To the onlooker, gardening may seem intimidating. Often, it feels safe to settle and get a houseplant that requires minimal care. However, using your fruit or vegetable scraps to grow plants is an easy method of indoor gardening and can even be done in the comforts of your dorm. While the process for re-growing differs for each plant, they are all relatively simple and each yield delicious produce! Not to mention you’ll be saving a few bucks on your grocery bill and taking a step towards sustainable living. Here’s how to give indoor growing a try:

cabbage, salad, vegetable, lettuce, lettuce head, basket
Caroline Ingalls


To re-grow your lettuce, you will need to fill a shallow dish with clean, cold water. Cut the roots off of the plant, with about one inch of the leaves intact. Submerge the roots in the water, but not the leaves. Place the dish in direct sunlight. Every few days, the water will need to be changed and the leaves of the lettuce can be gently misted with a spray bottle. The lettuce will begin to sprout new leaves after approximately one week. Maintain care of the lettuce until the new growth is sufficient to be planted in a pot. The soil should cover the original leaves and root, with only the sprouts visible. Your plant will want to remain in a sunny spot and be watered frequently. If you happen to have bok-choy or celery scraps, you can use this same method to re-grow them.

vegetable, carrot, pasture
Charlotte Hull


Similarly to growing lettuce, carrot can be sprouted by placing the top, as well as the greens, in a small shallow dish with water. The dish should be placed in direct sun and water should be changed every day. When the carrot tops sprout shoots, they can be changed to a box with soil. Unlike the lettuce, the original greens of the plant need to be above soil. Keep in direct sunlight. Keep in mind, the longer you wait to harvest your carrots-the bigger they will be!

vegetable, leek, spring onion, scallion, herb
Kate Zizmor


Arguably the easiest to regrow, green onion requires little instruction. Place the root ends of the onions in a jar with about one-two inches of water. It is helpful to leave a bit of the green sprout from the onion intact as well. Place the container with the onions on a windowsill and voila-the growing process begins. The onions can be cut with a scissor when needed for cooking. As long as the roots are submerged in water, they will continue to grow. If you are concerned about overgrowth and will not be using the onions frequently, consider cutting them every week or so.

garlic, condiment, vegetable, herb, relish, onion
Kristine Mahan


Garlic will grow best if you choose an old clove that has begun to sprout. These are the bright green shoots coming out of the side of the garlic. Peel the clove and plant in potting soil with the sprouted side up. Place in full sunlight and water enough that the soil remains moist. When the clove has matured, it will sprout green leaves that eventually shrivel. The browning of the leaves signifies that the garlic is ready for harvest. It can be taken out of the soil and cleaned. For about one week, the garlic must dried before cooking.

ginger, vegetable, galangal, herb
Tyra Wu


From a larger ginger root, remove a sizable chunk to be soaked in water overnight. The container does not need to be airtight. The next morning, place your ginger in moist soil, covering it loosely. Set the pot in indirect sunlight, watering daily and misting with a spray bottle every other day. Green shoots will appear after consistent watering. When ready to use the ginger, the whole plant can be taken out of the soil and the shoots discarded. Make sure to keep a piece of the ginger, as you can repeat the growing process after.

Don’t become discouraged if your first grow doesn’t work out perfectly. You can always try again, perhaps changing the location of your plant, or using a different size pot. I would recommend starting with the green onion, as it is the quickest and easiest of these plants.

Happy growing!