Broccoli a member of the cabbage family is one of the most nutritional vegetables to add to your diet. It is also an extremely popular vegetable in the American diet.
When organically grown in your garden, broccolis are a lot richer in their nutritional values as well as in their taste. Thus, it is always smarter to grow your broccolis by yourself at home rather than buying them from the store.
If you want to grow your broccolis yourself then you can do it in the traditional way by using broccoli seeds. But broccoli seeds might not always be available around you conveniently. Thankfully, there is another way to grow broccoli at home without requiring the broccoli seeds.
One can very conveniently grow broccoli by using the broccoli scrap or stem. Yes! It is very much possible to regrow your broccolis from its stems into a fully grown broccoli plant.
Yet another benefit of using this method to grow your broccoli is that this reduces the wastefulness at your home.
So, instead of throwing away and wasting the broccoli scraps after using your broccoli florets, you can now actually use the remaining broccoli scraps to regrow another beautiful broccoli plant.
Not only broccoli but also many other vegetables can also be regrown in a similar manner by using their scraps instead. Some examples of these vegetables are – carrots, turnips, onions, celery, garlic, beetroot, lettuce, cabbages, lemongrass, etc.
How to grow broccoli by using its stem in water
Below are the steps that you can follow in order to regrow your broccoli by using proper scraps or stems.
1. Choosing the right broccoli stem
The very first step is to choose a good and suitable broccoli stem or stalk. You would want to make sure that the stalk that you choose for propagating, is not damaged in any way and the stems branching out from the stalk are intact.
If the stalk seems to be infected by pests then do not use it. It is preferable to use a stalk or stem with a long central stem.
You can either use the stalk of store-bought broccoli or if you already are growing broccoli by yourself in your vegetable garden then you can use the stalk of your homegrown broccolis as well.
Read Why do my broccoli leaves turn yellow?
2. Preparing the broccoli stem for propagation
It is important to make sure that while using the broccoli scrap you only take the stalk or stem of the broccoli and thus the broccoli head or any florets and leaves should not be present, so remove any leaves or florets if present in the broccoli stalk.
To cut the stem of the broccoli, make sure to use a very sharp knife or suitable scissors. Try to make one swift cut and avoid using sawing motion as this might cause damage to the stem. It is advisable to take a stalk that is at least 5 to 6 inches long.
3. Transferring the broccoli stem into a wide mouth jar with water
Take a glass container or a glass cup in which you will partly submerge the broccoli stalk or stem in water.
For this, you should always choose a clear and transparent container or cup. You can also use a clear, wide-mouth glass jar instead of a container.
Now add some water to the container. Make sure that you are using clean water for this purpose. (eventually, this water will have to be changed in a few days and again be replaced with cleaner water. )
The level of the water in the container should be enough to cover 2 to 3 inches of the lower part of the broccoli stem.
Read Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown?
4. Preparing the broccoli stem for sprouting
Now place this container by a windowsill or at any place where it will get sufficient sunlight. Sunlight is extremely important for new roots to grow. Make sure that you are providing it with about 6 to 7 hours of sunlight daily.
In a matter of only a few days, you would be able to see new roots growing from the base of your broccoli stalk. This usually takes about a week for the new roots to show up.
Sometimes, it can also be possible to even see new leaves and tiny little branches arising from the top of the broccoli stem.
One very crucial step is to constantly keep on checking the top part of your broccoli stem in order to make sure that it is not getting dry. If in case you feel it drying out, you can simply spray some water over it to dampen the top part of the stem.
You have also to keep checking the water in which you have immersed your broccoli stalk. If you find the water getting darker in color, then it means that it is time to change the water with new, cleaner water.
With time, you will see the roots getting longer and becoming darker. This is a good time to transplant your broccoli from the container to the soil.
If you delay further and the roots end up getting too long then it would very difficult to transplant your broccoli stalk into the soil.
Read How long does broccoli take to grow from seed?
