How to Regrow Carrots from Tops (Scraps)

So, you wanna regrow those carrots at home so you don’t need to keep buying them over and over from the store.

They also make an awesome project to do at home when you’re bored. And the results are immediate.

So you can literally watch your carrots grow over water.

Ready to learn all about them and turn orange? Let’s roll.

Can you regrow carrots from the store?

Carrots grown at home from store carrot tops.
You sure can. Just choose the right one!

You sure can! Carrots are one of the EASIEST crops to regrow at home and make for an excellent project for the kids.

Similar to other vegetables that you can regrow like onions or pineapple. you can regrow carrots using carrots. It’s super easy. You never have to buy them again.

While you can start from seed, why bother?

It takes a long time to germinate and isn’t nearly as fun as growing from scraps. Wait until you try it.

Whether you want to grow them for yourself for a boundless supply or you want to do a fun experiment, carrots are the answer.

They can be regrown from scraps, tops, or cuttings. It all means the same thing. The top stump of the carrot will develop roots when planted in water, so you can slowly watch it grow over time.

Are they easy to grow?

It doesn’t get any easier. They make a good project for fun and anyone can do it. If you want to grow your own organic carrots at home.

Choosing carrots to regrow

The first step in making this a success is to pick the right carrots.

Sure, you can randomly pick carrots in the grocery store, but why not get the juiciest carrots possible?

  • Get carrots that are fully grown, with some green on the stumps.
  • Avoid carrots that are browning, have spots or are squishy.
  • Grow organic if possible.

Prepping your carrots

Start with carrots that still have some of the green leaves attached.

If you don’t see leaves, then get any that have SOMETHING connected to the tops.

Use a nice clean knife and cut rich the top of the crop. There should be about half an inch of carrot flesh exposed right below the stems. Cut off any greens leftover on the carrot.

How to regrow carrots from tops

Carrots are one of the simplest crops to regrow.

This section covers the basics of various methods you can use to regrow them at home.

Whether you wanna grow indoors or outdoors, carrots can probably do it.

Let’s go over each technique in detail so you can pick whichever one suits your needs.

Regrowing in water

Regrowing carrots in water is the fan-favorite because you can see the whole process in detail. Use a clear jar or container to see the roots develop slowly over time.

It’s good for the impatient, who want to see immediate results since you can see something happening below the waterline.

You can even just use a glass cup or a flat takeout container if you want. They’re not picky.

Get your carrots and cut the tops off. Keep about 1” of root left on the top.

Use 2-3 toothpicks and stick them into it. These toothpicks will help keep it from sinking into the container and getting out of place.

Place the carrot dangling over the lip of the glass.

Fill up the container with water. Use bottled drinking water if possible to avoid chlorine or fluoride found in municipal water. It should be filled up to the bottom half of the carrot top.

Use direct light, but it needs to be filtered. Don’t shine direct sunlight on it because it’ll develop algae or burn it. Keep the water level the same during the rooting period. Top it off as needed. The roots will come out of the bottom of the stump.

Place the glass next to a sunny window. Continue filling with water as it evaporates over time.

Watch the roots sprout and monitor for fungus or rot. If you see this, start over.

Congrats! You’re doing it.

While you wait, the roost should develop in just a few days. The green shoots will come out first and will be the first sign of a successful rooting.

The carrot will then delve tiny hairs as roots from the bottom. Now you’re really growing carrots from carrots.

With newspapers

Newspapers can also accomplish the trick.

Get a glass plate and put a bunch of newspaper on it. Put the paper on the bottom of the plate and fill it with water.

Put the carrot tops on the paper. They’ll sprout over a few days. They soak up the water from the paper. The newspaper will dry out over time, so “water” it.

When the roots have developed, it’s ready to be moved to your garden soil.

Using pie plates

This one is weird.

You’ll need a bag of marbles, a glass pie plate, and water. If you have a lot of carrot tops, use this method. It’s efficient for growing a batch of carrot tops simultaneously.

How it works is like this:

  • Using a glass pie plate, fill it up with marbles completely
  • It should fill a single layer of marbles without them stacking on each other- it’s fine to have a few small gaps here and there
  • Place the carrot tops on top of the marbles
  • Fill the pie plate with water until it covers half of the carrot stumps
  • This will let you see through the plate’s glass and marbles so you can monitor the growth of the roots
  • Watch it grow roots and keep the water topped off
  • Keep watch of any fungus problems
  • Don’t overwater it
  • The stumps should never be fully submersed
  • Replace the water when it gets murky or dirty

Pretty cool, huh? The plate can handle about 6-7 carrots at the same time.

The carrot tops should be right on top of the marbles.

Transferring into the garden

Homegrown carrots.
Look at those homegrown carrots.

When your carrots have sprouted small hairy roots, then you know you’re doing something right. It’s time to transfer them to the garden when these roots are a few centimeters in length.

