25 Nutritious Edible Plants to Grow at Home
The best way to consume a healthy, fresh, and delicious meal is to grow food yourself. Growing our own food is the most pleasing way to help us connect to Mother Nature. While it does take time for the vegetables and fruits to grow, there are numerous of them that you can grow at home and harvest within 4–5 weeks. You can even regrow some edible plants without planting seeds.
Here are the 25 nutritious edible plants that you can grow easily at home:
Scallions are one of the most used ingredients in Asian Food and French Food. Enjoy fresh with mashed potatoes, salad, or topped with French Soup. Scallion can grow all year round if it gets good sunlight.
To regrow at home, take store-bought scallions, slice off the end of the bulbs, and ensure the root is attached. Tie the scallion bulbs together with jute thread, and place them in a big glass pot filled with 1–1.5 inches of water. Add water till it covers the roots, but leave the green part of the scallion above the water. Keep the roots submerged and ensure to change the water at least once to twice a week.
Between 8–10 weeks, you will notice the spout’s growth and be ready to cut it and enjoy it fresh. Then, repeat the process to keep the scallion growing fresh in your kitchen.
Tomatoes are one of the versatile varieties of fruits and vegetables that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and loaded with vitamins B and E. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of potassium that aids in lowering the blood pressure in the body. Homegrown fresh tomatoes definitely taste better than a store bought one.
Tomatoes are one of the best easy-to-grow at home from seeds, and it grows great in containers. However, the plant needs an adequate amount of sunlight; hence it is best to grow in summer. To start, dig a 3–4 inch deep hole in a big pot or set up a seed starting trays about one-fourth inches deep in an average fertile soil with a 6.0 to 6.8pH balance. The plant seedlings usually appear between 1–2 weeks. Always use a water spray to mist the tomato seeds to keep the top of the soil moist. Do not overwater the seedling. Keep the tomatoes planted in the sun for 6–8 hours, and avoid direct harsh sunlight. It takes around 8–10 weeks for tomatoes to be ready for harvest.
Lettuce is another healthy leafy vegetable low in calories, fat, sugar and has a mild flavor. You can choose how to grow lettuce at home — plant the seeds or regrow lettuce in a jar.
To harvest a big leafy green lettuce at home, ensure the potting mix you will use is rich in nutrients with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. Sprinkle the lettuce seeds 1 to 1.5 inches apart. Spray water to moisten the soil, do not overwater. It will take around 25–30 days to grow fully, and you can harvest the lettuce when it grows 4–6 inches tall.
To regrow lettuce from the kitchen scrap, get lettuce from the market, use the leaves in your salad and slice off the leaves from the stem about two inches from the base. Stick three toothpicks for support and create a tripod stand structure. Put the stem in a shallow side jar. Pour the water in a jar, and it should fill till halfway up the stem. It is advisable to utilize distilled water in case the tap water is high in chlorine. Place the jar near the place where there is a shade of sunlight for a few hours. Ensure to change the water every two days. In 10–12 days, you can harvest the lettuce.
Microgreens are the most favorite green ingredients to add in sandwiches, buddha bowls, wraps, and many more. Microgreens are packed not only full of nutrients but also taste delicious.
It is easy to grow microgreens at home, and it takes only 4–6 days to grow a fresh batch of microgreens. First, get sprouting seeds and growing mat (hemp, natural fiber, jute, or coconut) from the market. Soak the microgreens seeds for around 7 hours or as instructed on the packet. Next, submerge the growing mat in water and put it in a container. Spread the seeds and, cover the container, place them near the window with a sunlight shade. Remove the lid when you notice tiny leaves are growing. Water the plant daily and harvest when it’s ready.
Sprouts and microgreens are from the same seeds from different development stages. Microgreens are full-grown sprouts.
Get the sprouting seeds and soak them in water for 8 hours to grow sprouts at home. Next, drain the seeds and place the seeds in a jar that has small holes in the lid. Put the jar upside down. You will see the growth in 2–3 days, and sprouts will be ready in 5 days.
- Bell Peppers
To grow bell peppers at home, cut the bell pepper in half and put the visible seeds into the soil. The soil should entirely cover the bell pepper. Water the plant enough to maintain the moisture. In a couple of weeks, the seeds should start to germinate. You can initially place the pot indoors; once the seeds germinate, move the pot outdoors in better sunlight.
Coriander has been used as a culinary spice and digestive aid for centuries globally. Coriander herb can be grown under a wide range of climates; however, scorching environments are unsuitable. The best temperature for growing coriander is between 17 to 27 degrees.
