let me get this out of the way right up front: i kill plants. i don’t mean to. it just… happens. succulent from ikea? killed it. basil? dead. rosemary? weird bug/fungus situation –> trash. cilantro? caught plague from the rosemary. buh bye. basically, anything that requires soil and water (and has opinions about how much of each it would like and when, please and thank you) will inevitably be toast.
the one “exception”, if it’s fair to categorize it as such, is plants that just need water. like cut flowers. i’m awesome at keeping cut flowers alive for a few days. i’ve totally got that down. add water. don’t let all of the water evaporate (more than once, anyway). done. i can totally do that. i’m basically a master at cut flowers. (by which i mean, once a year i have cut flowers and they stay alive for a reasonable length of time that one would expect cut flowers to stay alive. i’ll take it!)
based on my cut flower mastery (and the fact that basil hates the fridge), when i buy basil at the grocery store (because, see above re: killing the potted version), i will stick it in a glass of water and leave it in a sunny spot. sometimes it totally wilts. within 24 hours. to mock me.
sometimes – sometimes though! – sometimes it grows roots and has a happy little life for a while. and i feel like i’ve got this “growing plants” thing down. spurred on by this success, plus my loathing for wasting food, and, of course, the endless rabbit holes of the internet, i got it into my head that i was going to try to grow green onions from cuttings.
the premise is simple: cut scallions about an inch above their roots. stick the roots in water. wait. cut scallions and sprinkle on grilled eggplant with tzatziki, feta, and mint. (what? it’s only slightly wishful thinking. i was, in fact, grilling eggplant just the other day. sure, it came from the grocery store and yes, i was wearing snow boots, but mostly that was because they are still sitting by the door. also because it wasn’t super warm outside, but we’ll just focus on the fact that the grill didn’t have any snow on it that needed to be brushed off. winning!)
where was i? right! growing scallions in water! i wasn’t sure what to expect but it totally worked! i have real live green onions that appeared out of nowhere! (well, ok, out of a jar full of water and roots, but that’s almost like nowhere.) sure, they are a little floppier than green onions that had the benefit of things like soil, but they are still legit green onions.
the ones on the left in the photos i started just a few days ago (because now that i know that it works, can’t stop, won’t stop turning kitchen scraps into new food!) and the ones on the right are about 2 weeks old. the big ones have basically stopped growing, which i think is my cue to harvest them, before they all flop over and die just to mock me and my enthusiasm (plants can be very vindictive).
every few days, i rinse out the jar and give the scallions fresh water. aaaaand that’s it! they do the rest. after a few days, i removed the bad apples that didn’t show any signs of growing even though all their friends were doing it, so they wouldn’t poison their friends, but that was only one or two out of about a dozen – way better than my track record with soil plants!
believe me, friends, if i can grow scallions from cuttings, you can too! now, if you’ll excuse me, i have to go abruptly end the drought that my soil plants endure in between their weekly floodings…
did you use this tip? i’d love to know how it worked for you! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.