Peculiarities – Most Popular Post in 2012/Growing Romaine From a Stump

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No, you aren’t seeing things, this is not a stump of Romaine Lettuce growing in water, but it is a group of green onions regrowing. This is an idea I found in the comment section of my original post that spoke of regrowing Romaine Lettuce from a stump.

The original Romaine post was written and published in December of 2011. Since then it has been viewed hundreds, even thousands of times according to my site stats, and commented upon dozens of times. The original post can be found here: Original Romaine Regrowth Post

This year I wrote a recap of the post and gave a day to day view of a new stump growing on my windowsill. You can find the recap here: Recap Romaine Regrowth

Many of the people who commented on the original post also added a few tips of their own. Here are a few of my favorites:

From Alikina on 12/8/12

For those concerned about transplanting – most plants that do well with this re-rooting method (which is what you’re doing – the plant had roots at one point, the grower or the store cut them off, and it’s still living (if it weren’t the whole thing would either be very slimy or paper-dry), so it’s ready to re-grow roots. If you want to transplant to dirt, start it first in a dish of sand, potting moss, or vermiculite (from a garden-supply store), or a ‘rooting medium’, which is a mix of those ingredients, and keep it very moist. Then when you see leaves start to grow, transplant to your garden or to a pot of dirt. I haven’t tried this with lettuce yet (although I will now that I’ve read this!!), but I have with other plants. Some will grow, some won’t, depending on how recently they were picked.

For those worried about nutrients, the main nutrients in lettuce are formed by the plant from water and sunlight. If you keep growing the lettuce (or any plant) in water and want to be sure it’s getting all the nutrients it needs, or all the ones you’d want to eat, you can either make a fertilizing solution or buy one from a hydroponic gardening store. Google terms like ‘home-made hydroponic fertilizer’ or ‘hydroponic nutrients’. You can also just put safe, mineral-rich things in the growing water. A clean eggshell, for example, will slowly release calcium. A few coffee grounds or a used tea bag will have a lot of nutrients that didn’t make it into the brew – just don’t add too much or you’ll overwhelm your poor baby plant!

Amy 9/16/1

Great tip! We do the same with the bottom white part of a green onion with the roots still on. Stick it in the ground and the green part shoots up for another crop!

 

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Shannon 8/31/12

That’s really cool. If you are growing romaine in the garden you can also just harvest the outer leaves when you need salad greens and leave the plant intact in the ground to continue growing.

Libby 7/15/12

I am growing mine in a raised bed outside. I did nothing to them, just stuck them into the ground so that the root sections was firmly seated and within 2 days I had new leaves coming up. I have found it works with red cabbage, onions and celery also so far. I am going to be trying more “2nd” helpings as I get them.

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Barbielea 2/5/12

Thanks for this helpful tip. We keep tortoises and guinea pigs, and get through at least four romaine lettuces a week (its a nutritious staple for both). Will definitely try this out.

Davis 5/16/12

This is such a clever idea. Thanks for posting this! I’d heard about it with celery, but never with lettuce. I gave it a try, and it worked! My household has been completely entertained watching this little lettuce grow. (Okay, I’ll admit it…apparently we need to get out more.)

Thanks to everyone who has commented this year, those above, and the many who I did not have space to include. I appreciate each and every addition to my original post, and as you see from the photographs above, I have put into practice some of the advice in the comments too. Happy 2013 to all. Kathy

Peculiarities and Plants – Romaine Lettuce

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Romaine Lettuce is a favorite of mine in salads. I’ve also read it makes an Incredible and Delicious Smoothie.

The best and most amazing thing about lettuce, besides eating the tender green leaves, is the amazing fact that if the bottom of the stump is saved and placed in water, regeneration and new growth will occur. Above is a photograph of three romaine ‘stumps’ in various levels of regrowth. All I did to achieve this miracle was place each piece in a half inch of water, check the water level daily, and marvel as the stump began to grow anew.

I am growing the romaine in a basement window well, and that explains the VERY dirty window in the photo as it is below ground level. The setting for the lettuce doesn’t look nice, but it creates the perfect environment for regrowing leafy greens…cool and bright all day. Experiment yourself with this method the next time you have a head of lettuce with the stem still intact. You have nothing to lose and a free harvest of lettuce to grow.

Important Tip: Romaine Lettuce is one type of produce easy to find in the organic form. Often packaged as three hearts of romaine, spend just a dollar or two more, and you have salad free from any unnecessary pesticides.