How to Regrow Lettuce

Don’t throw away those lettuce scraps! We’ll show you how to regrow romaine lettuce from the stem, using only a container of water. It’s easy and it works!

If you want to save money on your groceries, one of the best ways to do this is by regrowing your own lettuce from vegetable scraps!

Like many vegetables, many types of lettuce can be easily regrown from the stems! All you need is the lettuce head, a container, and water — and you’re ready to get started!

What Types of Lettuce Can be Regrown from the Stalk?

I love planting lettuce in my garden because I can pull off a few leaves when I need them and the plant keeps growing.

You can also regrow lettuce from a head of lettuce that’s already been harvested from the ground. This method works best with romaine lettuce, and this is what we’ll show you here.

You could also try this with iceberg lettuce and other similar varieties. You are specifically looking for any type of lettuce that will stay intact as a head rather than individual leaves or a bunch. So this won’t work for leaf lettuce, etc.

How to Regrow Romaine Lettuce in Water

When you are going to use your lettuce, cut off the bottom just like you normally would. You will want to leave at least two inches of your base to ensure that you have enough to grow a new lettuce plant. However, if you don’t have a longer base, you can still make it work!

cutting the base off a head of romaine lettuce

Remove any of the loose, leafy pieces on the outer edge of the stem.

regrowing a head of romaine lettuce in a dish of water

If using a small container and your lettuce stays upright on its own, you can simply add water. You’ll want to add enough water that it reaches halfway up the stem.

If your container is larger or your lettuce tips over, stick three toothpicks into your lettuce head at even intervals, about halfway up the plant. Use these toothpicks like a a tripod stand and set them on the edge of your container to keep your plant stable. Now you can add water.

Place your plant on a windowsill or even outside on your porch — somewhere that it can get plenty of sunlight. You’ll notice new growth within a few days!

regrowing a head of romaine lettuce in a jar of water

Why is My Lettuce Turning Mushy?

One of the main issues you might run into is that the lettuce begins to turn mushy or moldy…and then it stops growing altogether.

While this is almost inevitable in the long run, there are a few ways to extend the growing life of your lettuce.

  • Remove any of the leafy portions that you can without cutting into the main stem of your lettuce plant. If you leave leafy portions on your lettuce, they will start to grow mold and rot, so don’t skip the step! The more stem that you have to work with, the more likely you’ll be able to grow new lettuce!
  • Change the water often, as soon as it starts to look murky. Dirty water will encourage mushiness and stunt the growth of your plant. Plus, it attracts fruit flies!
  • Don’t add too much water. If the water covers the entire plant, it will not grow well and turn mushy faster.

How Many Times Can You Regrow Romaine Lettuce?

The awesome thing about this method is that you can clip the leaves of your lettuce plant as needed, and your it will continue to grow more!

You won’t regrow a full sized plant, but you will be able to grow a handful of new leaves with this method. In my experience, it’s usually enough for a salad or a couple sandwiches.

I look at this as a way to extend the life and value from romaine that I purchase or otherwise grow. I can get maybe 50% more leaves out of the plant by regrowing in water.

When the plant stops growing or starts to turn mushy, I simply add it to my compost pile. Even more usefulness!

More Foods You Can Regrow

Also check out this awesome list of 15 Foods You Can Regrow from Scraps!

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