Bok choy is one of my favorite leafy greens. A few crisp and juicy green leaves can really make a soup or stir fry feel complete!
Since it can be an expensive ingredient in comparison to other vegetables like cabbage, it tends to be a special treat in my household. So I was excited to learn that you can easily regrow it from a stalk.
Continue reading to learn a simple and fun technique for regrowing bok choy from a cutting.
Bok choy, also known as pak choi, is a quick-growing cruciferous veggie that is a staple ingredient in Chinese cuisine.
It is easy to grow, and thrives in cool weather. You can learn more about growing bok choy at home in our complete growing guide.
If you bought a bunch from the grocery store or farmers market you can easily repurpose the leftover stalk to grow your own!
All You Need Is a Bowl of Water
First, when you remove the greens from the stalk, be sure to leave a couple of inches intact at the base. For best results, cut at the place where the stem meets the leaves.
Next, fill a bowl with at least an inch or two of water. I find that a shallow bowl two to three inches deep works well.
Submerge the stalk in the water with the leaves face up and exposed to air. You can attach toothpicks around the outside of the base to prop it up on the edge of the bowl if you wish.
I have also had success using a narrow mouthed mason jar with the leaves hanging over the edge to keep the plant floating on the surface.
Place the bowl by a warm windowsill where the plant can receive some sunlight.
Change out the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.
Watch for Signs of Growth
After a few days, you will notice the outside of the plant starting to turn yellow. Soon, the center will start growing, becoming darker green over time.
You can lift the plant out of the water and inspect the underside for signs of root growth. You will first notice white bumps which is where the roots will sprout from, and after a week or so, roots will begin to appear.
Plant It in Some Soil
Once the center has developed new leafy growth and roots have appeared, you can choose to remove the bok choy from the water and plant it in a pot with some potting soil, or directly in the garden.
This step is not required, but doing so will give the plant the nutrients it needs to grow larger in size, and you may even be able to get two or three small harvests out of one plant.
Start by removing some of the yellowing outer stalks to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of mold. Next, plant the bok choy so that the roots and base are buried about an inch deep, with the top of the original cutting and any new growth above the soil surface.
Water generously and keep moist, but do not let the soil become waterlogged.
Now sit back and watch it grow!
You can begin to harvest the leaves as you need them, or cut down the whole plant once it has matured, in two to three months.
Don’t Trash Those Scraps!
The next time you pick up a bunch of bok choy, instead of tossing out the scraps, why not try regrowing them instead?
So simple and fun, there is really nothing to lose! Trust me, the whole family will enjoy watching those deep green leaves pop back up, seemingly like magic.
Have you ever regrown bok choy from a stalk? Share your experience in the comments below!
Did you know that you can grow lots of crops from scraps? You can learn more about other fruits and vegetables you can grow from kitchen remains in these guides:
- How to Regrow Lettuce from Scraps
- Growing Avocado Seeds: a Fun Project to Do with the Kids
- Grow Pineapple from Kitchen Scraps at Home
Photos by Heather Buckner © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.
About Heather Buckner
Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible!