17 Vegetables, Fruits And Herbs You Can Easily Regrow Using Food Scraps

You might be surprised to learn that regrowing vegetables from scraps isn’t just some strange Pinterest trend. It’s something that you really can do, and it can be a great money saver, stretching your existing food budget. 

The hair of a leek, the crown of a pineapple, stalk of lettuce or celery, and ends of your carrots could be used for something other than making compost. Some of them can even grow back indefinitely, with a little water, earth, light and a handful of care.

Not all vegetables can grow from scraps, and everyone has a different definition of scraps. But, some fruits, vegetables or herbs have the ability to grow back, even when only the part we consider “inedible” remains.

Of course, you won’t be able to get an amount of food that will allow you to become self-sufficient, but what a pleasure to harvest a piece of young onion from a piece that you were going to throw away!

I rounded up best vegetable and herb scraps you can regrow, along with our best tips for growing fresh veggies from kitchen scraps so you can enjoy their recurring harvest.

Head-Form, Leafy Veggies That Regrow Easily From Leftovers

Leafy vegetables that grow in heads are easy to grow from scraps as well. You have to cut off the base, leaving a one-inch piece and place it in water. It’s a lot easier than you might think. 

Regrow Vegetables & Herbs You From Kitchen Scraps
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1. Regrow a heart of Celery

Regrow a heart of Celery In water

If you’re new to growing vegetables from scraps, celery is one of the easiest veggies to do so with for the first time. 

  • All you have to do is cut off the bottom of the celery that you get from the store and put it in a shallow container with some warm water. 
  • Keep that bowl in a sunny, warm place, and your celery will regrow with ease.
  • It will take about a week before you see any new growth.
  • The leaves start to grow first and then wait as it continues to grow.
  • You can harvest whatever you need.

Another option is to replant it in your garden at this point and let it grow into a full-size plant. 

2. Regrow Lettuce & Bok Choy scraps in water

Regrow Lettuce & Bok Choy scraps in water

You can easily regrow lettuce and bok choy from scraps. Don’t toss out your leftover leaves. 

  • All you need to do is put the bottom one-inch portion into a bowl of water. 
  • The bowl needs to be kept somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight, such as a windowsill. 
  • Every few days, you need to mist the leaves with water.

It takes 3-4 days for new roots to appear with new leaves. At that point, you can put your growing lettuce plants into a pot of soil and keep growing it. 

3. Regrow Lemongrass From kitchen Scraps

Regrow Lemongrass From kitchen Scraps

Not everyone likes to use lemongrass, and, for those who do like it, it can be hard to find in the store. A simple option is to regrow the ones that you already have! Believe it or not, lemongrass grows back like regular grass. 

  • Put the remaining root into a bowl or jar with just enough water to cover the roots. 
  • Leave the bowl in sunlight, and within a week, there will be new growth. 
  • After this, you can move your lemongrass into a pot or in your herb garden outside.

4. Regrow Cabbage leaves In Water

Regrow Cabbage

Some cabbage varieties (not all of them) can regrow while in the ground still. Resist pulling out the entire plant when you harvest the cabbage heads. Instead, cut a cross in the base and leave it in the ground. Often, a second head will emerge. 

You also can regrow cabbage leaves if you have a chunk of the rooting base available. The heads at the store sometimes have the rooting base; see if you can find one.

  • Keep a one-inch chunk of the base and put it in a shallow container of water.
  • Put this container and cabbage piece in a sunny area in your home. 
  • Wait to watch for leaf growth coming out of the center chunk. .

5. Regrow Basil, Mint & Cilantro from Cuttings

Regrow Basil, Mint & Cilantro from Cuttings

These aren’t the only herbs that can regrow from cuttings or scraps. If the herbs grow on stems, chances are you can regrow it from cuttings, but it needs to be around 4 inches long.

  • Take a step that is an appropriate length, and put it into a tall glass of water. The leaves need to stay above the water level. 
  • As it stays in the water, roots start to appear and grow out of the stem.
  • Once the roots grow well, you can transplant the cuttings into pots or outside into your garden. 

Bulb and Bulb-Like Vegetables

Bulb and Bulb-Like Vegetables

Vegetables that have a bulb-like base can root easily. You follow steps that are very similar to leafy veggies.

