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Saucer veg


With a little time and patience there are vegetables that you can re-grow again and again from kitchen scraps!

  • Estimated time: 15 minutes
  • Location: Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Science

Learning objectives

  • Observe growth and change over time
  • Show care for a living thing
  • Discover plant requirements for growth
  • Grow a whole plant from a small part


Collect the discarded vegetable tops of carrots, parsnips, beetroot and turnips - they don't need to have any green growth but do need to have the part where the leaves came from, at the top.

Chives and leeks are other examples of plants you can easily grow from the 'base' in the same way as celery.


  • Discarded vegetable scraps
  • Saucers or jam jars
  • Sunny windowsill

What next?

If you are successful in growing some green leaves you could then put the plants into a pot of soil. Depending on the time of year, grow them outside and you may be lucky and see your plant flower!

In a saucer on a sunny windowsill you can expect to see some green, leafy growth. Tap roots such as carrots, beetroot and parsnips will not re-grow.


Step by step

  1. Grow celery! Cut the celery base about 5cm from the stalks
  2. Stand the celery base in a deep saucer or jam jar of water
  3. After a few days to a week leaves will begin to appear from the top and thin roots from the bottom
  4. Now it's time to plant the celery stump into a pot of soil
  5. Bury the stump up to the new leaves - none of the original stalk should be visible - just the new growth poking through the soil
  6. Keep the plant well watered
  7. When the new stalks start to grow, cut the top and bottom off a 2 litre drink bottle and place the cylinder around the plant to make a mini greenhouse

Hints & tips

  • Carrots are one of the easiest plants to grow from a discarded top
  • Stand the carrot tops in a saucer of water, add/refresh the water every few days and you'll soon have some pretty, fern like foliage
  • If you allow your carrots to flower you can then see the full life-cycle of the plant and discover where the tiny seeds are developing

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