The carrot is instantly recognisable and is seen on dinner plates all over the world. Some are short, orange, and fat and others are long, purple, and slender. I have been growing various carrot cultivars for many years and am often asked “Can you grow carrots from carrot tops?” The answer is Yes & No. If we mean carrot greens – the above-ground plant, then Yes, we can continue to grow this plant from just a carrot top but, if we are talking about the fleshy root, the answer is no – you cannot regrow a carrot root from just the carrot top.
How to Grow Carrots from Carrot Tops
As we mentioned above, you can’t grow the fleshy root but you can have some fun with the kids while growing carrot greens. There are a couple of ways that can get you started but we will cover the easiest and most fun way to do it.
What you Need
- Fresh Carrots
- Sharp Vegetable Knife
- Chopping Board
- Glass Dish
Step 1 – Cutting your Carrot Tops
Take your carrots and using the sharp knife and chopping board, remove 1-2cm of the carrot ensuring that it is the end that the greens will grow from. You will want to ensure that you make one nice clean straight cut so that your new plants will be able to stand up unaided.
Step 2 – Watering your Carrot Tops
Next, you will want to place your cut carrot tops in the dish with the stubby growing end facing upwards and add a tiny bit of water. Do not add too much water, you only need enough to ensure that the cut end is slightly wet.
Step 3 – Watch them Grow
Place your dish on a nice and light windowsill and check daily to ensure that the plants still have water. As the water is so shallow it will disappear quickly. It will not take long for the carrot to start growing shoots from the top and roots at the bottom.
Step 4 – Plant
Once there are sufficient roots, the carrot tops can be planted into loose, well-draining soil to continue growing until you are ready to harvest the greens to use in a nice salad or you could continue to grow until they flower and harvest the seeds to truly grow your own carrots.
Best Soil Mix for Growing Carrots?
Being a root vegetable, carrots will not grow in soil that is too heavy or full of clay. Carrots thrive in light and lump-free soil with good drainage so you will want to ensure that your soil is free of stones and not prone to clodding. Carrots also do not like soil with too much Nitrogen and will grow better in soil with a neutral ph. of between 5.6 and 6.5. Carrots will struggle with soil that is too acidic so if your soil needs work, we advise adding a little lime when you prepare your bed in the Autumn before planting.
Carrots are a root vegetable that seems to have been the subject of many myths through the years. Although carrots are good for your overall eye health, carrots making you see in the dark is a myth that was surprisingly created by British intelligence during WW2. The world was led to believe that eating carrots had given the British pilots superior night vision when in truth, the British propaganda was designed to hide the fact that the British pilots during the war had access to the first working radar system enabling them to down more enemy fighters during the night.
Well as you have seen, you are able to grow carrots from carrot tops although the regrowing process only applies to the greens and not to the colourful, tasty taproot that we all know and love because once the taproot has been removed, it can never grow back. Growing carrots from carrot tops can be especially rewarding if you manage to grow the carrot top enough for the plant to flower and produce seeds as from the seeds, you could indeed grow a new crop of carrots. Why not give it a try, this is certainly an easy and fun way to teach your kids about the wonders of life and the garden.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Your carrots need a warm and light windowsill but do not leave your dish in full sun all day, they will dry up too quickly!”
“Recycle an old glass ashtray to make a great dish for growing your new carrot tops!”
“Line the glass dish with newspaper so you are able to see when it has nearly dried and add more water!”
“Save the seeds for the next growing season and you will indeed have grown carrots from a carrot top!”
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to grow carrots from carrot tops?
You can regrow the edible greens from just the carrot top and it doesn’t take too long at all and you will start to see movement in as little as just a few days. How long it will take to flower and produce seeds will depend on the amount of water and light it receives.
Can you eat the tops of carrots?
Yes, carrots were originally cultivated for their aromatic greens. Carrot greens are still widely eaten and can be used in salads, pesto, and tzatziki among other things.
What is the top of a carrot called?
Above-ground carrot plants are known as carrot greens. They are also an edible part of the plant and have been eaten around the world since as far back as 900AD.
Are carrot tops edible?
Yes, carrot tops are edible. Carrots were originally cultivated for their edible greens before people even began eating the taproot. Carrot greens go great in salads and have many other culinary uses.
Are carrots roots?
Carrots are root vegetables that were originally grown for their aromatic greens as far back as 900 AD. Many people still cultivate carrots for their greens, but in the Western world, they are now more widely known for their colourful roots.
Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.