Houseplants bring life into our homes and they can be useful too. You may not have considered it, but plants that feed can make wonderful additions to any household — and many can be had for free. All you’ll need is organic produce and a bit of patience. Soil, containers to grow and germinate in, and perhaps a little rooting aid might come in handy too.


I’ve tried a number of ways to sprout avocado seeds, but the one that worked best was to simply wrap the seed in a wet paper towel and place it inside of a plastic baggie in a windowsill. This requires no maintenance and it works. Some people have had luck with toothpicks and special floating devices, but none worked for me.

Image courtesy of russellstreet.

The bag method gave me thick, beautiful roots and the beginnings of a healthy plant. Once you have good roots, place them into soil and barely cover it — you may even want to leave the top of the uncovered. Keep the soil moist. It may take a month or so, but soon a small sprout will begin and growth will be more rapid after that. TIP — If you live in a cooler climate, be sure to bring it indoors on cool evenings and in the winter.


Simply place the cut top of the pineapple into water for a few weeks. Roots will form and then your new tropical plant can be transferred to a pot. Pineapple plants can be quite large, so a dwarf variety may be more desirable. If you hope to harvest fruit, a full sized pineapple takes approximately 2-3 years, while a dwarf size takes considerably less.


Lettuce and celery are easy to grow by simply placing the root end in water. Allow it to get sunshine and replace the water ever few days while it establishes healthy new roots. Once it begins to sprout you can place it in a pot with just the new growth above the soil. Harvest just what you need and it will continue to grow. Once allowed to bloom, you can even harvest the seeds (sort of like a dandelion!)

Lemongrass, Green Onions, & Chives

Place the root remnants in water until they begin to grow and the ends of the shoots get taller (do not fully submerge). Transfer to a pot when ready and simply snip the tops as needed and get ready to start adding it to your favorite recipes!


Depending on how you buy your herbs, you may be able to plant roots and wait for new growth, or you may need to place shoots in water (with a few leaves below the waterline) and wait for roots to sprout — apply a rooting aid if you choose. Either way can work with a bit of patience. Herbs add beautiful greenery to your home and, of course, are perfect for having in the kitchen.

Ginger root
Image courtesy of Benson Kua.


Soak a piece of ginger and plant. Keep the soil moist and you’ll soon see shoots. You’ll have to remove the plant to harvest the roots, or at least part of the roots, but you can then repeat the process with what’s leftover.


Harvesting seeds from organic produce is an easy way to get new plants. To grow lemons, be sure to choose seeds that look full and ready. You can prep the seeds easily by placing them in your mouth and gently sucking on them to remove the protective layers coating the seed. Once you’re ready, place the seeds into premoistened soil, only just covering them and then watering. TIP — Keep the container in a sunny, warm location — and keep an eye on the soil to be sure that it remains moist.


Again, harvest seeds from your produce and germinate in a paper towel inside of a baggie. Pepper seeds have a waxy coating and require warmth and water to germinate properly. Be patient, and soon you’ll have a sprout that you can transfer to soil.

You can find more gardening tips on Pinterest. Give these boards by myself and Earth911 a try to get you started!

Regrow Vegetables from Scraps: The Growth Parts of the Plants
Source: Blog

Great tips for creating a zero waste kitchenFeature image courtesy of Carly Sheil

By Amanda Hearn

Best known as the voice behind The Eco Friendly Family blog, where I've been writing since 2009, about topics like parenting, cloth diapers, non-toxic menstrual care, chemical safety, & healthy living. I've also been part of the team behind Green Child Magazine since 2012. My family inspires my passion to be involved in the movement towards intuitive living, and all that it encompasses.