More Plant Science: Regrowing Vegetables from Scraps

Observing how some vegetables magically regrow from scraps is a fascinating plant science project you can do at home with the kids even if you don’t have a yard! The boys and I are watching a few items regrow (or not, in one case) in our small window greenhouse.

Introduce plant science to kids by regrowing vegetables indoors!

I remember growing vegetables from scraps in my elementary school classroom 35 years ago (don’t do the math, please). Then, in my college years I toted around a small indoor avocado tree I had grown from a pit. Of all the indoor gardening activities, it is one of the most satisfying. Garbage turns into stuff you can eat! Kind of cool, if you ask me. My older son enjoyed growing root veggies in his DIY see-through planter, but I think he may be liking this even more.

Fun plant science observations project for kids. Regrow veggies.

This is what it looks like now (including our coffee bean plant and a random succulent!). We started with celery and scallions, which should the most immediate results, and thus the best to lure kids into the magic. Cut the celery off near the base and the scallions just near the green line and sit the bottoms in water.

Later we added sweet potato and avocado. Both should be suspended in water using toothpicks.

The avocado pit is stalled, I think because the window is not warm and sunny enough yet. We’ll see. I’ll probably try a new one in a few weeks. I’ve had great success with avocado pits in the past.

Turn garbage into food with this fun indoor gardening activity for kids

The sweet potatoes are eeking along. We can see some teeny tiny roots and sprouts. Part of the fun of plant science with kids is pitting (pun) one plant against another and seeing which ones “win” the race to grow. That’s how we’re conducting our kitchen seed and bean race and it’s been part of the discussion with the boys about the veggie scraps, too.

There are lots of other veggies scraps you can grow in your window without ever touching a bag of soil. Check out these how-tos:

  • Carrot tops, parsnips, beets — any of these types of root veggies
  • Pineapple
  • Bok choy and romaine lettuce: just like celery

Have you ever regrown vegetable scraps? What is your favorite way to garden with kids? 

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    • Erica MomandKiddo says

      That’s just a plant my son brought home from a school field trip. I don’t actually think it will ever reach the point of producing coffee beans.

  1. says

    I love this idea. I did this last summer with a green onion from the garden. We had continuous green onions on the window sill for a while. I think I’ll try a sweet potato next.

  2. says

    I had no idea you could regrow so many different vegetables. What a fun science investigation for kids. Thanks so much for sharing in the Discover & Explore linky. I’m featuring this post today.

  3. Julie says

    If you use an organic sweet potato you will have better results. Traditionally grown potatoes are sprayed with a substance meant to prevent the eyes from sprouting. It could be a good side by side experiment.

    • Erica MomandKiddo says

      How interesting! That doesn’t surprise me at all! It would explain why my potatoes always sprout on my kitchen counter before I get a chance to eat them! We did, in fact use an organic sweet potato for this project. Since taking this photo it has sprouted a lovely vine. I love your idea of an experiment!

      • Sherry says

        After your sweet potato sprouts and grows a few inches tall, break off the sprout and put it into water. When the sprout grows root, you can then plant it in the ground and grow whole new sweet potatoes.

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