ATK Kids

Regrow Your Vegetables

Don’t throw away your scallion scraps or extra garlic cloves—use them to grow new veggies in just a few days.

Published Feb. 17, 2023.

Lots of recipes use scallions—tacos, stir-fries, nachos, salads, and more. Instead of throwing out the root ends you trim off, save them and use them to grow new scallion greens. 

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Before You Begin

For this activity, try to use scallions with roots that are ½ inch or longer—they will grow faster.


  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Scallions
  • Water
  • Tall drinking glass or Mason jar

Get Started!

1. Place scallions on cutting board. Cut off scallion greens, leaving roots, white bulb, and 2 to 3 inches light green part intact. Save scallion greens for another use.

2. Add about 2 inches water to drinking glass. Place scallion bulbs in water, root end down (top of light green part should be sticking out of water). Put glass in sunny location. 

3. Every day, discard water from glass and replace with fresh water.

Scallion greens already starting to regrow after just three days.

4. Watch your scallions grow! When scallion greens have grown 5 to 7 inches above white and light green parts (after about 1 week), use chef’s knife to remove new scallion greens, leaving roots, white bulb, and 2 to 3 inches light green part intact. Use in your favorite recipes. 

5. If desired, repeat steps 2 through 4 to regrow and harvest scallion greens again. You can regrow a single scallion 2 times.

Regrowing Garlic

If you have leftover garlic cloves, don’t throw them away! Instead, use them to grow garlic greens. Garlic greens taste similar to chives and scallions. You can use them the same way. Here’s how to do it:

  • Add ½ inch water to small glass or shallow container. 
  • Place leftover unpeeled garlic cloves in water with root end (the flat part) facing down.
  • Replace water daily.
  • When garlic greens are around 5 to 7 inches tall (after about 1 week), use chef’s knife to remove greens.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists

America’s Test Kitchen Kids brings delicious science to your kitchen! Over 70 kid-tested, kid-approved recipes and experiments teach young chefs about the fun and fascinating science of food.

How Does Your Scallion Garden Grow?

Scallions (sometimes called green onions) are part of a group of vegetables called alliums (“al-ee-ums”). They’re related to garlic, onions, chives, and leeks. The white part of the scallion grows underground and stores nutrients for the rest of the plant—the light and dark green parts— that grow above ground.

The scallion roots absorb water. That water, plus energy from the sun and nutrients stored in the scallion white, helps grow a new scallion green—fast. The greens can grow as much as 1 inch per day! A scallion white contains enough nutrients to regrow scallion greens two more times before the plant runs out of fuel. Just think, you’re getting three scallions for the price of one.


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