Fennel is a popular vegetable for many gardeners because it has such a distinctive flavor. Similar in taste to licorice, it’s especially common in fish dishes. Fennel can be started from seed, but it’s also one of those vegetables that regrow very well from the stub that’s left over after you finish cooking with it. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow fennel from scraps.
Can I Regrow Fennel?
Can I regrow fennel? Absolutely! When you buy fennel from the store, the bottom of the bulb should have a noticeable base to it-- this is where the roots grew from. When you cut up your fennel to cook with, leave this base and just a little bit of the attached bulb intact. Regrowing fennel plants is very easy. Simply place the little piece you saved in a shallow dish, glass, or jar of water, with the base facing down. Place this on a sunny windowsill and change the water every couple of days so the fennel doesn’t have a chance to rot or get moldy. Growing fennel in water is as easy as that. In just a few days, you should see new green shoots growing up from the base.
Growing Fennel in Water
After a little more time, new roots should start to sprout from the base of your fennel. Once you reach this stage, you have two choices. You can either keep on growing fennel in water, where it should continue to grow. You can harvest from it periodically like this, and as long as you keep it in the sun and change its water every now and again, you should have fennel forever. Another option when regrowing fennel plants from scraps is to transplant them into soil. After a few weeks, when the roots are big and strong enough, move your plant to a container. Fennel likes well-draining soil and a deep container.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.
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