How to Regrow Lettuce From Scraps

Waste not! Make the most of lettuce by regrowing it from its stem.

Lettuce scraps regrowing by window
Photo: loonara/Getty Images

Looking for a fun kitchen experiment and an easy way to reduce waste? This method for regrowing lettuce from its stem allows you to keep the fresh lettuce coming long after you purchased it. You can also achieve similar results with green onions and celery. The best part is, it doesn't require any special supplies.

This method works best with romaine, however you can try it with any type of lettuce you have on hand. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to easily regrow lettuce from scraps.

How to Regrow Lettuce From Scraps Step-by-Step

Here's what you'll need:

  • The stem end of the lettuce (romaine works best but any lettuce will do)
  • A small shallow bowl
  • Water
  • A window sill or indoor grow lights
  • A pot with a drainage hole (optional)
  • Potting soil (optional)


  1. Start by cutting your purchased lettuce about 1-2 inch from the bottom.
  2. Place the stem-end in a shallow dish with about half an inch of water or just enough to keep the stem-end submerged.
  3. Place the dish on a windowsill or under grow lights. Change the water every one to two days so the edges don't get soggy.
  4. Hopefully at this point you will begin to see your lettuce grow, although results may vary. After 10-12 days the lettuce will be about as big as it's going to get. It's not going to look like a full head of lettuce, but it will be enough for a small salad or sandwich.
  5. At this point you can either attempt to regrow from the same plant or you can pot your plant to continue the growth. Once the roots are developed, lettuce does better in soil than in water, as water doesn't contain any nutrients needed for the plant to grow to its full size.

The Bottom Line

Don't be discouraged if you don't see results on your first try. Not every lettuce will work perfectly. Some might bolt (meaning they go to seed) while others may grow quickly and wither away quickly. Consider this a fun experiment and an attempt to save money and reduce waste.

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