Do it yourself: Grow plants from kitchen scraps

Grow new food from old food

SAN ANTONIO – Did you know it’s possible to regrow food from your kitchen scraps?

Some of the easiest foods to regrow at home are:

  • Avocado
  • Basil
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Leek
  • Lemongrass
  • Lettuce
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Pineapple
  • Potato
  • Rosemary
  • Scallion
  • Sweet Potato
  • Turnip

Keep in mind that harvesting herbs and vegetables takes time. Some foods will be ready in weeks while others take months.

Read below to find out how to regrow some of the foods from the list above.

Bok Choy: This can be grown the same way as lettuce. After one to two weeks of leaving the bok choy in water, transfer the plant to soil and wait for a full head to grow.

Celery: Submerge the root of the celery stalk in water but leave the top exposed to air. Spray the celery stalk with water twice a week and new leaves should appear within one week. Change the water every couple of days to prevent molding.

Garlic: Take a clove of garlic and peel it. Using some of the bigger cloves, plant the garlic in moist soil with the root end facing upward. Alternatively, you can place the cloves in water and wait for the green shoots to grow taller before planting. The garlic will be ready to harvest once yellow leaves start to form near the bottom.

Ginger: Soak the ginger in water overnight. The next morning, bury the ginger in soil with the nubs facing upward. Keep watering over time, and within six to 12 months you will have new fresh ginger.

Green Onion: You can regrow any green onion as long as you still have the white bulbs at the bottom. Put the white root end in water, leaving part of the onion sticking out of the top of the water. New growth should appear within one week. Plant the green onions in soil when they are almost fully grown.

Lettuce: Cut the lettuce keeping the stems intact. Place the stems in a tray of water leaving the top of the stem exposed. Keep changing the water every few days to keep it fresh.

Pineapple: Cut off the top of the pineapple half an inch below the leaves. Remove some of the lower leaves, exposing the root nubs. Put the bottom half in water, leaving the leaves dry and pointing upward. Growth will start within the first six weeks but the plant will take a full 18 to 36 months to fully grow.

Sweet Potatoes: Place the potato in a glass jar, half full of water. Put the jar in direct sunlight and leaves/roots will begin to sprout. Change the water occasionally to keep it from molding. Once the sprouts reach 4 to 5 inches, pull them off the potato and place the sprouts in water until they start growing roots. Once the sprouts have good roots, plant them in a 10-inch soil mound. It’s best to plant potatoes in warm weather.

There are also several seed-producing foods that you can save seeds from. Cherries, several variations of hot peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins can all be grown from the seeds they produce.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.