How To Grow Romaine Lettuce From Scraps – Step-By-Step Guideline

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If you’d like to make full use of the romaine you bought from the supermarket, let’s regrow it! You will not yield a huge harvest, but it’s a fun experiment using food scraps.

From, this article will show you how to grow romaine lettuce from scraps. Now, you can harvest something that you usually toss out by spending some water and a little time. What an affordable price! 

how to grow romaine lettuce indoors from scraps

Is It Worth To Grow Romaine Lettuce From Scraps?

Can you regrow romaine lettuce from scraps? Yes, but before digging your toes deeper, let’s take a look at the advantages and shortcomings of this method.


Once the veggie is cut, it can grow again by itself. It doesn’t matter what method you use for harvesting; the foliage can easily regrow from the leftover lettuce.

The lettuce stem will reach its peak after two weeks of planting, even if you just put it in fresh water. Without spending a lot of time and energy, you can have extra lettuce for your meal.

If you start with organic lettuce, you can get the organic green for a healthy diet. Just remember that it stops growing and even has flowers after two weeks, so you’d better harvest whatever you get.


You can not have a whole harvesting season when you regrow romaine lettuce. It develops quite fast but not a lot to satisfy your everyday needs.

It’s quite impossible to get the size and quality as the original grocery store purchases. Also, frozen veggies won’t work in this case because it probably doesn’t have the alive root system. 

You’d better use the leftover lettuce scraps from your garden or grow it from seed and compost it for the best quality of what you achieve. 

how to grow romaine lettuce from kitchen scraps

How To Grow Romaine Lettuce From Scraps?

Step By Step Instructions And Tips

Cut Off The Leaves From The Stem

Slide off the lettuce leaves from its base intact. You can try to regrow with the stems of a couple inches, but the ideal is a two-inch base.

Remove pieces of leaves from the stem without cutting them. These leafy portions can cause the plant to spoil easily. 

Starting with a proper stem to make sure your plant is growable. There are buds on your veggie stem that can help the plant revive. The more you work with the lettuce base, the more likely you will have more buds on the stem.  

Read more:  How To Know When Onions Are Ready To Harvest - Detailed Guide

Place The Stem In A Container

Choose a bowl or jar suitable for the size of the cut stem. It’s suggested to put it in a shallow dish so it will not be submerged too deep in a bowl of water.

Make some air circulation in the container to help your plants avoid rotten or mold. Your container should be able to hold the veggie and some water with balance.

If your bowl or jar is easy to tip over, you can put some clean rocks to weigh it down before filling it up. In case your stem is a little bit tall, you can use toothpicks to stick to three sides of the stem to make a stable tripod stand. 

Grow Lettuce In Water

The next step of how to grow romaine lettuce from kitchen scraps is adding the water to half of the lettuce stump. Make sure you don’t add too much water; otherwise, your veggie can be molded easily. Too little also does no good as the water will evaporate and will not be enough for your plan if you forget to water it.

Vitamins and minerals in water are nutrition for lettuce plants. You can use tap or filtered water; just make sure your water doesn’t contain salt; otherwise, the vegetable will wither and die.

Replace the water every other day. If you live in a dry and hot climate, spray the leaves once per day to give extra humidity.

how to grow romaine lettuce indoors from scraps

Provide Enough Sunlight

Put your jar on the sunny windowsill for some hours every day to avoid bitter taste and prevent mold. You’d better put it under grow lights but not full sun. The heat can scorch your plant, especially in hot areas.

When the weather is mild, you can put your jar outside. In this case, the water can evaporate easily, so watch out for it carefully.

Let The Leafy Plant Grow

Besides following the simple steps above, you just need to keep an eye on your veggie. You should see small green leaves start to grow after one or two days. If you don’t see the buds sprout after a couple of days or one week, you have no other way but to toss it and come back to the drawing board.

Should you spot mold on the stem, it’s time to throw it away. In case your plant is doing well, you can add some hydroponic fertilizer for better nutrition. Follow the using instructions carefully; your leafy plant can grow bigger, stronger, and tastier. 

Possible Results

There are different results of growing leftover romaine lettuce. Even when you try to replant the vegetable from different stems simultaneously, you can see them grow differently. Some may have more and bigger leaves than others. The texture of the leaves of each plant varies as well. 

Sometimes, your plant may not grow at all or die after a few days of growing. In another case, it may get bolted very fast, which means the leaves don’t fully grow so big, but the vegetables will have flowers and seeds. Or, there can be some brown spots on your veggie. You should cut around these strange particles and harvest the romaine heads immediately. 

Harvesting Time

You’ve learned how to grow romaine lettuce indoors from scraps; now it’s time for harvesting. Because the stems you use are stressed throughout harvesting and storing, and little water can not offer enough nutrition, the lettuce head can grow for a maximum of 12-15 days. Be happy with your yield and cut off the leaves before they are bitter or even turn blue.

Read more:  What Size Grow Bag For Tomatoes? Growing Tips For Your Tomatoes Garden!

You should also pluck the bolted vegetable quickly as it’s past its prime and goes to the end of its life cycle. You may see the plant with narrow growth leaves and a tall shoot in the middle, which means it’s going to flower and produce seeds. In this case, it makes no sense to wait longer but spin off the outer leaves.

In general, the leaves you can collect after replanting are bitter and smaller than what you buy from grocery stores or supermarkets. It’s because the regrown plant doesn’t have the proper structure of root to feed the whole plant, and only limited nutrition (water) is offered. Don’t be disappointed; what you get is worth it compared to the little time and effort you spend.

Can you regrow romaine lettuce from scraps


Why Can’t We Start Regrowing Romaine Lettuce From A New Head?

The answer here is it’s almost impossible to get the same quality of regrown veggie as the one developed from seeds in the garden. However, spending a small effort and some water to get extra leaves is a great deal. Regrowing vegetables from scraps can bring you healthy salad and be good for the environment.

Does Regrowing Lettuce Always Work?

You can not always achieve your expected results since they will differ each time you grow. The results depend on the quality of the lettuce roots, the way you care and water, and the environment. As mentioned above, your veggie may be unable to grow or grow then wither or have brown spots.

Final Words

Learning how to grow romaine lettuce from scraps is fun and worth your small effort and time. You just need to pay little attention to the water and let it grow; then, there are some extra edible leaves for your meal.

Regrowing vegetables helps stretch your purchased grocery products and save the environment as you make full use of kitchen scraps. Try and enjoy your second harvest of fresh vegetables!

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