Have you ever prepared one of your culinary specialties and cringed at the number of kitchen scrap herbs you discarded? If you regularly use fresh herbs, regrowing herb plants from these leftovers makes good economic sense. It’s not hard to do once you learn how to regrow herbs from scraps.
Regrow Herbs from Cuttings
Root propagation from stem cuttings is a tried and true method for regrowing herb plants. Simply snip off the top 3 to 4 inches (8-10 cm.) from the fresh stems of discarded kitchen scrap herbs. Leave the first two sets of leaves at the top (growing end) of each stem but remove the lower leaves.
Next, place the stems in a cylindrical container of fresh water. (Use distilled or spring water if your tap water is treated.) When regrowing herb plants using stem cuttings, be sure the water level covers at least one set of leaf nodes. (The area where the lower leaves had been attached to the stem.) The upper leaves should remain above the water line.
Place the container in a bright location. Most herbs prefer six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so a southern-facing windowsill works perfectly. Change the water every few days to keep algae from growing. Depending upon the type of herb, it can take up to several weeks for the kitchen scrap herbs to send out new roots.
Wait until these new roots are at least one inch (2.5 cm.) long and begin to send out branch rootlets before planting the herbs in soil. Use a quality potting mix or soilless medium and a planter with adequate drainage holes.
When choosing herbs that regrow from cuttings, select from these culinary favorites:
Herbs that Regrow from the Root
Herbs which grow from a bulbous root don’t propagate very successfully from stem-cuttings. Instead, purchase these herbs with the root bulb intact. When you trim the tops off these herbs to season your cooking, be sure to leave 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm.) of foliage intact.
The roots can be replanted in a quality potting mix, soilless medium, or in a glass of water. The foliage will regrow and provide a second harvest from these kitchen scrap herbs:
Now that you know how to regrow herbs from scraps, you’ll never need to be without fresh culinary herbs again!