Students will observe how some plants can re-grow from scraps.
Estimated Time30 minutes to propagate, 2-3 weeks to grow
Setting RequiredIndoor Classroom
- S1L1c. Students will identify the parts of a plant: root, stem, leaf, and flower.
- A selection of kitchen scraps
- Doable: scallions (roots), garlic (cloves), lettuce (bottom of head), carrot (tops), basil (cuttings)
- Feasible: lemongrass (roots), celery (bottom), onions (root end), bok choy (bottom)
- Challenging: avocado (pit), sweet potato, ginger (roots), pineapple (crown)
- Containers for planting
Some plants can regrow from just their kitchen scraps. Set up a few examples of different plants that can regrow themselves for students to observe.
- Celery, bok choy, romaine lettuce and cabbage all re-grow from the root end. Just place the whitish root end in a shallow bowl of water, cut side up. Do not cover top of plant part with water (though it is helpful to mist the top).
- Garlic, ginger, and onions can re-grow if the root portion is placed directly in nutrient-rich soil (such as soil enriched with compost).
- Carrot tops can regrow, after cutting the carrot off and setting the top in shallow water.
- Basil and other herbs can regrow from cuttings placed in water, with bottom leaves pulled off.
- Pineapples re-grow in soil from the leafy top, as long as no fruit remains attached.
- Potatoes with eyes, as well as top and bottom halves of sweet potatoes, can be re-grown if placed in shallow water or covered in soil, (though many non-organic plants are treated to stop them from sprouting). After cutting potatoes into sections that include several eyes (or cutting sweet potatoes in half across the middle), let the cut sides harden or “cure” for a day or two before placing in shallow water or soil. After sweet potato “slips” with leaves form, twist off the slips and root them in water before planting them in soil.