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How to Grow Broccoli from Stem? | 4 Easy Steps & 6 Tips!

Broccoli is one of the most popular ‘greens’ eaten with most meals.

It belongs to the Brassica family. This family also includes vegetables such as cauliflower, lettuce, and cabbage.

Broccoli has a high nutritional content and can be cultivated quite easily.

There are usually two methods of growing broccoli: one is with seeds, and the other is with stems. As you are willing to repurpose the stems of your broccoli, keep reading this guide on how to grow broccoli from stem!

Even though the broccoli grown from seeds yields a higher quality harvest and is less susceptible to diseases, the broccoli grown from stems can be just as good.

You are usually left with the stems and stalks of broccoli after cooking it for dinner, and instead of throwing them away, you can repurpose them.

You can plant them with our helpful instructions and have your unlimited supply of fresh broccoli.

How to grow broccoli from stem?
How to grow broccoli from stem? – Image via Louis Hansel.

How to Grow Broccoli from Stem? | The Steps!

Growing broccoli from the stem is a fairly simple process.

Stalks and stems are readily available compared to seeds that need to be bought from a store or a nursery. You probably already have enough stalks and scrapes of leftovers from your dinner that you can use to regrow broccoli.

Our gardening experts have put together the following step-by-step guide on how to grow broccoli from stem.

Step 1: Prepare the Stalks

You first need to choose a healthy broccoli head and prepare the stalk that you will plant.

  • Examine the whole piece of broccoli to ensure it has no signs of rotting, diseases, or browning—the broccoli has to be healthy.
  • Further, ensure that the broccoli is mature and fully grown.
  • Select a larger head of broccoli rather than a smaller one.
  • A smaller broccoli head with compact florets from the main stem is a better choice for regrowing.
  • Choose a stem at least 5 inches long to achieve the best results.
  • Once you have chosen a healthy stalk, run it under clean water and thoroughly wash off any dirt and debris.
  • Once the broccoli head is cleaned, cut off the head with a sharp knife.
  • Cut all the florets from the head and leave the stalks behind.
  • Make sure the length of the stems is between 5 to 8 inches.

Preparing the stalk is extremely easy! All you need to do is get a healthy broccoli head, chop off the florets, and leave the stem behind.

Step 2: Start Your Stem in Water

Once the stem is prepared, it’s time to place it in a jar filled with water.

  • Take a jar with a wide mouth; a mason jar will work perfectly too.
  • The jar should be tall enough to hold the whole length of the broccoli stem.
  • Fill half of the jar with clean, fresh water at room temperature.
  • Don’t use too hot or cold water.
  • Also, remember NOT to fill the jar to the mouth. Only fill it halfway so the bottom half of the broccoli stem is submerged in water. The upper half of the stem must be outside of water.
  • Place this jar in a warm sunny spot in your house; a window sill makes an excellent location.
  • Let the jar sit on the window sill for about a week.

After almost one week, you can notice the growth of small roots and even tiny branches.

During this period, be sure to observe your stem every day and check the top half for any signs of dryness. If you notice the top drying, take a water spraying bottle and spray some water to moisten the top.

You can change the water in your jar after every two days or whenever it looks dirty or cloudy.

Just throw the old water, clean the jar, and add fresh water.

Clean water will ensure healthy and faster growth of roots and will prevent diseases. Keep watching the growth of the roots and look for the following signs:

  • The thin root hairs will start thickening up.
  • The roots must grow to a length of about 2 inches.
  • The transparent roots should start becoming darker and less translucent.

If you notice all these signs, it indicates that the broccoli stem is mature enough to be transported in a pot and planted in the soil.

Important Tip: Keep the roots from growing too long in the water since it will make the transportation process difficult, and the established roots will not grow properly in the soil medium.

A person cutting vegetables on the wooden cutting board—how to grow broccoli from stem?
How to grow broccoli from stem? Once you have prepared the stalks, it’s time to put them in a water-filled jar—Image via Ron Lach.

Step 3: Preparing the Potting Mix

Even though broccoli is a cold-loving vegetable and thrives very well in colder regions, it is still not a fan of frost.

Broccoli grown from seeds can thrive well in much colder environments and even sustain frost; however, broccoli grown from stem roots is susceptible to frost and cannot survive.

So, if you are planting your broccoli outside, you must ensure the frost will not hit.

Check the weather of your area; if there is a risk of frost, then it is best suggested to grow broccoli indoors; otherwise, it can be grown in a greenhouse.

