So, you want to regrow bok choy so you can get that cut-and-come-again endless supply.
Bok choy (pak choy) is an extremely easy vegetable to grow, which beginners will appreciate.
This vegetable is a good choice for newbie gardeners, school projects, or those who want to grow their own bok choy indoors and harvest it fresh.
Grow it yourself and no need to spend money at the supermarket!
Plus, you can grow it organically!
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to grow bok choy at home from cuttings, scraps, or stalks.
Let’s dive in.
Does bok choy regrow after harvest?
Bok choy does indeed regrow after it’s been cut.
The veggie is used as a staple in traditional Chinese dishes, so growing your own can save you some cash and you can grow it organically.
Then you don’t have to rely on going to the supermarket to buy this delicious and nutritious green.
Sadly, most people don’t know how easy it is to regrow it back from scraps or cuttings. But not you! That’s why you’re here.
Can you grow bok choy from cuttings?
You sure can. Bok choy can be grown from both cutting and scrap easily in the home and garden.
All you need is a starter stalk to begin the process. Let’s cover it in detail.
Where do I get bok choy to regrow?
You can buy bok choy (commonly also called pak choy) at any international supermarket, farmers market, or even from a friend or neighbor.
As long as you have a stalk of leaves, you’re good to go.
There’s no sterilization that stops them from being able to be grown at home like some other veggies. Any bok choy should do the trick.
You can use any type of bok choy- baby bok choy, Chinese cabbage, pak choy, etc. they all work the same.
How to regrow bok choy
Here we’ll talk about the actual process to replant bok choy using a stalk or cuttings.
It’s very easy to do and all you need is a single stalk to get started.
Though, I recommend getting a bunch so you can harvest quickly. A single plant won’t yield enough for anything, so you’ll need a bunch of them growing simultaneously.
Then you can propagate them and get unlimited bok choy. For free. Well, almost.
Regrowing from scraps or cuttings
Never grown bok choy at home on your own before?
You’re about to get your mind blown when you find out how easy it is. The growing substrate is nothing but a glass of water.
You can use a mason jar, vase, or even a small bowl.
Fill it up with water (treat it first if you have bad water or hard water), and you’re good to go. You need at least 3” of water at a minimum.
Adding more water means less topping off due to evaporation so it’s easier on your part.
The bowl doesn’t have to be tall if you don’t own a bowl of this proportion.
A shallow, flatter one does the job. Just make sure there’s enough water in it to meet the water level of 3” from the bowl. You can even cut a 2-liter bottle down to size. Be creative.
Next, the trimmed stalk of bok choy needs the leaves facing “up” towards your ceiling.
The leaves need to be exposed to the air for air exchange and light.
The stalk goes down into the 3” deep water. If you used a glass jar, the stalk should fit perfectly around the lip and hold in place.
But if not, you can stick some toothpicks into the bok choy to hold it in place.
Sometimes you can even just let the plant soak into the jar and let it float.
Any regular old glass mason jar works. You can drop the stem in there with a few inches of leaves attached. The stalk will float, or you can let the leaves “hang” over the rim of the jar.
Use narrow-mouthed jars for best results.
If you can’t get the bok choy to stay in place, you can use a small hook to catch the leaves to the edge lip of the mouth to keep them from moving around and sinking.
Where to plant
Bok choy likes cold weather that’s humid and moist.
Inside the home, place the container near a warm window where it can get some partial sunlight.
Avoid full sun for extended periods. That’s about all you need to do! Leave it there and let it grow.
Care and maintenance
Your bok choy is ready to grow.
All you need to do is just let it bask in the sunlight and drink up the water from the bowl. You’ll see new plant growth when the center of the bok choy becomes dark green over time.
The outer leaves will start to yellow, this is normal. The plant is getting rid of the older foliage and growing new ones.
Other than letting it get sun and keeping the water topped off, there’s nothing you need to do.
Changing the water
You’ll need to change the water every other day or so to keep it clean.
This will help reduce the chance of an infection or root rot.
Use warm water and try to keep it room temperature as much as possible to avoid plant shock.
You can also use a spray bottle to spritz the center. This will help keep it hydrated and produce those signature green leaves.
You’ll see new roots come out from the bottom of the plant. They’ll look like white spots or bumps from the stalk. New roots will come out from there.
Checking for diseases on your plant
Check for any signs of root rot or fungus on the leaves.
Since the humidity is very high (it’s basically open water), fungal issues may occur. If you spot any, remove those parts by carefully pruning them off.
Or you can start over. You should have multiple bok choy growing at the same time anyway for a bountiful harvest.