All you need is a piece of the root and a container of water. Sounds easy enough, right? 

1. Regrow Garlic From Scraps


Everyone loves garlic – unless you’re a vampire – and growing garlic is an easy task, but you don’t need to grow entire beds each year. If you want to try growing vegetables from scraps, garlic should be at the top of your list.

A garlic bulb consists of several cloves, and you typically don’t need all of them to make your dishes.

  • All you have to do is remove one of the cloves and plant it with the pointy side facing upward.
  • Keep it well watered in your potting soil. 
  • Make sure it stays in the sunlight and new shoots will emerge and establish themselves.
  • You can cut back the shoots to encourage the plant to grow a new bulb. 
  • After the bulb grows, you can take out a clove and replant it. 

2. Regrow Supermarket Leeks In Water

Regrowing green onions scallions, salad and leek from scraps in jars filled with water

Leeks are also a member of the allium family, and you can grow them from scraps as quickly as onions and garlic grow from them. You need the rooting base of the bulb or stem to do so. 

  • Take a small section of the base of your leek plant, with the roots attached. 
  • Put it in a shallow dish of water. 
  • Leeks will quickly grow new, green material from the base section of your plant, and you can keep re-sprouting these sections to be harvested repeatedly.

3. Regrow Bulb Fennel In Water

Regrow Bulb Fennel

While not as popular as celery, bulb fennel grows back in nearly the same way as celery. 

  • With the root still attached, the base of the bulb should be placed into a shallow container of water. 
  • Over time, the plant will start to regrow.
  • If you want the best results, you should keep 1 inch of the base attached to the roots.
  • The new, green shoots emerge from the middle of the base, and then you can replant the entire bulb into the soil.

4. Regrow Onions From Discarded Onion Bottoms

Discarded Onion Bottoms

Onions can grow from scraps indoors and outdoors. They grow quite quickly from scraps.

  • To regrow new onions from another onion, cut the onion’s root off of it, leaving about a half an inch of onion left on the root. 
  • Then, plant that in potting soil, keeping it in a sunny area.

If you’re trying to grow green onions, put the white base with the root intact in a container of water and keep it in direct sunlight.

The water will need to be changed out every few days.

The greens continue to grow, letting you snip it as you want for recipes. 

Root Crops and Root-Like Vegetables to Regrow

Root crops are a great option if you want to try growing vegetables from scraps. All root crops, such as turnips and beets, are eaten the same way; you enjoy the roots and the top parts often get tossed out into the trash or compost pile. Instead, you can use that piece to regrow a new veggie. 

1. Regrow Potatoes from Old Sprouted Potato Scraps

Regrow Potatoes from Old Sprouted Potato Scraps

If you’ve left potatoes in your pantry for too long, then you know that little shoots grow on them over time. Those shoots are called “eyes,” and it’s how potatoes grow new plants. You can replant them in the garden to grow new potato plants in your garden. 

Here’s how you can grow potatoes from scraps.

  • Cut off the end or side of the potato with the shoot. 
  • Let it dry out overnight.
  • Plant the end of the potato into a pot of soil with the eye facing upward, just like you would plant seed potatoes.
  • Keep watered, but don’t let your soil get too soggy. In several months, you’ll have fresh potatoes.

2. Regrow Carrots And Beets From Waste Tops

Regrow Carrots And Beets From Waste Tops

Any root crop, such as carrots, beets, parsnips, can regrow from scraps. If you keep the tops, where the leaves and stems meet the root, you’ll be able to regrow them. 

The same process works for any root crop. Take the remaining portion that you saved and put it in a shallow container of water. It should cover the entire piece; only put a half an inch or so of water into the container. Within a week, new greens should start to grow. 

You won’t regrow an entire carrot this way, but you can harvest the greens as they grow or wait until they’re large enough to replant in a container or garden bed.

3. Grow Sweet Potatoes In Water

Grow Sweet Potatoes In Water

You can grow sweet potatoes from scraps the same way that you grow regular potatoes. They can be regrown in sections, but unlike regular potatoes, you can grow sweet potatoes in water and soil. Growing sweet potatoes in water can be a fun project for kids to try. 