Once you’ve cleared the risk of frost, it is time to prepare the potting mix for planting the broccoli.

Even if you are planting in a pot or the actual ground, look out to ensure the following conditions are met to ensure healthy growth.

Sunlight

Broccoli thrives well in the full sun.

So, wherever you are planting or placing the pot, ensure that the location receives full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. If you can find a spot that receives more sunlight than this, it’s even better!

The pH of the Soil

Broccoli thrives in a soil mix of a slightly acidic nature.

A pH range of 6.1 to 6.8 is the optimal acidic pH for the healthy growth of broccoli.

Test your soil to check its pH level before you plant broccoli. You can buy a soil pH test kit from amazon or any local hardware store.

If your soil is alkaline, then you can neutralize its effect and increase its acidity by adding an organic soil acidifier to your soil.

Soil Drainage

Broccoli plants love and thrive in soil with good drainage.

It is crucial to ensure that the soil has a good drainage capacity so waterlogging doesn’t happen.

Broccoli plants need substantial moisture for healthy growth. However, they will rot quickly in waterlogged soil, stunting their growth.

When creating the potting mix, you can improve the drainage by increasing the sand content of the soil. It will improve the drainage of water and prevent water from standing in.

Nutritional Needs

Broccoli prefers soil with high nutrition levels like any other vegetable and fruit. Providing enough nutrients to the plants is crucial to attaining a healthy and delicious harvest.

Low-nutrition soil will produce a poor-quality harvest.

If your soil is composed of a high percentage of clay or has a crumbly and dry texture, it will affect broccoli’s growth.

However, you can easily enhance this soil in the following ways:

  • Addition of manure
  • Addition of compost that is well-rotted
  • Using chopped leaves from last fall

Take the organic matter and work it into the top few inches of the soil.

You can also use an organic fertilizer during the growing season to encourage growth and attain a healthy yield.

Now your soil is ready and suitable for the transportation of broccoli!

Man filling a pot with soil—how to grow broccoli from stem?
How to grow broccoli from stem? Preparing a suitable potting mix according to your plant needs is essential for their proper growth—Image via Markus Spiske.

Step 4: Transplanting the Broccoli in the Potting Mix

Now that you have set up the soil and the location to plant the broccoli, it is time to transplant the broccoli stems from the water into the soil.

  • We suggested choosing a wide jar to take the stem out easily without damaging the roots.
  • Place the roots gently into the soil and cover the last 2 inches of the stem with the soil.
  • Lightly spray water to moisten the soil; do not drench the soil by overwatering.
  • Maintain a healthy moisture level and slightly colder temperature for the roots.
  • Add a layer of mulch to maintain the temperature and retain the moisture, so the soil does not dry out quickly.

Now you are all set! Just keep taking care of your plants and watch them grow.

How to Grow Broccoli from Stem? | The Tips!

Now that you have learned how to grow broccoli from stem, we have enlisted some additional care tips for you to attain a healthy harvest of broccoli.

  • Use wooden stakes made of bamboo and some tape to support the broccoli plants.
  • Use an organic fertilizer or compost after every two weeks to encourage growth.
  • Be sure to look out for pests such as cabbage caterpillars.
  • Plant the broccoli stems twice a year! Plant the first batch in early spring after the frost has ended. Then plant the second batch of the stem in late July or early august.
  • To maintain the soil’s moisture level and regulate the temperature, lightly water every day and use mulch.
  • You can use chicken droplets or compost tea to enrich and nourish the soil for broccoli.

Broccoli is often thought of as an annual plant when it is biennial.

It means that after growing a broccoli harvest in one year, it produces flowers and seeds for the following spring season.

Some varieties of broccoli grown in certain environments can act as perennials too, which indicates that it’ll grow back every season.

Here’s a visual guide for you:

How to regrow broccoli from store-bought broccoli – YouTube

That will be all for today! Let’s conclude the talk.


Conclusion

Nothing tastes better and more rewarding than home-grown vegetables.

Broccoli is enjoyed as a healthy vegetable with everyday meals. Only the florets of the broccoli head are used for eating purposes, while the other part goes to waste.

Rather than throwing away the stems and scraps next time, you can repurpose them to grow your unlimited supply of broccoli.

With our excellent guide filled with the most essential and helpful tips, you can learn how to grow broccoli from stem and grow your best broccoli harvest ever.

Please share with us how your harvest turned out in the comments below!

Regards,
Happy growing!