Choose a plant bed or area of your yard that’s rich in fertile soil. The soil should be nutritious, moist, and in direct sunlight.

Since the carrots were started indoors, they need to be hardened first before you move them out for good. You can put them in containers then expose them to sunlight for a few hours each day before you put them into the soil.

Or you can just go for it if you’re in the right hardiness zone. Add compost if needed. They should be planted 16 inches apart spacing and 0.25 inches deep.

Planting them is easy. Use a shovel and dig small holes in the soil. Insert the carrot and then cover it so only the stumpy greens are showing. No need for firm packing. Water generously the first time you plant them.

Plant them in the early spring if you want to be able to harvest them in the summer. Plant them in the summer if you want to harvest them in the winter. They’re flexible and you don’t need to be specific with the planting date.

This is when you finally plant them in the soil and finally give them room to grow. Aren’t you excited?

Hardiness zone

Carrots grow in hardiness zones 3 through 10.

If you’re in a higher or lower zone, you can adjust as needed.

For instance, hotter zones can have crops be grown in partial shade. While cooler zones can have them be grown in greenhouses.

You don’t need to be within these zones to grow carrots. It just makes it easier.

Soil

Carrots prefer rich, fertile, organic soils that are well-draining.

Carrot will rot or develop mold if placed in wet soil, so make sure that it drains well.

Since the entire flesh is hidden under the soil, you need to use a very good quality soil.

The soil can NOT be clumpy or firm.

It needs to be soft enough so that the carrot can grow and push down on it. Loamy, sandy, or organic soils work. Add mulch for extra nutrients.

Soil pH

Aim for a slightly acidic pH between 6.0-6.5.

If you don’t know your soil’s pH, use a soil tester to find out. If it’s too alkaline (high), you can amend it with some lime to naturally bring the pH down.

While having the wrong pH won’t kill your plant, it can reduce carrot size, taste, texture, and yield.

Spacing

Space each crop about 5-6 inches apart. They don’t take up much space, so you can grow plenty in a small, compact space.

Depth

Just plant them as deep as the stump will go. They’ll dig out their own space in the dirt. The stump should be covered with soil so that only the greens are above the soil line.

Watering

Water your carrots thoroughly and completely each session.

Provide at least 1” of water per week, but you can increase it if it gets hot or decrease it for the rain.

Don’t rely on rain to water your crop. The soil needs to be completely saturated with water during each session.

They drink quickly and thoroughly, so give them plenty of water to drink up especially during peak summertime.

Mulching

Add a thin layer of mulch around the base of the cart to help keep water retained and reduce weeds. It also helps keep the temperature stable from swings during the day/night cycles.

The mulch will help block the light from damaging them.

Excess sunlight makes them turn colors. High nitrogen will also grow the greens more than the roots.

Sunlight

Carrot is a full sun vegetable that needs at least 6-7 hours of sunlight per day.

Plant somewhere that receives full beams of sunshine evenly.

Did you know that carrots like cool weather? Plant them in thin rows in your garden bed to save space.

Plant food

Carrots will do fine on some 0-10-10 or 5-15-15 NPK plant food.

Use as directed during the growing season.

Choose a fertilizer that has minimal nitrogen so you can increase the growth of the crop rather than the leaves.

If you notice that the greens are very green but the carrot is tiny, poorly shaped, or light orange, lay off the nitrogen and add more potash and phosphates.

Excess nitrogen (N) grows greens, not crops.

Temperature

If you’re in the right zones, you shouldn’t need to worry about this.

If you’re somewhere where it gets below 32F in the winter, add mulch to save your carrots or harvest them all in the fall.

Carrots grow well when the weather is cool. Hot water will make them bitter and white-orange. Carrots tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions.

But if you want the ideal range, it’s between 50-60F. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 20F and 80F high. Keep away from the extremes.

Harvesting

Carrots can be harvested about 60-80 days after you plant them.

This varies depending on the cultivar you’re growing, but it works generally. The carrot tops will be about 1 inch across and will pop out of the soil showing you that they’re ready to be pulled.

When they turn bright orange, they’re good to go.

Use a shovel and loosen the dirt around the base of the carrot. Then pull it up gently in one quick gesture.

For any unharvested carrots, leave them in the soil for the next season. If you’re somewhere where it gets below 32F in the winter, mulch the carrot with it or use plant covers.

Storage

Put harvested carrots in the fridge after washing and trimming the greens off.

They can be stored for several weeks before they lose their fresh crisp.

Put them in a container of water to make them store well or use an airtight container. If the water starts to get cloudy, dispose of it and add a new cup of water.

Further reading/references

Grow carrots over and over

Carrots grown in the home garden.
Carrots ready to eat.

Now that you know how the propagation of carrots work, you can grow them in your garden endlessly.

Enjoy your bountiful harvest and use it in a variety of recipes like carrot cake to curry.

Do you have any questions? Will you be growing them indoors? What will you use?

Let us know by dropping a comment!

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