  • When you find a sweet potato past its prime for eating, cut it in half. 
  • Use toothpicks to suspend it over a shallow water container. 
  • After several days, the roots will start to form, and you’ll see sprouts growing on the top of the potato. 
  • At this point, you can take away the sweet potatoes with roots (called slips) and plant them in a pot of soil just like you would regular potatoes.

4. Regrow Ginger From Store-Bought Ginger Roots

Regrow Ginger From Store-Bought Ginger Roots

If you use ginger in many of your dinner dishes, learning how to grow ginger from scraps is a smart idea. Ginger root is relatively easy to grow, and it gives you a way to always have a fresh supply of finger on hand.

  • Take a spare piece of ginger root, and plant it in a container full of potting soil. 
  • The buds need to face upward. 
  • Within a week or two, you’ll discover new shoots and roots. 
  • After that, you can pull it up whenever you need more and use the fresh ginger. 
  • Always save a piece so that you can replant and grow more. 

5. Regrow Mushrooms From Ends


This one has to go towards the bottom of the list because it’s harder than some other scraps.

Growing mushrooms at home, in general, is trickier than other veggies, but it’s worth the wait and struggle. It’s not necessarily a root veggie, but you do plant the stem!

  • Save the stems of your favorite mushrooms, whether you like button mushrooms, cremini, or shiitake, simply save them. 
  • Then, transfer them into a container with moist soil. 
  • In a few days, you’ll notice that the tops start to grow again, but at times, they begin to rot. If they rot, you need to try another batch. 

For best results, add compost or used coffee grounds to the oil, and keep them in a place where they will be chilly at night. It’s typically best to keep them inside.

Fruits You Can Easily Regrow From Scraps

1. Grow Pineapple from It’s Top

Regrow Pineapple from It's Top

Everyone thinks that you have to live in a tropical region to grow pineapples, but you don’t! All you need to do is grab a fresh pineapple in the store and get started.

  • Cut off the top of the pineapple.
  • Use toothpicks to hold it above a container with water.
  • Make sure it stays in direct sunlight. If it’s summertime, you can keep it outside on a table or deck; pineapples need plenty of sunlight!

The water needs to be changed often, typically every other day, and the roots will start to appear in a week or two. Then, you can transplant it into your container with potting soil. For those who live in colder areas, you need to grow pineapples indoors. 

2. Grow Avocado Plants From Pits

Grow Avocado Plants From Pits

If you love avocados, you can use the seeds to grow your avocados at home. While you might not be able to grow avocados outside depending on where you live, they can be grown inside. 

  • Once you eat the avocado, wash the seed.
  • Use toothpicks to suspend it over a bowl of water. It should cover only an inch of the seed; that’s all the water you need. 
  • Keep this in a warm space, but it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, and the water should be checked daily. You will need to add more over time.

Growing avocados from scraps takes patience. It can take up to six weeks for roots to appear, and once the stem is 6 inches tall, you can plant it in the soil. 

Regrowing Fruits from Seeds

Many citrus fruits and fruits, in general, can be grown from their seeds, but we know that seeds don’t always equal scraps. All fruit trees start as seeds, and while it takes years for fruit trees to grow, you can save the seeds out of the fruits you eat and start your fruit trees at home. 

Citrus trees are a favorite because they grow best in containers. For example, Apple and pear trees need to be grown outside, but growing lemon trees indoors in containers is something you can do. 

If you want to try growing a lemon tree from the seeds after you eat one, here’s what you can do.

  • Clean the seeds well, and keep them moist.
  • Plant the seeds ½ inch deep in a soil-filled container and then cover the planter with plastic. Doing so creates a greenhouse effect, trapping in humidity until the seeds start to sprout. 

You’ll need to wait years for the fruit tree to mature and develop. However, until they bear fruit, citrus trees are fragrant and make a beautiful houseplant. 

Try Growing Veggies from Scraps

Try Growing Veggies from Scraps

You can regrow all vegetables, fruits, and herbs in one way or another. Growing vegetables from scraps can help you stretch your grocery budget and enables you to stay in touch with where you get your food. 

Amber Noyes

Written By

Amber Noyes

Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.

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One Comment

  1. Another great article! Thanks!