How to Grow Carrots from Carrot Tops

Even though we’re intrigued by the concept, it just isn’t biologically feasible. A carrot plant growing from an embryo seed is essentially a radicle tap root, which lacks the ability to regenerate.

Edible tap roots, like carrots and turnips, have an apical meristem (growing tip). Rapid cell division at the tip causes the root to expand into the soil. Embryonic radicle-formed roots are called primary roots or taproots. Once the taproot is removed, it cannot grow another.

The Science of Growing Carrots from Carrot Tops

Edible tap roots, like carrots and turnips, grow from embryonic radicles from the seed. Cells rapidly divide at the tip of the primary root, the apical meristem, causing the root’s growth downwards.

This primary root has three sections: cell division, elongation, and maturation, from the penetrating tip to the top.

It’s important to note that each section has specific plant development functions so that if the area of cell division is separated from the foliage, planting the maturation area will not regrow carrot greens.

However, the carrot plant is more than the edible taproot.

Once the carrot top is cut off, the leaves can still photosynthesize, but they need water.

growing carrot with high success

Suppose the cut-off is placed on a wet surface or in water. In that case, the taproot will develop new adventitious roots to access and deliver water to the leaves.

The sugars produced by photosynthesis will support the plant’s continued growth. Still, having lost its embryonic growing tip, it cannot regenerate a tap root.

The question is, having lost its intelligence to grow, is it a vegetable? Bad joke.

Grow Carrot Foliage from Carrot Tops

new growth on carrots with new shoots

There are a couple of ways to get you started, but we will cover the easiest and most fun way to do it if you have kids who can watch along or join in.

What you Need

  • Recently beheaded carrots – the carrot tops
  • A sharp sterilized knife
  • A saucer or side plate
  • Water

Step 1 – Cutting your Carrot Tops

growing carrot tops from kitchen scraps

Take your carrot stump or carrot scraps, making sure the end that the greens will grow from is the one you cut off 2.5 cm of the carrot with the sharp knife and cutting board. Make one nice, clean, straight cut to ensure your new carrots grow and can stand up independently.

Step 2 – Watering

Then, put a small amount of water on the plate with your sliced carrot tops, stubby growing end pointing upwards. Ensure not to use too much water; just enough should be added to ensure the cut end is moist.

Step 3 – Watch them Grow.

Place your dish on a lovely, bright windowsill, and make sure the plants have access to water each day. The water will fast disappear because it is so shallow. The carrot top will quickly sprout roots at the bottom and branches at the top.

carrots growing in small container

Step 4 – Plant

When the carrot top has developed enough roots, The carrot stumps can be placed in a container filled with loose, porous soil to continue growing until you can pick the greens for a tasty salad.

You can let them grow until they flower and harvest the seeds to grow your carrots.

How Do I Grow Carrots

sow carrot seed in a single layer

Carrots are grown from carrot seeds, usually in a garden bed, and should be started by creating a healthy growing environment.

Though some carrot varieties can handle inhospitable soils, I always think that a carrot that is tough enough to break hard soils may be tough on the chew.

There are several ways to prepare a bed for new carrots planting. Remember that you will need about three 10-foot rows filled with carrots (spaced two inches apart) to grow enough to feed a family of four.

Growing Carrots From Tops

Carrot Care

Keep your planting moist until the seeds sprout. Water regularly throughout the growing season.

The Apiaceae family has ferny foliage, which helps to weed efforts. Cut the weeds off rather than pulling them to avoid crop damage. Weed after rain and water after weeding to help your carrots thrive.

Apiaceae are not heavy feeders; the compost added earlier in the season will make ample nutrition available. Watch out for armyworms, carrot worms, and leafhoppers (leafhoppers also spread aster yellows, which affect carrots and celery). Provide 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Regrowing Carrots is Straightforward.

So when you grow carrots from carrot tops, you cannot produce another root vegetable, but you can grow foliage.

It is straightforward when regrowing carrots to grow them in an excellent free-draining potting mix.

However, If you don’t have the space in one of your growing beds, they will do well even growing on paper wet with water.

How Long Does It Take To Regrow Carrots

The fern like foliage will take a few weeks to start to appear. The carrot stumps may produce white roots. The entire process will take up to 3 weeks to create a new plant.

However, further growth can be seen in as little as three days.

This is a great thing to do in children’s gardens to get them interested in growth because it is a fun activity, and it is easy to grow carrots from carrot tops.

grow carrots from a carrot stump

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for carrots from carrot tops?

Once the taproot is cut, carrots won’t grow back. The edible greens may be produced again from only the carrot top, and it doesn’t take very long at all; you can start to notice growth in as little as a few days. The water and light it receives will determine how long it takes to blossom and produce seeds.

Can you eat the tops of carrots?

Carrots were first grown for their flavorful greens. Still popular, carrot greens can be used to salads, pesto, and tzatziki, among other dishes.

How long does it take to grow a carrot from seed?

Depending on several variables, a carrot can take between 32 to 95 days from seed to harvest. Variables include seed germination time, seed soil temperature, growing environments, cultivar, hybrid, size requirements, and soil health. Carrot crop management is another factor.

What is the top of a carrot called?

Carrot greens are plants that grow above ground. They are also an edible component of the plant and have been consumed since 900 AD worldwide.

Are carrot tops edible?

Carrot tops are indeed edible. Before anyone started eating the taproot, carrots were first grown for their edible greens. There are many ways to use carrot greens in cooking, including salads.

bottom edge of carrots gives a high success rate


As you can see, you can’t regrow carrots from their tops. Still, this procedure works with the green onions and not the colorful, delicious taproot we’re all familiar with and enjoy since it will never grow again once the growing tip is removed.

If nothing else, the tops make an attractive plant due to the carrot leaves.

Remember, you can also do this when you buy carrots from the store.

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