While parsnips look very similar to colorless carrots, they’re not.
They have their distinct flavor profile (spicy, sweet, earthy, etc.) and can really bring some unique texture to the table.
They’re easy to care for and on the same level of difficulty as carrots.
These little plants come from Eurasian and have been a popular food since Roman times. They were believed to be introduced to the US by early English settlers.
But over time, potatoes, carrots, and other crops took over their popularity.
They have a long harvest time- anywhere up to 180 days to fully grow to be table-ready.
Thus, they do test your patience. Plus, there’s ONE IMPORTANT THING you should know.
You can’t eat the parsnip you regrow! It’s PURELY for decorating your home or garden.
Parsnip can grow in most parts of the US and develop some unique flavors when they get the right amount of cold exposure.
Most people grow them as a wintertime crop- planting in the late fall and harvested in late winter or spring, depending on the variety of parsnip.
Some regions with cold freezes result in earlier varieties that are planted in the spring and then harvested before the following winter. It all depends on where you’re located.
Thankfully, if you’re regrowing them, you don’t have to deal with this because they can be regrown in a small container indoors.
Sounds good? Let’s roll.
Can I regrow parsnip?
You can regrow parsnip from their cuttings, sure.
These tops of parsnips can be replanted so you can grow another.
While this doesn’t really save much money in the long run, unless you’re growing in bulk, it can be a neat little project and you can control the conditions.
Want organic parsnip? You got it.
Want to regrow it after you’ve eaten them? You got it. Parsnip isn’t popular.
So regrowing them is even less popular.
But now that you know the secret, you can do it yourself. Enjoy your pretty parsnip leaves! Season after season.
The thing to keep in mind is that while you can regrow parsnips, you can’t eat the parts you regrow. Find out why by reading on.
Parsnip is poisonous
Note that parsnip is dangerous.
It’s considered poisonous and not something you should just do for no reason. Parsnip can be dangerous when touched or eaten. Know the risks of parsnip.
So you should always only grow them when absolutely necessary.
Additionally, parsnip can be used as a decor plant. The flowers are pretty enough to look at if you don’t want to risk eating the veggie. This is the only reason you should be replanting it.
Okay, so can I regrow parsnip?
So, the main question is:
Can they be regrown from their parsnip tops?
The answer is maybe.
Because parsnips can be replanted with their tops, but they won’t grow in a desirable way.
The tops will not develop a new root system, so that means you can’t harvest and eat them.
But they’ll continue to grow leaves, which can be used for decor. The leaves of parsnip shouldn’t be used for culinary consumption because they can be poisonous.
Therefore, it’s a hit or miss depending on who you ask.
If you’re regrowing parsnip just to eat, you won’t be happy with the results.
If you’re looking to add some unique greens to your garden, then parsnip can be replanted to achieve this effect.
How to regrow parsnip from scraps
So, you want to do it. Awesome.
Note that parsnip is a biennial vegetable. This means that they don’t flower in their first year of planting. You need to replant them and then wait to get the flowers.
If you harvest them, eat the roots, then plant them again, they won’t develop flowers. You need to replant the tops then wait for them to bolt out.
When they do, they grow pretty little leaves that look a lot like dill flowers. They’re yellow with tiny clusters. You’ll get compliments from visitors to your garden.
They’ll ask you what type of flower that is. You’ll say it’s actually parsnip. Cool huh?
So here’s how it works:
When you’re cooking your parsnips, cut the tops off. The tops shouldn’t be cooked because that’ll kill them.
Slice them off with about 0.5” left.
Cook the root, trim the leaves, and keep the scrap tops. That’s all there is to it.
Take those little tops and then put them in a container with water. The bottom part of the scraps (with the small roots) should be submerged into clean water.
Do NOT use water from your sink. This sometimes contains fluoride or chlorine, which can kill the parsnip tops.
If you’re only regrowing one parsnip, you can use a small glass or mason jar. If you’re doing a bunch, a large container works efficiently.
Put the parsnip somewhere nice and warm with filtered sunlight. Keep watch over the roots. You need to check for fungus, mold, bugs, etc.
If you see any, dispose of it. If not, then you’re good to go.
After a few days, you’ll see tiny white roots show up from the bottom of the scrap. The shoots will turn green after 14 days or so, but it depends on your setup.
When the roots are growing visibly long around the 21 day mark, you can transplant them into your garden. They’ll continue to grow. You can also plant them in containers if you wish.
That’s it. Easy, right?
Enjoy those little greens in a few months or so. The parsnip will easily regrow with minimal watering.
Take care of them just like you would with caring for regular parsnip. Regrowing parsnip green is easy.
What can you do with parsnip scraps?
The only purpose is to replant them in your garden.
Since you can’t eat them, what else is there to do, right?
You can take the used parsnips you bought from the store then replant them.
Just take those unused tops then put them in your garden. They’ll grow some pretty leaves and that’s about it. Don’t expect to use them for cooking though.
Is it worth it to regrow parsnip?
Do you want to plant them solely for their little green leaves that pop out? Or their flowers to add some nice color to your yard?
If so, then why not try it out. You were going to throw out those used parsnips anyway.
If you’re new to the world of parsnips, you may want to find out how to grow them from seed directly into your garden or grow parsnip in a pot.
Which parsnip can I regrow?
Some are harder to regrow than others. F1 hybrids are the best for environments where the winters are hard.
They have greater resistance to disease, smoother skins, and improved germination success.
Some of the most popular F1 hybrids are the following:
- The Student
All of these can be purchased early on in the season. You can find them online or in your local grocery store.
There are multiple types of parsnip varieties each suited for different hardiness zones. I suggest choosing one that grows well in yours that also can tolerate winter.
While you can regrow parsnip from scraps, do you want to?
That’s the main question.
Now that you know how to regrow parsnip from their tops, do you want to do it?
You can’t eat the leaves or flowers because they’re poisonous.
They don’t produce roots for you to eat again.
So why do it? Not to be discouraging, but you should ask yourself that before you set yourself up for disappointment.
Do you have any questions? Do you have any ideas for parsnips after they’ve been eaten? Drop a comment if so!
I’ve always been interested in gardening, but I never took it seriously until I was forcefully gifted an orchid. This was what got me into the hobby and I’ve never looked back. I enjoy writing about it, but not nearly as much as getting into the dirt and sculpting the perfect decorative ornamental to enjoy for the times.