Transplanting to the outdoors
When you notice the stalk has a new root system and a dark green center along with some new leafy greens, it’s ready to be taken outside and transplanted.
The bok choy can be planted directly into your garden along with some plant food at the same time. You can also plant it in a pot or container. Bok choy doesn’t grow that large, so smaller planters will do fine.
Bok choy can be transplanted to a container or directly into the soil after about 8-12 days in the water bowl.
Move it outdoors and get an area ready. You also need to prime the plant by cutting it back.
There’s no need to acclimate it to the temperature and conditions outside unless you’re not in the right hardiness zone.
Bok choy’s USDA hardiness zone is 4-7.
Cleaning and pruning
Before you put it in the soil, prune it.
Clean it up by getting rid of some of the outer stalks that have yellowed over time.
You only want to keep the dark green center because the outer ones are tough and usually not used in traditional dishes.
You can cut them off to expose the inner green stalks, which should also help plant growth and improve air circulation.
This is important to reduce the chance of powdery mildew, fungus, or root rot. Dropping the humidity will help.
You can use regular potting soil that’s well-draining. Add some plant food if you have some handy, but this isn’t necessary.
Putting it in the soil
Now you’re ready for the actual transplanting. Dig up about 2” of soil just wide enough to fit the stalk and root system.
Place it in the new, fresh soil carefully and make sure the roots are completely under the soil. The base of the stalk should be about 1” deep under the soil.
Any new growth should be above the soil level. Water the soil plenty using plenty of water the first time, then reduce for all future waterings.
Keep it constantly wet, but not backed up with water.
Bok choy likes plenty of water to soak up and produce those dark green leaves.
Repeat and do the same for any other bok choy scraps you have.
Over time, the outside of the bok choy will begin to turn yellow and fall off the plant. The center will grow new stalks that are dark green in color.
They start out as pale green and change over time. Keep the plant moist, but not waterlogged.
The plant’s leaves will become “ripped” over time. This is to be expected and the leaves will flatten out as the plant develops.
The right time to harvest bok choy
There’s no wondering when to harvest it because it’s easy to tell.
You can harvest the leaves off the plant as you use them to produce greens for you over and over.
Or you harvest the entire bok choy when it’s fully developed.
This usually takes a few months and you can tell because it’ll stop producing leaves as fast as it did when you first planted it.
Harvest from the outside in, not the inside out.
This will take off the oldest leaves first and let the younger ones grow.
You can continue to harvest using this method and therefore reap the fruits of your labor. Take out about 20 or 30% of the leaves total.
Leave the rest to develop and gather energy and light so it can photosynthesize.
Cut the leaves close to the stalk and don’t leave them partially cut or else the plant will use energy to keep those partial leaves growing. Cut the ENTIRE leaf off and cut it clean.
That’s it. Ready to eat?
Can I grow bok choy indoors?
Yes, you can grow this veggie indoors over a bowl filled with water until it develops roots.
Then you should bring it outside and transplant it into the soil for best results.
The plant needs the nutrients and substrate offered by natural potting mix, so you’ll need to eventually plant it in some dirt.
You can keep it indoors, but it must be in a pot of high quality, well-draining soil. Don’t leave it in that initial bow of water!
Growing bok choy in containers
Bok choy can be grown in containers without any problems, just be sure to water it plenty because this veggie loves water.
Just make sure the soil is high-quality soil with plenty of nutrients. You can add plant food to the mix when you first transplant it and it should last the entire season.
Get a pot that’s big enough, but not overly huge. It should leave a good 3” of space around the edge on all sides.
Here’s a good video showing off the process:
Does bok choy need full sun?
Bok choy can do well in both partial sun and full sun.
Don’t expose it too too much sun because this forces the plant to bolt.
- When you start the cuttings/scraps indoors in containers, they only need partial sun.
- When you move them outside, they can tolerate full sun, but partial daytime sun with a shorter photoperiod is ideal.
No need to put the plants in direct sun all day. This results in bitter taste from bolting and forced flowering.
Bok choy bolting
Bok choy will bolt in the summer when temperatures are high.
This will make the stalks lower and start to seed.
This is good if you want to harvest some seeds or just look at pretty flowers, but pretty much useless if you want to eat them.
Try planting it in the fall to spring, as it’s a cold temp plant and grows best on the chilly nights when temps drop. If you want to regrow bok choy especially for eating, then time it right.
Plant it in the cool season when temps are between 60-70F or lower for the best bok choy flavor.
