Did you know that many fruits and vegetables can regrow from their leftovers?
Vegetative multiplication of plants allows some plants to reproduce without needing to be pollinated (called non-sexual reproduction). The scientific, “plant biogenesis”, gives plants identical in terms of genetics, whereby a small piece of the vegetable in question gives birth to a new plant. The goal is not necessarily to grow the entire plant, but to get at least a part of the plant that is consumed.
The vegetative propagation of vegetables can be reproduced endlessly, takes up little space, and is great fun and educational for children. It is an anti-waste, zero waste and economical option to buying your vegetables each time from the supermarket.
Garlic sprouts quickly in the kitchen, or can get old and a little soft, and unattractive. At this point just plant the pods in potting soil, 2 or 3 cm deep, taking care to bury them with the pointed end upwards. Fill the holes with a little potting soil then water once a week. It is advisable to place the pot in the sun.
The germs, which have become stems, will lengthen. You can cut them as soon as they measure about ten cm’s, while making sure to keep about 3 cm of stem so that the growth continues. The stem is a bit thick but tastes delicious when sliced and sautéed with other veggies, with a good garlic flavor, but sweeter.
They will eventually dry out after a few months. You can then collect the cloves which will have each formed a new head of garlic.
Another option is to put the pods in water, tip up. The pod should not be completely in the water, only the bottom. This water will need to be replaced every 2 days to keep it clean. Place in a bright place, such as the edge of a window. Once the stems are about 3cm tall and the roots are out, you can put your garlic in the ground.
If you keep your shallots a little too long, you will see them sprout. Put them in water, with the roots down, for a few hours, then put them in a pot. With regular watering and light you will quickly have beautiful stems of shallots that you can cut if necessary to decorate scrambled eggs, salads, quiches or soup. And a few months later, when the leaves are dry, you can harvest the shallot itself.
Avocados regrow very easily in water. Just clean the pit gently, and stick three or four toothpicks into it, evenly spaced about one-third of the way down from the pointy end. Sit the pit on a glass or watertight container, so that the toothpicks support it on the rim. Add enough water to cover the pit’s bottom half, and change the water regularly to keep it fresh. Once the pit has roots and a sprout, plant this into a pot with soil. Keep the top half of the pit above the soil line.
When using your onions, keep the bottom, 3 cm thick, on the side where the roots are, in a bit of water. You can also put a whole onion in the water if it has sprouted. In a few days, beautiful stems will have developed that you can soon harvest. They are used like the stems of shallots, chopped in a vegetable pie, in a vinaigrette, a soup . . .
Planted in a pot in potting soil, just wait several months to feast on new onions, at the end of summer if you have planted them in spring, in spring if you have planted them at the end of summer.
The leek can provide long leek greens if you plant the base (the white part) with its roots in water. Do not cut it too short, it is important to leave a few cm’s or it will not grow. To keep the leek in place, pierce it with a wooden spike, only the part that the roots will make must be in the water.
You will need to change the water every 2 days and rinse the bottom of the leek every week.
Keep a few lemongrass stems and put them in a glass of water, in the sun. You don’t have to put them whole, a few cm’s at the end is fine. They should be very green and still firm.
The stem will produce roots and grow back. Let it reach about 30 cm’s before trimming. It will continue to grow this way, but you can also plant the lemongrass in a pot once the roots have developed.
This exotic aromatic plant has a very fragrant, slightly lemony flavor, which goes wonderfully with rice and vegetables.
Have patience, as you’ll have to wait between 8 and 10 months to be able to harvest a new ginger root. Nevertheless, ginger is able to regrow from a small part of its root. Bury the ginger in a pot filled with potting soil and keep in a fairly dark place. You can also raise the pot and keep water in a saucer because ginger likes humidity.
Place the celery heart in a saucer of water, and a new branch will form very quickly, with roots. At this point plant the l in a pot and water regularly.
Lettuce can grow back from its core of about 2 inches which you should place in a glass of water, in a bright area. The water should reach roughly the middle of the core and keep the level here. It will take about 10 to 15 days for a lettuce core to grow roots and new leaves. Wait a few days before starting to harvest, so that the lettuce can get stronger.
Your new lettuce can be kept in water, or planted it in a pot and leaves removed as needed. One can do the same for romaine and other salads.
Like lettuce, Chinese cabbage needs its heart to create new leaves. Remember to change the water regularly.
Fennel shows young shoots very quickly , and even if it doesn’t, save the core and place this in a water base, in a bright place. New stems will form in no time.
A single piece of potato can give several potatoes. Even peels have this ability, if it is thick enough.
Pierce your piece of potato with a toothpick to keep it half submerged in a glass of water. Once roots and leaves appear, plant the tuber in a large pot, in a bag of potting soil or in a potato tower.
Carrots, Beet, Turnips
Keep the bottom of a carrot, beets and turnips, the part from which the tops came out, with a small thickness of flesh, and place these in a little water, in a bright place. Change the water regularly – it should always be clear. Roots and leaves will not take long to grow, and you can remove the tops if necessary to improve your soups. Pot planting is possible.
Coriander and Basil
Rather than throwing away the stems of these aromatic herbs, keep one or 2 leaves at the end of the larger ones (10 cm minimum), and put these in a glass of water. Change the water every couple days until roots form. You can then plant this in a pot, and keep in the sun.
Mint grows very easily from a stem, so long as there are a few leaves at the top. As soon as the roots measure 4 to 5 cm, plant your mint in a small pot.
Keep a few tails, mix these with coffee grounds, a little potting soil and a little compost. Pour this mixture into a container and find a dark place, relatively cool, and if possible humid. Spray the surface daily. The mycelium contained in the pieces of mushroom will give birth to new small mushrooms. Their culture is not the most obvious, and a few tests will be necessary to arrive at the result you’re happy with.
Save the top of pineapples, with the leaves. These should still be very green – if they are dry it will not grow. The pineapple shouldn’t be overripe either, so if that’s how you prefer, cut off the leafy part and place the rest in the fridge, wrapped in cling film.
Place this section, leaves up, in a water base, in the light. The leaves should not be submerged. After about 1 month, the leaves will dry out, but they will be replaced by new small leaves. At the same time, the base will develop roots. You can then plant your pineapple in a pot after removing its dry leaves. Repot the pineapple plant as it grows. A fruit will eventually form, after about 3 years of patience and if the conditions are right. At worst you will have a beautiful houseplant!