5. Transplanting the broccoli stem from the jar into the soil
Now for transplanting the broccoli stalk, you need to first make some preparations for getting the perfect soil and other conditions, required for the optimal growth of your broccoli plant.
Choose an area where you would like to transplant your broccoli plant. Make sure that it is big enough to allow its proper growth.
It is preferable that you transplant it in your garden bed or ground but if you don’t have a garden bed then you can grow it in a pot as well, as long as it is a large one. Broccoli is usually planted in early spring and is harvested in summer. It is a cool-season crop.
The texture of the soil should be between sandy and clayey loam. You need to ensure that the soil drains well.
Broccolis grow best in soil with a pH level somewhere between 6.0 to 6.8. If the pH level of your soil comes out to be below 6.0 then you can add some acid compost to it in order to increase the pH level and if the soil pH is above 7.0 you can mix some granular sulfur in it.
To transplant your broccoli sprouts from the jar to the soil you need to very carefully take the stalk or stem out of the jar and make sure that you are not damaging the roots of the broccoli in the process. Now plant these broccoli sprouts deeply in the soil of your pot or garden bed.
For this dig a hole in the soil deep enough so that the roots can completely fit inside the soil. If you have multiple broccoli sprouts, then make sure to space them adequately.
You can space them at about 10 inches apart from each other. This is because broccolis grow into huge plants and usually take up a lot of space once they are fully grown.
The broccoli plant requires about 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water every week for its ideal growth.
In order to know if you are broccoli plant is getting a sufficient amount of water or not you can simply check the soil present a few inches below the surface. If the soil feels dry, it means that you need to water it.
Remember that, even though it is important to provide your broccoli plant with sufficient water, but still, it is important to make sure that the water doesn’t get logged. Mulching usually helps in cases of waterlogging.
For this, you simply need to add some compost or any organic material to the top layer of the soil. Also, over-watering can limit the supply of oxygen to the roots and thus the roots cannot breathe properly.
Just like any other green vegetable, broccoli too requires sufficient nitrogen for its optimum growth. It is important to make sure that the soil in which you are growing your broccoli, is rich in nitrogen.
You can also add nitrogen-rich fertilizers to your soil regularly. Once you are done adding fertilizer to the soil, you need to water them and make sure that the soil is damp and moist. Adding fertilizer to your soil every 20 days can help in its growth.
Broccolis, being sun-loving vegetables, will require about 6 to 7 hours of sunlight every day for its ideal growth.
As your plant will grow bigger in size it will be a good idea to remove the leaves growing at the bottom part of the plant. This will help the broccoli plant to concentrate its nutrients on the upper part of the plant which is going to produce the broccoli heads.
Also, it is very important to check for pest attacks on your broccoli plant. If your plant is being attacked by pests or insects then it is time to take action immediately otherwise they might spread onto other plants around as well.
If the pests or insects are large enough to be visible to the naked eye, then you can simply get rid of them by spraying water on your broccoli plant using a hose. Apart from this, using a neem-based insecticidal spray can also be helpful in such cases.
Read How to improve clay soil for gardening
6. Harvesting your broccoli
Within a matter of few weeks, you will see that the plant has produced broccoli heads but do not start harvesting them as soon as you see the broccoli heads. These broccoli heads should be harvested once they have reached their optimum size.
So even though this size might vary from plant to plant but the average size of broccoli heads is usually somewhere between 4 to 7 inches.
Apart from this, also check for the color of the florets of the broccoli head. If you find the color of the florets to be deep green, this means that it is a good time to harvest them.
If you see any signs of yellowness in these florets, this means that the florets are starting to bolt, so harvest your broccoli immediately in such a case.
Now to harvest your broccoli always make sure that you are using a sharp knife. Using this knife make a cut about five inches below the broccoli head stem. Try to cut this in one swift motion to avoid the possibility of damaging the plant. And that is how you can propagate your broccoli in a jar of water!
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I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.