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Regrowing: Gemüse & Obst selbst nachwachsen lassen

Regrowing: let vegetables & fruit grow back themselves

Have you ever tried to grow a new plant from plant residue? No? Then you should definitely try the so-called regrowing and use leftovers sensibly! It is very easy to grow new plants from supposed kitchen waste. All you need is water, soil, fruit or vegetable waste, sunlight and of course a little patience. In the following article you will find out exactly how regrowing works and which types of fruit and vegetables are particularly suitable for it.

What is regrowing?

Regrowing simply means letting it grow back . With the right care, fruit and vegetable waste is breathed new life into it. Lettuce drinks and co. do not end up in the organic waste, but in a glass of water or a pot with soil. This allows them to grow again and serve as a mother plant for a new harvest. This method of breeding plants is not new. Hobby gardeners will know the process as vegetative propagation . Regrowing works because the individual plant cells are very adaptable. Under certain conditions, they can change in such a way that they form new roots and leaves. From this, the new plants emerge. We take advantage of this adaptability for regrowing.

This is how regrowing works

Basically, the regrowing process is very simple and does not require any special gardening skills. The easiest way is regrowing in a glass of water . To do this, cut the vegetable or fruit around two to five centimeters above the root and place the stalk in a glass filled with water . It is best to place the container next to a window so that the plant gets enough sunlight. After a few days you will be able to see the first leaves and shoots. After about two weeks, when the first roots have grown, you should put the plantlet in a pot with potting soil. With the nutrients from the soil, the plant will continue to grow and allow you to harvest again. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, should be planted directly in soil . Only then will they grow into new plants.

Proper care is crucial

To ensure that your regrowing project is a success and that your plants do not die or become moldy, there are a few things to consider.
water quality
If you decide on a type of vegetable that is grown in water, then you absolutely have to pay attention to the water quality. Change the water in which the plants are grown regularly. This will prevent the roots from getting moldy. You should also make sure that the water level is high enough so that the plants do not die of thirst.
In addition, the location of the plants is particularly important. Especially in the early days, the little plants need a lot of light and the right temperatures . Some varieties are more sensitive here than others. While many types of vegetables are not so picky, fruits in particular need a consistent, warm climate. For example, if you want to grow a tropical pineapple , you should keep the seedling in a warm and bright place . In this way, a new pineapple plant can grow from the pineapple stalk.
High quality soil
If you have decided to breed a type of vegetable that will be used in soil right away, then you should make sure that you use high-quality soil . This is equipped with enough nutrients so that the plant is well supplied. Also note the size of the plant container and water the plant sufficiently . The same applies if you transfer your plant to a pot after its first time in water.
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  • These fruits, vegetables, and herbs work well

    Not all vegetables and fruits are equally suitable for regrowing. Some strains are easy to regrow, while others are almost impossible. For example , root and leafy vegetables are relatively easy to grow. Leek plants, herbs and some types of fruit also succeed quite easily. Fruit vegetables, on the other hand, are usually unsuitable.
    Spring onions, leeks and celery
    The perfect introduction to the regrowing world is achieved with spring onions and conventional leeks. These are absolutely suitable for beginners , because basically you can't do much wrong and you can see the first successes after a short time. All you have to do is cut off the stalk a bit more generously and put it in a container with water with the root ends down. If you change the water regularly and the stalk gets enough sunlight, you will be able to see the first new shoots after a few days. Now the time has come to insert. Take the new plant out of the water bath and place it in a pot with fresh potting soil . Place the plant in a light spot and water it regularly. Then you will soon be able to enjoy your first harvest.
    Lettuce regrowing is just as successful. Romaine lettuce is particularly good . As with the spring onions, the stalk is cut off generously (the heart of the lettuce should remain on it) and placed in a container with water. When the first roots form, the lettuce is placed in a pot with nutrient-rich soil. After only a short time , the first fresh lettuce leaves grow.
    onions and garlic
    Onions and garlic need different conditions than lettuce and leeks to regrow. They need earth from the start to awaken to new life. To do this, place the generously cut stalk of the onion or the rest of the garlic clove in a pot with potting soil. Place the pot in a sunny spot and water the plants regularly, then the first harvest will not be long in coming.
    potatoes and sweet potato
    You can use sprouted potatoes for your regrowing project in the garden. Cut them in half and let them dry for a few days - this prevents mold. Then you can plant the potatoes a few centimeters deep in the ground with the sprouts facing upwards. A vegetable bed in the garden or a large planter are suitable for this. Make sure that the potatoes used are supplied with enough water and that the soil - especially at the beginning - is not too cold. After a few months you will be able to harvest the first potatoes. You can also regrow sweet potatoes using the same principle.

    Regrowing doesn't only work with vegetables - fruit types and even exotic ones like pineapples can also grow back. The procedure is largely the same.
    1. Cut the top of the leaves off a mid-ripe pineapple and remove the excess flesh and the bottom leaves.
    2. Dry the stalk in a warm place for a few days to prevent mold from forming on the cut surface .
    3. Then place the stalk, leaves up , in a bowl of water for a few weeks.
    4. After some time, the first roots will form. Then the time has come for insertion. The pineapple prefers a permeable and nutrient-poor mixture of soil and sand . It also needs an evenly warm place and plenty of sunlight to grow.
    It takes around three years for the pineapple to bear fruit for the first time. By then the plant will have grown quite a bit. During this time you can use the young pineapple as a decorative houseplant. Basically, growing a pineapple is not difficult, but it does take some time. With the right care, you get a beautiful houseplant that will even bear fruit after about three years. (c)
    If you are looking for an uncomplicated regrowing plant and can do without an edible harvest, you should try growing an avocado . To do this, clean the avocado pit under running water and insert three or four toothpicks into the pit . Fill a glass with water and place the prepared core so that the underside is submerged in the water . Change the water every day and make sure the bottom of the core is always in the water. After a few weeks you will see the first roots growing out of the core . At this time, the core should be planted in a flower pot. Over time, a small avocado plant will grow out of it. However, you have to do without fruits , because they hardly grow in our latitudes. The plant still looks chic and makes a good decorative houseplant.
    In addition to the various fruit and vegetable plants, some herbs are also good for regrowing . Most types of herbs, such as basil, rosemary or mint , form new roots if you place the shoot tips in a glass of water for around seven days. When the herbs have formed the first new roots, you can plant the cuttings. With some types of herbs, however, it is the existing roots that are interesting for regrowing. Herbs such as coriander and lemongrass are propagated from their root cuttings . To do this, shorten the cuttings to around five centimeters and place them in fresh water for a week. You will see that the root cuttings will soon get stronger and begin to grow. Then it's time to plant the herbs.

    These varieties are not suitable

    Vegetables that bear fruit above ground - the so-called fruit vegetables - are not suitable for regrowing. This includes:
    • eggplants
    • paprika
    • tomatoes
    • melons
    • pumpkins
    • cucumbers
    These varieties cannot be easily propagated with their stalk or shoots, which is why regrowing only works in the rarest of cases. For successful offspring, use leeks or leafy vegetables instead - the chances of success are significantly higher here.


    Regrowing is a great way to grow a new crop or decorative houseplants from stalks, roots and other leftover vegetables and fruit while minimizing food waste. If you want to start regrowing, we recommend starting with spring onions, lettuce and various herbs. With a little experience you can also try a pineapple plant or a small avocado tree. Give it a try and you'll soon be harvesting your home-grown vegetables!
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