How to Regrow Bok Choy from Scraps

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.

A vertical image of a selection of different pak choi some whole and others sliced in half set on a dark wooden surface. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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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!

Here’s how:

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.

A close up horizontal image of a pair of scissors, a small glass bowl, and a leafy green vegetable set on a wooden chopping board.
Photo by Heather Buckner.

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.

A close up horizontal image of a small glass bowl with kitchen scraps of suspended above water using toothpicks, set on a wooden surface.

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.

A close up horizontal image of a small glass mason jar with kitchen scraps in water to regrow a new crop, set on a wooden surface pictured in bright sunshine.
Photo by Heather Buckner.

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.

A close up vertical image of a glass jar set on a wooden surface regrowing kitchen scraps of a leafy green vegetable.
Photo by Heather Buckner.

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.

A close up horizontal image of a small bok choy plant in a black container pictured in bright sunshine on a soft focus background.

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?

A close up horizontal image of bok choy scraps in water to regrow set on a windowsill.

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:

Photos by Heather Buckner © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

Photo of author
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!

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Eva Lillard
Eva Lillard (@guest_10949)
3 years ago

Yes! Just planted my propagated bok choy, it was amazing seeing the growth in 5-7 days.

Heather (@guest_11718)
3 years ago

Is it necessary to see root growth before planting in soil? My bok choy base has sprouted leaves from a few places, but it’s also rotting and starting to really stink! I’d love to get it in soil as soon as possible.

Shellz (@guest_29968)
Reply to  Heather Buckner
10 months ago

How do we prevent it from rotting? I see new growth in the middle but the sides rot fast, and in the end I had to throw the new baby growth away and the rotting has affected the inside 😭

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu(@allison-sidhu)
Reply to  Shellz
10 months ago

Changing the water often and suspending the base so it just touches the surface of the water rather than submerging any part of the crown or stems are your best options to prevent mold. But cuttings of this type are prone to rotting.

Donna (@guest_12418)
2 years ago

When you plant it , does it require full sun?

Michelle White
Michelle White (@guest_14912)
2 years ago

Help. I’ve done the above steps and planted in a large pot. I don’t over water. My plants were looking good but are now wilting and dying. What can I do to save them?

Yuqi (@guest_18137)
1 year ago

Hi, i tried to regrow bok choy cutting in water. After 3 days, some of the outer layers are soft and mushy, with some mould. What should i do? Should i peel the outer layer that are affected and continue putting it in the water? Thanks!

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu(@allison-sidhu)
Reply to  Yuqi
1 year ago

You may be able to peel away and discard the affected portions, but the best course of action would be to toss your cuttings and start over. Clean and sanitize the container, and change the water more frequently to inhibit mold growth.

Desiree (@guest_28431)
11 months ago

I put my bok choy in water about a week ago and it grew one stock and it’s flowering. Is this little guy going to work?