This post may contain affiliate links
One of my favorite vegetables to raise is broccoli (Brassica oleracea). In addition to being rich in vitamins and fiber, it grows surprisingly easily in a backyard garden. You can grow broccoli from scraps and seeds instead of depending on transplants from your neighborhood garden shop may save you a ton of money with only a little bit of work.
You’ll likely have to deal with leftover broccoli stalks and scraps if you are a fan of this superfood. What’s even more cool is the fact that these quirky bits don’t have a place in the trash or compost. Instead, grow your endless supply of broccoli by recycling it!
Today you will learn how to grow broccoli stem cuttings as well as growing broccoli from seeds, and some growing tips to ensure a bumper harvest.
Let’s get started with growing broccoli from scraps!
How To Grow Broccoli From Scraps
1. Reduce your stem
Let’s begin with the stems. Stems at least 5 inches in length will produce the best results.
We have two heads here of broccoli. Only one is suitable for regrowth.
The one to the left is larger and has a more central stem. This allows us to work efficiently and obtain strong roots.
It is still delicious but not the best for growing. It is usually quite small and has too many flowers that branch off the main stem.
These tender stems are delicious, but you need to make sure that they are properly cut.
After you have a stem that is strong enough to use, rinse the broccoli in warm water to get rid of any dirt and debris. Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the broccoli. However, you can leave some stems.
The lower branches should not bear any sign of the head, so trim them all.
This is it! No more stem preparation is needed!
This is how the stem should look after you removed the top. The remaining stem measures approximately 6 inches in length, which is fine.
2. Place the cut stem in the water
Next, locate a tall container that can hold your stem.
Clear wide mouth (This will be important later!) A mason jar was used, but any regular glass that is at least 6 inches high should work.
After you have the container set up, add enough water to cover the stem’s bottom.
Place the jar in an open window.
Within a week, new roots should begin to grow from the stem’s base.
There will be some new leaves and branches at the top.
To ensure that the stem isn’t drying out, check the top every few days. Spray the stem with a spray bottle if it is drying out.
You can throw out any water that has become cloudy or dirty and replace it with fresh, clean water. This will stimulate root growth and accelerate the process.
Pay attention to your root growth. These signs are important to watch out for:
- Roots are at most a few inches in length
- They get fat
- The color begins to darken
These signs will indicate that your broccoli stems can be planted in the soil.
Be careful when transplanting outside. Your stem won’t transplant well if the tips of your root are too long or dark.
3. Plan your planting area
This is the first place where you can plant broccoli stalks outside.
Broccoli can be grown in cool climates, but it must only be used as a seed crop. Broccoli is resistant to freezing and sub-freezing temperatures when it’s planted from a stem cutting.
The National Weather Service has more information on freeze dates for your area if you aren’t sure.
After your area is free from frost danger, you can prepare your planting location. Broccoli is a large, mature plant so its best home is underground.
However, you can grow broccoli in a container if it is large enough. A 5-liter container is a good size for growing broccoli.
Related: Learn more about growing broccoli.
Broccoli thrives in these growing conditions, whether it is in the ground or in large pots:
- Full sun
- A slightly acidic soil (optimally between 6.8 and 6.1 pH).
- Good drainage
- Excellent nutrient levels
These are the things you should do to satisfy each one of these needs.
Full sunlight: Your broccoli will get at least 6 hours of sunshine each day. You can get more sunlight if you live somewhere else.
A slightly acidic soil: Use a multi-function tester such as this one from Amazon to get the pH right the first time. This organic soil acidifier might be the best option if you want to make your soil more acidic.
Nutrition and drainage: Broccoli prefers to remain moist, but not too wet. Broccoli, like all vegetables, needs lots of nutrients to ensure a good harvest.
Healthy conditions can only be achieved in soil with lots of clay and very dry/soggy soil.
The solution to improve drainage and enrich your soil is the exact same: Increase the amount of organic matter in your soil.
These are some great options:
- Well-rotted manure
- Last fall’s shredded leaves
This good stuff should be used to fill several inches of the top area that is above the ground.
Container Growing: Incorporate your organic matter into the potting mixture.
4. Your rooted stem should be planted
Once you have prepared your area for planting, remove the rooted stem. Take care when you take the container out. You must not damage the roots.
Place the stem in the soil and cover all roots with mulch. To keep the soil from drying out, cover the stem with mulch.
Only water is enough to moisten the soil until new growth appears. This can be done once or twice per week.
