Regrow Leeks – from root ends!

two leek root ends in a bowl of water on a windowsill

This winter I have taken leeks to regrow from root ends! Normally, these scraps go to the compost heap. I have had great success in regrowing spring onions from their root ends and some promising growth from celery scraps too! So I am hoping for a similar adventure with the leeks this season.

Leeks are so delicious in winter as they are in season! I love cooking with them as they lend a sweet taste once lightly sauteed. Leeks form the base of many of my sauces, so instead of using onions I use leeks. On this occasion therefore, I took these two leeks that I bought and sliced the green leaves to cook with.

How to regrow leeks from root ends

I left the bottom white root ends to try to regrow the leeks.

two leeks sliced into thin rings on a wooden board
Leeks sliced for cooking leaving the root ends intact

Then I placed these two ends in a shallow bowl of water on the windowsill. The water in the bowl gets changed every 2-3 days to be refreshed. These root ends are great to watch when you are washing the dishes and a pretty addition to the windowsill in winter!

Two root ends of leek upright in a glass bowl of water
Leek ends in a bowl of clean water

After a couple of weeks, there is obvious growth as you can see in the picture below. The leeks have begun to regrow, with their green leaves growing upwards. In the water, you can see longer roots appearing on the bottom ends of the leeks.

two ends of leek in a shallow glass bowl of water on a windowsill
Green leaves of the leeks are growing upwards

This is so exciting that I am now considering planting these leeks in compost. As these leeks are developing longer roots, it is likely they will continue to thrive. I am hoping that they will grow stronger so that I can keep cutting the green tops for my cooking. This is what I do with my spring onions and they have been regrowing very well.

My next vegetable is probably going to be the onions as I use lots in my cooking. I have seen that this could work really well as shown in this regrowing onions post.

Inspired to regrow leeks, spring onions or other vegetables from root ends? Have a go, you have nothing to lose and it is fun watching them regrow! A great way to begin indoor windowsill gardening and also reducing waste!

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Growing Beans – Tips for Success

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8 Replies to “Regrow Leeks – from root ends!”

  1. Hi
    I’ve tried to do that and they grew in water really well. I then proceeded to pot them and left them on my balcony (yesterday) and now the leaves are all droopy 🙁
    Would you happen to have a clue why?

    1. Hi Raina, Did the leaves droop after they were potted up or before?

      1. I’m having the same issue

        1. It may be that they are not thriving and possibly rotting. Try again with another leek and see if you are more successful!

  2. I have found this to be true of a number of herbs – they either thrive in water or if moved to a new pot, wilt and die. This happens with Basil – beautiful when I take it home but can’t last more than a week. Scallions seem to thrive in water really well for three-four weeks and then they wilt.

    I can’t complain, I do get more out of them for the month but wish I knew the secret to keep them alive for longer.

    1. Hi Andrew! Watering is key – if you under water, over water or are inconsistent with keeping the compost moist then you will have this problem. When you buy a pot of basil from the shops, my advice is to split the plants into three or four pots with new multipurpose compost. This will give them nutrients and the space to thrive. Most herbs in shops are commercially raised and not necessarily with a view to last long. Scallions sound good if they are lasting 4 weeks, especially as the water does not provide them with any nutrients. It might be better to pot them up with new multipurpose compost too. Hope this helps!

  3. I don’t start spring onions or leeks in water, I plant them directly into soil, cover them and they grow. When I harvest them I don’t pull them out of the soil, I clip them at the level of the soil and they continue to grow.

    1. Hi Susan, that’s a good idea and thank you for sharing it! I would love to do the same but the soil outside tends to be frozen or too cold to plant in winter …

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