10 Kinds of Kitchen Leftovers You Can Grow as Plants

Start your own vegetable garden.

PHOTO BY Pexels/Kristina Paukshtite ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) DIY plant kits are the easiest way to get started on gardening, which most of us have probably picked up now that we’re all stuck at home. But just in case you have a small patch of land in your backyard (or even old gallon containers of ice cream you could turn into pots), your kitchen has everything you need for your very own vegetable garden—from that half an onion to a dried-up piece of red chili in your fridge.

Also read:
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Check out these table scraps you can regrow instead of throwing them away:

Ginger

If you’ve got ginger that's just about to start to dry up in your cupboard, then you might see buds growing out of it. You can either dunk it in a bowl of water or wrap it in a damp cloth or paper towel until you see shoots and roots from the small buds. When the largest shoot is about two inches long, you can plant the sprouted ginger root in a potting mix.

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Garlic

Separate your days-old garlic into cloves and dunk them—roots down—in a cup of water. A week later, green stems should sprout from each clove; then just plant the cloves in soil.

Green onion

Instead of throwing away the unused root part of your green onion, leave the stalk in a glass of water and wait for it to regrow. Chop it up as garnish for your food.

Onion

You can also regrow a whole onion from an onion bulb that would otherwise be discarded. Just put the bottom part in a bowl of water for three days, which is enough time for small roots to stick out. Plant this with roots down in a pot of soil.

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Carrot greens

Instead of disposing the top part of your carrot after cooking, put it in a bowl of water to regrow carrot greens. You can transplant them in soil to have longer stems, but water’s just fine, too. Use your carrot greens to make pesto, chimichurri, or vegetable broth.

Potato

Leave an extra whole potato alone for four weeks, which gives it enough time to sprout (a.k.a. the chitting process). Cut the potato into sections with one sprout in each part, then plant it deep in a pot of soil.

Celery

Chop off the bottom of a celery stalk and place it in a glass or bowl of water. You can use sticks so that only the bottom part is submerged. Store it in a sunny place, preferably getting some natural light about six hours a day. Make sure that you replenish the water every two to three days. You can replant it once the stalk is tall enough.

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Cabbage

Instead of throwing away the bottom part of a cabbage, place it in a bowl with a bit of water. Put this by your windowsill and spray the leaves with water twice a week. When roots start to appear, you can transplant your cabbage in soil.

Pepper

Collect the seeds from dried up hot chili in your cupboard or fridge, then plant them in a potting soil. They don't require a lot of care and grow relatively fast. You can also try the paper towel method, where you place the seeds in between wet paper towels and wait until the seeds sprout before putting them in soil.

Monggo

You've probably dealt with regrowing munggo (or mung beans) as a child for science class, and the process is still the same. Just dump lots of monggo on a wet paper towel in a tray or bowl. Bean sprouts are great additions to salad, spring rolls, pad thai, and fried rice.

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