Sprouting Scallions from Roots


New York, NY—Love scallions as much as I do? I use them in everything from frittatas to Chinese medicinal soups, but I never knew that you could force the leaves to sprout again. While trolling Pinterest during the coldest hours of the polar vortex, I saw a post on regrowing spring onions from their roots hydroponically (thank you Homemade Serenity!).

Now this is my kind of project: it’s fairly hands-off, doesn’t require a lot of light (if any), and doesn’t take up a lot of space in our tiny galley kitchen.

To simplify, I’ll show you the growth cycle of a pair of supermarket organic spring onions that I grew right after using their leaves for a savory tonic chicken soup (I cut them down to 3″ stumps). All I did was place the stems in a half inch of water on the window sill and left them to their own devices.

Here are the scallions after a day and a half of growth. See the cut line?


Then, 3 days later:



You can see nearly 2.5 inches of growth on the largest one.

After another 8 days, I got these willowy beauties:



I was thrilled after less than 2 weeks that my scallions grew 10″-1 foot from the cut line. They were so long, they actually started to bend.

In terms of flavor, they’re quite spicy, although not as deeply flavorful as those that grow from soil. Perhaps if we had more light in our kitchen window…?

To get the fully cacophony of scalliony goodness in the first photo, just keep adding scallion stems to your jar. Clip the amount of scallions you need with your fingers or a pair of kitchen scissors.

I fill the jar with new water every 3 days—cleaning and rinsing the roots as necessary.


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