Windowsill Gardening: Rooting Leeks and Scallions

There are so many plants out there that can be easily rooted in a glass of water on a windowsill. Think herbs, tubers, leafy greens, fruit, root vegetables, bulbs, basil, mint, lemongrass, horseradish, avocado, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrot tops, romaine, celery, ginger, garlic, scallions (green or spring onions) and leeks. – name just a few. Some plants will produce a plant for more for looks not consumption (e.g. sweet potato), others will regenerate themselves, like herbs and potatoes. With fruit, it really is more a matter of time – like waiting a couple years for an avocado or pineapple to grow a tree and then fruit. Carrots will continue to grow the green tops, which are great substitute for parsley, and pretty to look at.

My favorite is Rooting Leeks and Scallions

  • Make a recipe with leeks or scallions, like this great soup: Cock-a-leekie or buy some healthy looking leeks and green onions at the grocery store.
  • Save the bottom, bulb portion from your kitchen scrap pile, I trim off most of the green portion, so that the plant can focus its energy on sprouting roots, not feeding leaves.
  • Place in a glass or jar with about 1 to 1 ½ inch of clean room temperature tap water. Insert a toothpick to help it stand up in the water if you only have a few, or rubber band them together until the onions are tall enough to stand up in the jar.
  • Keep in the kitchen in a windowsill on a counter. You should start to see growth the next day!
  • Replace the water when it drops below 1 inch and/or change the water at least once weekly. It will get funky otherwise.
  • Use as you need it!
  • You can plant the rooted plants outside too, once the weather is better. I really recommend this method!

I also routinely bring home fresh herbs leftover from Vietnamese restaurant meal (wrap in napkin, slip in purse). Pinch off most of the leaves, trim the stalk so it is a fresh cut and place in water. You will have rooted herbs to replant in a week or two. I would love to see how you root food scraps so please share photos on the blog or Odds & Hens Facebook page. Don’t be afraid to experiment with rooting!

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