4 Tips How To Regrow A Spinach Plant

Many people ask “how to grow spinach from leaves?” Unfortunately, the answer is that you can’t. The leaves and stems of a spinach plant will not grow new roots. There is, however, another way to cultivate spinach without seeds.

You can regrow spinach from kitchen scraps by using the roots of the plant. Buy spinach bunches from the grocery store that still have the root base attached. Cut off all the leaves (eat them) and leave about 2.5cm (1inch) of stem above the roots. Plant this little stub in the soil so the roots are buried and the stem is above the ground. New leaves will quickly regrow for a new harvest.

Most gardeners grow spinach from the seeds, and this is a very viable way to produce a large spinach crop. However, it is very easy to regrow spinach bought from the grocery store. Not only will you be more self-sufficient, but you will reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own food from “garbage” bound for the compost heap. Here are 4 tips on how to grow lots of spinach from kitchen scraps.

  • Tip #1: Buy the best spinach
  • Tip #2: Create a good growing environment
  • Tip #3: Plant and water
  • Tip #4: Enjoy a continuous harvest

Tip #1: Buy The Best Spinach

It is amazing how many vegetables and fruits you can buy from the supermarket that you can regrow to produce a second (or third) harvest. Spinach is very easy to regrow, but it is important to buy the best spinach to get the best results.

Spinach is often sold as small leaves that are often pre-washed, or as bunches of the whole spinach plant. You will be growing spinach using the roots of the plants. So, when you are at the supermarket, look for bunches that still contain the roots. Look for roots that are healthy and have lots of little hair roots, and avoid ones that look dry or stunted.

If your grocery store doesn’t sell any viable options, you can check out a local farmer’s market as they probably have fresher options available.

Read Next: Ultimate guide to prepare your garden for spring.

Tip #2: Create A Good Growing Environment

You can plant these roots right into your garden. If so, prepare the soil like you would if you were planting spinach seeds, and then follow the steps below for planting, care, and harvest.

However, these spinach roots work great when grown in a plant pot. Growing the spinach in a pot has several advantages over growing them in your garden. First of all, you will be able to grow your spinach all year round. Spinach is very cold hardy, but even it is unable to grow through a meter of snow and freezing temperatures. Also, spinach does not handle heat well, and the long warm days of summer cause spinach to bolt (go to seed). Planting your roots in a pot will allow you to shelter them from the high temperatures of summer, and you can even grow them right on your kitchen counter so they are within easy reach at dinner time.

Choose a pot that will accommodate the roots of your spinach. Around 15cm (6inches) is generally a sufficient depth for spinach. The diameter of the pot will depend on how many plants you want to grow.

You can use bags or purchased potting soil and plant your spinach right into it, or you can use soil right from your own garden. However, spinach is a heavy feeder and needs lots of nutrients as it grows, so it is a good idea to replace about 1/3 of the soil with compost. You can either put the compost in first and fill the rest of the pot with soil, or you can mix the compost and the soil together depending on the quality of soil you are using.

Tip #3: Plant And Water

Planting is perhaps the easiest part of this whole process. Simply make a hole in the soil with your finger or a small trowel that is large enough to accommodate the roots. Set the root plug into the hole, and gently pack the soil around it. If you are putting more than one spinach in a pot, space the plants about 8cm (3inches) from each other so they have adequate space to grow. If you plan on harvesting the leaves when they are small, you can put the roots closer together (around 5cm would be good). Alternatively, if you want the spinach plant to mature, make sure it has more space.

Place the pot in a sunny area, where it receives at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day.

All that is left now is to keep your spinach plants watered. Spinach needs moisture to grow, but make sure you don’t over-water them as they can rot in wet or soggy soil. But you also don’t want to let the soil to completely dry out. A good rule of thumb is to water the pots when the top of the soil feels dry.

Tip #4: Enjoy A Continuous Harvest

The plant will begin growing new leaves from the crown that is above the soil, and your spinach will be ready to eat in as little as 20 days. This is about half the time it takes to grow spinach from seed. When the leaves are big enough for your liking, simply pick them off as needed, or cut the whole plant off again, leaving the 2.5cm (1inch) of stem above the soil. The plant will grow again and again.

Growing in this way, you should be able to get several harvests from your spinach plant. The last time you plan on harvesting, you might consider letting the plant mature a bit more. It will produce a tall, sturdy stalk that will be covered with leaves. If left to fully mature, the plant will start producing seed heads that you can harvest, and you will have seeds for your spring garden.

Spinach seeds are forming by Carmen Edenhofer
Image by Carmen Edenhofer

Once your spinach plant is spent, pull it out, mix a bit more compost into the pot, and start the process over again. Here is a good video that shows the whole process of growing spinach from store-bought roots, and also shows what sort of harvest you can expect.

From one small piece of kitchen scrap, you can grow a bountiful harvest and produce seeds for a never ending supply of spinach.

Why Won’t Spinach Leaves Grow A New Plant?

With a few notably exceptions, the leaves of a plant will not propagate new growth. If you plant spinach leaves in the ground, all they will do is die, because this is not their purpose. The purpose of a spinach leaf is three-fold.

Through photosynthesis, a spinach leaf manufactures food for the plant. The leaves also exchange gas between the plant and the atmosphere, allowing the plant to breathe. A spinach plant absorbs water and nutrients from the soil, which is passed up through the plant where the water is evaporated from the leaves into the atmosphere.

The spinach leaves that we eat are a vital part of the plants health and growth. But no, they will not grow a new spinach plant.