various herbs and salads:

  • spring onions
  • Leek
  • garlic
  • onions
  • celery stalk
  • Ginger
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Romaine lettuce
  • carrots
  • parsley roots
  • potatoes
  • mint

You also need:

  • bright parking space on the windowsill,
  • Matching planters (flower pot, old glasses or cups),
  • Earth,
  • Water,
  • and a little patience.

Perfect for regrowing newcomers: breeding lettuce

Until now, has the stalk of romaine lettuce or Chinese cabbage ended up in organic waste? It’s a pity because you can easily grow a new head of lettuce from these:

  • Place the stunk in a glass of water and place the jar in a bright place.
  • Change the water after two days at the latest.
  • As soon as small roots can be seen and shoots appear at the top of the stalk, place the lettuce in the soil.
  • You can harvest within a few weeks.
  • If you only use the outer leaves, the fine green will always grow back.

Regrow leeks and spring onions

All leftovers with roots that are still about three centimeters long are suitable. Place the onion slices with the root ends in a container filled with water and place it on the windowsill. Change the water at least every two days so that nothing starts to rot. The first shoots appear after about five days.

Lemongrass regrowing works the same way.

Pull onions

Put some potting soil in a small pot and insert the end of the bulb with the roots. Cover everything with soil, and water and place the container in a bright place. Fresh shoot tips will soon appear and a new onion bulb will form. If that takes too long, you can use the green part, just like with spring onions.

Regrowing of celery stalks

Place the celery stalk in a bowl filled with water, just covering it with the liquid. The water must be changed daily, otherwise, there is a risk of rot. Wait for the celery to start growing and then transplant it into a flower pot.


Although no new carrot forms in the flower pot, the green grows back. This is just as tasty as the root and is an excellent addition to a salad.

When regrowing, proceed as follows:

  • Cut off the top of the carrot with the greens.
  • Fill a glass with a little water. Only the carrot stalk should be in the water, not the green.
  • Change the water every two days.
  • When small roots appear, transplant the carrot to the soil.
  • Always harvest when the carrot greens have reached a certain length.

Spices like mint

You can grow these with seedlings from the waste produced during cooking.

For this purpose, the stems are placed in a glass with water below the leaves. The same applies here: change at least every other day. As soon as visible roots sprout, transfer them to a container with herbal soil.

Grow ginger yourself

Ginger often takes root in the fridge, but you need a little more patience if you want to let it grow back. Break offshoots and place them in a flower pot with soil. If you water regularly, you can harvest home-grown ginger after a few months.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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