It’s truly incredible how many foods can be regrown from their scraps. If you planted all the stems and seeds you’ve thrown out over your life, you’d have a garden of epic proportions by now. Bear in mind, though, while some of these foods do grow back quickly, don’t expect to see immediate results. You’re still gonna have to buy your produce from the grocery store or farmers’ market for quite some time before you can rely on your scrap garden to sustain you.
35 Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs You Can Regrow From the Parts You Usually Throw Away
Please check your local growing zone before attempting to grow any of these foods.
Before you throw that core out, you might want to save the seeds from it. All you have to do is dry the seeds and then plant them in soil. We suggest planting many of the seeds since apple trees prefer growing in orchards.
We know from experience that sprouting an avocado tree from the pit is difficult and requires lots of patience, but it can be done. Suspend the pit in a glass of water, using toothpicks to hold it up. You should place it somewhere warm but not in direct sunlight. Wait several weeks for roots to form and a stem to sprout. Once the stem is about 6 inches tall, cut the top half off and wait for leaves to grow. After that, transfer the sprout to soil.
Basil can be regrown from a single stem. As long as the stem is at least 4 inches long and has some leaves on it, all you have to do is put it in a glass of water with the leaves above the water; then place it in a bright place that isn’t too sunny, and wait for roots to appear. As soon as the roots are a couple inches long, you can transfer it to soil.
Beans are one of the easiest foods on this list to grow. Simply rinse your store bought dried beans of choice and then place them in a jar full of water with a screen over the top. Let them soak for about 8 to 12 hours and they will begin to sprout and grow. Once they have sprouted, you can eat the sprouts or plant them in soil. It’s best to grow bean plants during the summer.
#5. Bok Choy
Take the stump of your bok choy and place it in a glass of water with the top sticking out. Leave it in a sunny place and change the water every day. Within a week or two, new leaves will sprout, at which point you can transfer it to soil.
Same process as bok choy.
You can regrow carrots from the tops you would normally discard. Simply soak the tops in a shallow dish of water for about one week. Once roots begin to form on the bottom, you can transfer them to soil. You can also eat the greens that grow from the tops.
Celery can be regrown from the butt of its stalks. Simply soak in water in a sunny place until new leaves and roots form, then transfer to soil.
Most of us spit our cherry pits into the garbage, but any one of those pits could make a new cherry tree. The process is not as quick or simple as other plants on this list, but it can be done. All you have to do is clean the pit and plant it in a bucket of soil with a lid on it. The bucket needs to be kept in a cold place for the seeds to germinate, so if it’s not cold outside, you should keep it in a fridge. After about 12 weeks, the seeds will germinate and you can transfer them to their permanent location. In a few years, with proper care, you’ll have a small orchard of cherry trees.
Chestnuts have a reputation for being an easy nut tree to grow. The next time you buy a bag, save a few to plant. It’s important that you choose a chestnut native to your growing zone, and that you plant at least a few of them for cross pollination. The nuts (seeds) should be very dry before planting, and should be stored in a fridge.
Same process as basil.
The pits inside of the dates you buy from the store can be sprouted in to seedlings that will grow in to date palm trees. Clean the pits and soak them in water for one week, changing the water daily. Transfer to a moistened paper towel in a ziplock bag and store in a warm place. Change the paper towel if you see any mold spots forming. Once the seeds have sprouted, they can be transferred to soil.
As long as the base of your fennel has some roots on it, you can regrow it. Just place the base in a cup of water, leave it in a sunny spot, and wait for new leaves to grow. After that, transfer the plant to soil.
One single clove of garlic can grow a whole new head. Try to find a clove that already has a tiny green sprout growing from the tip. Place that clove in a shot glass of water and set it near a window. In a few days, new roots will form and greens will grow from the top. You can eat the greens or transfer the plant to soil to grow a new head. Growing a new head, however, will take many months.
A healthy ginger rhizome, or “finger,” can be used to grow a new ginger plant that will produce more rhizomes – the part we eat and grind into spices. The key to doing this successfully is finding a meaty finger that already has a green sprout or two growing from it. The growth of these sprouts can be stimulated by soaking the rhizome in warm water overnight and then setting them on a bed of sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. Eventually, leaves will develop on the sprouts, and then the rhizome can be potted in soil.
If you’re lucky enough to already have one hazelnut tree, you can easily grow more from the nuts (seeds), whether they came from your tree or the store. When the nuts are dry, plant them in fertile soil near another hazel tree, and in a few years you’ll have more.
Kale can be regrown from a single stem. Select a nice, thick stem with some leaves on it; trim off any side stems; cut the bottom of the main stem off at a 45º angle just below a node; then plant the stem in moist, sandy soil.
Place the root-end of your leek stem in water, set near a window, change the water daily, and wait for new leaves to grow.
Lemon trees are a fairly easy citrus tree to grow. Clean and dry the seeds from your store bought lemon, plant them in rich soil, water them, and let nature do its thing. In a few years, you’ll have trees that produce lemons.
Similar process to leeks. After a few weeks of soaking in water, transfer the stalks to soil.
Same process as bok choy and cabbage.
Same process as lemons.
The next time you have a great mango, save the pit and try to sprout it. Simply clean the pit and place in a warm, moist place. Wait for sprouts to appear, then cut off all but one. It is said the smallest sprout produces the best fruit. Plant the seedling in fertile soil, then wait a few years for it to grow into a tree.
Mushrooms of all varieties can be regrown from their stems, though good results can’t be guaranteed. Remove the cap from your favorite mushroom and plant the stem in moistened soil. In a few days, the cap will either begin to regrow, or the stem will rot. You’re best off planting several stems to ensure a higher success rate.
Dry out the pits from your nectarines and plant them in fertile soil that gets lots of sunlight. In a few years, you’ll have trees that produce more nectarines.
Same process as nectarines.
The seeds we normally remove and discard from peppers before eating them can be planted to grow new pepper plants. Pepper plants like warm and sunny places, and grow relatively quickly with little care. No matter what your favorite pepper is, save the seeds and try growing some.
The tops of your pineapples can be used to grow new plants. Simply cut off the top about 2 inches below the leaves and trim off some of the bottom leaves. Let the tops dry out for a few days, then plant them in soil and water them thoroughly – water works, too, but most people have better luck with soil. After a couple of months, the tops will have formed a new root system, at which point they can be transplanted or left where there are. In a few years, the plants will produce pineapples.
Same process as nectarines and peaches.
No matter the type of potato, a new potato plant can be grown from a single spud. All you have to do is store the potato in a cool, dry place until it grows “eyes,” which are the early stage of the potato’s roots. Once the potato has an eye or two on it, it can be planted in soil. Potatoes prefer damp, mucky soil, full sunlight, and lots of compost.
Pumpkins can be regrown two ways: from the seeds or the entire pumpkin. To grow more pumpkins from the seeds, simply spread out the seeds on the ground in a sunny spot, and then cover them with soil. To regrow from the pumpkin itself, scoop out the guts, fill it with soil, and burry it.
#32. Sweet Potatoes
Same process as other potatoes. Note: sweet potatoes should not be confused with yams, which are a botanically different plant.
The next time you slice open a plump tomato, save the seeds and dry them out. You can then plant them in potting soil, grow them indoors until the seedling reaches a few inches high, and then transplant them to your outdoor garden. Make sure they get plenty of sunlight, and water them a few times per week.
To regrow turnips, simply cut off the top of one, place it in a container of water, and wait a few days for new leaves and roots to emerge. After that, you can transplant it to soil.
Same process as ginger.
Are there any foods not on this list that you’ve had success regrowing? Let us know!