10 foods you can regrow in water

Gardening doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think. It actually can be as simple as putting a stalk of lettuce in water and letting it grow, with very little effort aside from that. If you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetables but you don’t have room in your yard (or any spare time, can we get an amen?), read on to find out which vegetables you can grow right in your kitchen using only water!

If you thought growing your own food was a time consuming and complicated process, guess again! There’s a minimal-effort way to grow healthy foods in your own kitchen and we’re here to tell you how. But first, let’s answer ‘why?’

Why you should regrow food in water

it’s easy

It takes little effort to regrow food in water. You literally put the root end of the vegetable in water and let it do its thing. That’s it. You don’t have to spend time or hard work tilling soil, pulling weeds, or protecting it against the elements or animals that may want to have your veggies as a snack. You can have all the benefits of having a vegetable garden with little to no effort.

it’s organic

If you’re growing your own food, you know exactly what you’re getting. You don’t have to worry about where it came from, what type of chemicals it was sprayed with, how fresh it really is, or any other mysteries that come with buying food from the grocery store. You have total control over where and how you grow it, so you can feel confident when it comes to feeding your family.

it’s free

Regrowing foods means you aren’t spending money at the grocery store. In addition to trimming your bill, you can spend less time in the produce section because you already have what you need right in your kitchen. Isn’t that all we really want in life— less time at the grocery store? Yes, please!

you don’t need a yard

If you don’t have a yard, you probably never even considered having a garden. Growing food in your house is as easy as ever using jars and bowls on windowsills, or anywhere you have space. You could make a DIY project out of it if you really wanted to designate a space for all your veggies, but it isn’t necessary. A little space is all you need to regrow foods in water!

things to know

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Here are some general guidelines, tips for success and things to know when it comes to regrowing food in water.

Use a small amount of water

Using too much water might cause the food to get moldy and slimy. A general rule is .5” of water— enough for the food to grow, but not so much that it will create a gross slimy mess.


Be sure you’re using the size of containers that make sense for the food you are growing. Generally, foods need shallow water, so a shallow dish or bowl will work. Things like green onion and lemon grass will do ok in tall, skinny glasses.

Check water

Check the water levels every other day or so. You want to make sure that the plant has enough to drink, and that the water still looks clear. If it starts looking questionable, dump it out and get new water.

Don’t overcrowd your bowls

If you have 2 or 3 pieces of romaine lettuce, you can put them all in the same bowl as long as you don’t overcrowd them. If they aren’t properly ventilated, they could get moldy and then your romaine will be ruined.

Place them near light

The plants will grow stronger if they are in front of sunlight, as opposed to a dark room with no natural light. Try to find a place near a window, or on a windowsill, ideally, so the plants can thrive.

Bok Choy

Cut off the bottom of the stalk and place it in a shallow bowl. It only takes 1-2 days to see new growth from the center. In as little as a week, you will see significant growth!


In a shallow bowl, place the root end of the cabbage in the water. It will regrow from the center. To get the best flavor, harvest the cabbage when it’s on the smaller side.

Carrot greens

Unfortunately you can’t regrow carrots, but you can grow the tops by placing the cut off top in a shallow bowl of water. Carrot greens are great for salads!


Place a 2” stalk of celery into a shallow bowl of water. In 3-4 days, you will see new growth from the center. It’s a good idea to regrow a few stalks at a time, because it takes a while for a full stalk to grow. You can let one or two grow to full size, while using the other to flavor dishes. You can also dehydrate the leaves and make celery powder out of it.


While ensuring the roots are still intact, place a 1” piece of the base in a shallow bowl of water.

Garlic Chives

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Garlic chives are the green part that grows from a clove of garlic. Recipes that call for green onion can be substituted for garlic chives. Place a garlic clove in a small cup and add water on the bottom, being careful not to submerge the garlic. In a few days, the roots will appear, and a few days later you will have shoots.

Tip: Garlic loses its flavor when the shoots grow, so if you have a random clove starting to shoot, save it by regrowing it for the shoots, instead of tossing it.

Green onion

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Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. Just cut off the root end of your onion, with roots intact, can be placed in water in a shallow bowl.


Place a 2-3” stalk in a small cup of water and watch the center of the plant will grow first. Usually the green part is used for cooking, but its mellow flavor can be a great substitute for onions.


Place a 2-3” piece of the base in a tall container filled with 1/2” of water. New growth will come from the center in a short time.


Cut off the bottom of the head of lettuce and place it in a small bowl of water. In as little as 3 days you will see new growth from the center. In as little as two weeks, you will have a new half-head of lettuce!

In addition to these plants that grow in just water, you can also regrow these in water, then transplant them to dirt for full growth:

Now that you know how to regrow foods in water, are you inspired to start your own garden in your kitchen? All you need is sunshine, water, shallow bowls and leftover vegetable ends and you’ll be good to go!

Before you go, be sure to check out our post on 9 House Plants You Won’t Kill.

Photo credits: Kristen Love

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