Over the years I’ve grown many things. While I’m most fond of ornamentals in the garden, houseplants, herbs and vegetables are also a common addition – inside and out. I remember mom used to have many edible houseplants when I was growing up. Perhaps this is why I like to keep a few myself. Regrowing food indoors is fun, even if I miserably fail at it sometimes.
Growing Vegetables from Scraps
My favorite indoor edibles are the ones I can regrow. While leftover veggie scraps are most common around my house, I also like to regrow herbs and fruit when I can. Some of these “grown again” plants, like lettuce, I eat over and over. Others, such as basil and green onions, I can cook with, but the majority of my regrown scraps are simply for ornamental appeal, especially during the off-season when I don’t get outside as much. This usually includes plants like potatoes, pineapples or carrots, which by the way make great indoor additions with their pretty frilly foliage. I highly recommend growing carrots as houseplants, just don’t expect any actual carrots unless you can provide a deep enough container for the root crops.
Just this year I tried my hand at growing a lemon tree from seeds. It’s now a lush plant about 12 inches (30 cm.) tall. Of course, there’s a high likelihood that the tree will never bear any edible fruit, although that would be nice, but it’s the simple act of “regrowing” something that I enjoy. I’m always finding new ways to bring old items back to life, so why wouldn’t I want to bring back a plant or two, or three. I find it satisfying. Being able to actually use it for food or whatever is just an added bonus.
I tried regrowing tomato slices indoors this year too, but the plant never made it to maturity (works better outside). It was still fun while it lasted. The plant actually roots quite easily though, and I love the smell of its foliage. The downside is that my indoor environment isn’t the greatest fit for tomatoes. That said, I seem to have better luck growing plants in water. Pepper plants can be just as fun to regrow, and there’s actually a number of them that do well indoors. One word of caution: keep them away from curious kiddos, especially if they’re of the hot variety! There’s a story behind this I’m not proud of”¦ let’s just say that growing up my mom had a beautiful indoor pepper plant with bright red peppers on it, and I was one of those curious kids that just had to “smell” the pretty fruit. Long story short, one of those HOT peppers somehow ended up lodged in my nose! Thank goodness mom was a nurse and knew just what to do. I’ve never lived that one down. I did refrain from smelling pepper plants though.
Regrowing food indoors may not always result in edible fruit for me, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Given the right conditions you could easily find success and harvest veggies from the comfort of your own home, maybe even include a homegrown cherry tomato in your salad of regrown lettuce. For now, I’m just happy with giving these edible houseplants a chance at a new life and enjoying them while I can.