Bok choy is cut and-come-again
Bok choy is a cut and come again plant.
So if you’re trying to build a cut and come again to the plant garden, don’t forget to add bok choy to it!
You don’t wanna miss out on this leafy green that offers nutritious leaves that are high in vitamin K, beta-carotene, selenium. You can cut and wait over and over because regrowing is easy.
Perfect for beginners completely new to the craze, or that wanna try cut and come gardening.
Can you eat bok choy that has flowered?
Bok choy should be eaten before it flowers, or else the plant will be extremely bitter.
If you’re growing it, harvest it before the flowers open. You can pluck the flower stalks off and still use them even if they’ve already opened.
Use them for salads and soups. However, if you only care about the leaves, eat those before the flowers appear.
Can you eat yellow bok choy?
Yellow bok choy is a sign of bad or spoiled bok choy. It should be thrown out.
It’s normal when you first plant the cuttings or scraps in the soil or a container to have an outer layer that’s yellow. It should wilt and fall off on its own, or you can prune it off.
The darker green stalks will grow from the inside out.
Avoid eating any yellow foliage as it could harbor diseases and is extremely bitter.
What can I plant next to bok choy?
There are many other vegetables you can plant next to bok choy as they all utilize the same soil type and growing conditions.
Consider planting bush beans, carrots, cucumber, celery, beets, dill, garlic, onions, potatoes, or beets. These all do well when planted next to pak choy.
How do you harvest bok choy and grow it back?
Bok choy can be harvested by removing the green leaves from the hard stalk.
The leaves are the dark green parts with yellowish veins running through them.
The stalk is the hard, light green part. It can be harder to tell in younger bok choy.
Cut the leaves off the stalk and leave just 2 or 3 inches of the stalk on the leaves.
Try to cut where the stem of the plant connects with the leaves. This will ensure the fastest growth possible for your bok choy cuttings.
Use a clean pair of scissors that you dipped in alcohol so that no fungal or bacterial problems are transmitted between your plants.
You can harvest it around 14-18” in height, which is about 45 days after you plant it.
If you wait until it bolts from the summertime heat, it’ll be bitter in taste.
Also, don’t let it flower before you harvest, do it before then. It leads to a tough texture and bitter flavor.
Is bok choy a perennial?
Bok choy is a biennial plant, but it’s usually grown as just an annual.
You raise it for one year while pruning the leaves and eating them up.
After a year when the winter comes, you can save the cuttings or start them indoors for the next season. Bok choy can grow in the winter and do best from fall until spring.
The hot summer heat makes it bolt, so it doesn’t grow well during that time if you want to eat it.
Why is my bok choy bitter?
Bok choy is faintly bitter, but overall it should be neutral with a mild mustard-like flavor.
It tastes like spinach or swiss chard. If your bok choy is bitter, it’s likely because of how it was cooked. It SHOULD be bitter, but spending on how you saute or flavor changes the taste.
Try picking the leaves from your garden earlier so it doesn’t have a chance to turn as bitter.
What is eating my bok choy?
The two most common pests are flies and aphids.
Both of these can be controlled using dish soap sprays. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap in a liter of water and spray when you see them.
Clean your bok choy thoroughly before eating.
How fast does bok choy grow?
Bok choy will take an average of 45 days to be harvest-ready.
This is relatively quick for a plant that can be easily regrown so quickly.
Harvest it before the flowers sprout or the summer heat as both of these will lead to bitter taste and bolting.
Bok choy can be harvested around 14-18” in height.
Here are some additional references you may find helpful:
- 8 Vegetables that you can regrow again and again … – Reddit
- Can you replant bok choy? : gardening – Reddit
- Bok Choy – Lexington Community Farm
Now you know how to grow bok choy from cuttings
There’s really not much to know about regrowing this plant from cuttings, scraps, or stalks.
Bok choy is very easy to propagate and all you need to do is dunk it in a container of pure water, transplant it outdoors, give it plenty of sunlight and TLC, and then harvest when ready.
You can plant it in a garden bed, containers, indoors, or right in the dirt. Bok choy is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes like sesame gingers, garlic, stir fry, mushroom, curry, fried rice, sandwiches, soups, and of course, salads.
What do you think? Will you be growing from cuttings and scraps? Let me know in the comments!
I took interest into microflora and microgreens before it became mainstream. The idea of growing an entire ecosystem on a tiny scale simply was astounding. That’s where I discovered that I actually like raising plants and wasn’t as much of a black thumb as I thought. Now, I’m relaying what I’ve learned to others who are getting into the hobby in a way that anyone can understand.