Broccoli prefers its roots to stay cool, so make sure you keep them hydrated with lots of water.
Take a look at the beauty of growing your broccoli.
How to Grow Broccoli from Seeds
The ideal method for planting broccoli seedlings indoors is described here.
- Add seed starting mix to the container. To level the dirt, tap the base on a solid surface. The container needs to be filled all the way to the rim. Do not apply pressure on the ground.
- If the container has compartments, make a tiny hole where you intend to put each seed. For this task, I use a pencil or a little dibble. The depth of the hole should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inches.
- Broccoli seeds shouldn’t be buried since doing so might prevent germination. Backfill the hole. If the container lacks discrete planting sections, you may also scatter the entire packet of seeds across the soil’s surface. Then add another 1/2 inch of potting soil over the seeds.
- Use a sink sprayer or a watering bucket to lightly mist the seeds with water.
- Put the variety name and the day the seeds were sown on the container’s label.
- To maintain a high level of humidity until the seeds begin to germinate, cover the container with a plastic dome or a piece of plastic wrap. It’s not necessary to place the pots under grow lights until the seeds begin to sprout, but I find it more convenient to do so right immediately.
Growing tips to get the best broccoli harvest
Broccoli is a difficult plant to grow. Here are some tips to help you get the best from your broccoli crop.
- Regular watering and mulching will help maintain soil moisture and temperature.
- Every two weeks, apply fertilizer (organic such as this one) or compost.
- You can avoid and eliminate pests like cabbage caterpillars. More information is available from the Royal Horticultural Society, (RHS), here.
- The stems should be planted in spring according to the last frost date. The second stem should be planted in late July or early August (yes, twice per year). ).
- Bamboo tape and garden tape are available at Amazon to support broccoli plants.
Why broccoli should be in your garden
Broccoli can be used in many different recipes and is delicious.
According to Healthline, broccoli is worthy of a garden for the following reasons:
- It has 11% of the daily vitamin A requirement, which is essential for healthy eyesight.
- It contains 135% of the vitamin-C requirement, which is essential for the immune system.
- Vitamin K is required for blood clotting and healthy bones.
- What about B9 (folate). It contains 14% DNA and RNA, which helps create healthy pregnancies.
- Broccoli is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.
- It is rich in calcium and phosphorus which are vital for bone health.
- It is high in fiber which helps you feel fuller and more regular.
- It’s also low in calories, carbs, and fat!
The best thing about broccoli is the fact that you can eat the florets as well as the stems. You will reap the same benefits.
Broccoli tastes great raw or cooked, with or without cheese.
You can also eat leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and lettuce.
It is possible to grow broccoli from stem cuttings. This makes it more than a simple garden spot.
FAQs about Growing Broccoli
How to get seeds from Broccoli?
Are you aware that the heads of broccoli are young flowers? It’s true, and you can buy seeds here. You may see the seed pods forming if you let one head blossom or “bolt.”
Just wait for the seed pods to mature—it takes a few months!
The pods will continue to dry on the stem even after you remove the entire plant from your garden. Once dry, you ought to be able to twist each pod to release the small seeds, which you may then keep in a paper bag for sowing the next year.
Does Broccoli come back each year?
The majority of gardeners consider broccoli an annual since it goes through its whole life cycle in a single year. However, broccoli is a biennial plant, which means it will develop and provide a harvest in one year before flowering and producing seeds the next spring.
Biennials typically only last for the second year before dying off, however in some regions, they can behave like perennials and return year after year.
How much Broccoli can one plant yield?
Broccoli may be harvested twice a season. Each plant will provide a single sizable head, with the initial harvest being the biggest. The plant will start to develop tiny side branches after you’ve picked the initial head, which you can also harvest.
Can I grow Broccoli in pots?
Yes! You may grow a broccoli crop in any pot or container that is at least 12 inches in diameter. For soil, water, and temperature, the same guidelines that apply to in-ground broccoli plants also apply.
Broccoli may be started in a pot from either a cutting or even seeds.
What if my Broccoli Plants are too close?
For the greatest results, broccoli plants require at least 18 inches of space between each other in order to develop a single head of the vegetable. Planting your broccoli too close together can result in smaller heads and lesser yields. Provide your broccoli plants the room they require, then!
Broccoli can also be a wonderful addition to your vegetable garden.
You too can reap the many benefits of this delicious cruciferous vegetable if you give it a little love and attention.
If you have any broccoli, plant it from the stem right away!
Which is your favorite way to eat broccoli? Comment below!