Buy coriander seeds and place them in well-drained soil. Place the seeds on a gap of approximately 6 to 7 inches and then cover the seeds with soil. Water the plant thoroughly. Ensure the pot has a well-drainage. It will take two to three weeks for coriander germination and six to seven weeks for the coriander to be ready for harvest.
Basil is another favorite herb packed with various health benefits such as being suitable for digestion, anti-inflammatory, promoting a healthy gut, and many more. Basil is the most used herb when summer is around. Sprinkle it over salads, make pesto for pasta, or toss it on the pizza. How can we forget the sweet basil syrup for sliced strawberries? The heavenly taste.
Basil is a summer plant and thrives in a location where there is an adequate amount of sunlight. But, if you want to grow it indoors where there is not enough sunshade, you can use a grow light.
Choose your pot — 4 to 6 inches pot will be enough. Get a basil seeds mix from the market and sprinkle over the soil surface. Cover the seeds soil and spray the soil. Do not overwater it. Place the pot in a sunny shade with around 8 hours of sunlight, but not the scorching heat. Keep watering the basil regularly. It will take 4–5 weeks to grow and enjoy the fresh homegrown basil.
Potatoes are the most picked all year round vegetables and make delicious mashed potatoes, potato chips, potato curry, and many more. Potatoes are loaded with calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus to help the human body maintain bone structure. In addition, potatoes contain fiber that helps lower cholesterol in the blood.
To grow potatoes at home, buy potatoes with the visible seed on them, preferably from a farm store as supermarkets tend to have the potatoes sprayed with a sprout-retardant, and it is not suitable for planting. You will need an open space to grow a bunch of potatoes; however, if you are trying to grow for the first time, you can develop one potato in a big pot.
Cut the potato in half. Plant the half potato in a six-inch-deep hole, and if you are growing more potatoes, ensure it should be 12–13 inches apart on all sides. Water the potato plants, and it should be up to two inches of water per week. It will take around 4–5 weeks to grow baby potatoes.
Onions are much-loved vegetables, and they can be eaten raw, added in paste making, cooked in gravies, added in sandwiches, and many more. Onions can be easily grown in pleasant spring-summer weather, as well it is easy to grow onions from the half-cut onion.
After buying it from the market, you would have noticed the small green growing roots at the bottom when you keep onion at home. Cut that part and place the onion cutting with the roots growing in the soil. Water the plant with enough water, and it shouldn’t be soaking wet. It takes around 90–100 days for the onions to be ready to harvest.
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, and you can add them to your meal to give a tangy taste of drinking it fresh with water for a refreshing taste.
To grow lemons at home, but the lemons and remove all seeds. Clean the seeds and bury them into the soil in a pot. Plant the lemon seeds about 1/2 inch deep and cover them with soil. Spray the plant, cover the pot with clear plastic, and poke a tiny hole. Place the lemon plant pot in a place where there is around 8 hours of sunshine. When you feel the soil is drying, spray the plant enough to have moist soil. Do not overwater the plant. In about two and half weeks, you will see the tint plant is growing; remove the plastic wrap. Lemons take a longer time to grow, nearly 2–3 years.
One of the easiest aromatic herbs to grow takes a week to 10 days to produce. Mint requires less sunlight and a damp spot. Remove all the mint leaves and trim below the last leaf nodes, leave the roots exposed and plant directly into the soil, or sprout cuttings in a big glass of water until the mint roots and then transfer to the soil in a well-draining pot.
One can add fresh mint to various recipes. Dried mint leaves usually taste best when added to a stew. The mint extract can be used to give sweet and menthol flavor in chocolates or baked goods. In addition, mint water helps to cure irritable bowel syndrome. Mint also helps in boosting metabolism that aids weight loss.
Moringa leaves have seven times more vitamin c than any citrus fruits, including lemons, and have fifteen times more potassium than bananas. In addition, moringa is loaded with calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and many more. As a result, Moringa has been touted as a miracle tree.
Moringa has been traditionally used to remedy diabetes, cancer, joint pain, fungal infection, and many more. It is hassle free to grow moringa at home. You can choose to plant a moringa plant in a pot or grow a tree if you have enough space.
Get the moringa seeds and plant them in a pot or garden. Moringa thrives at 21–35 degrees temperature. Choose a well drain pot. Water the plant regularly and do not overwater it. During monsoon season place the plant indoors. Moringa plants are generally ready in 4–5 weeks for harvest.
Parsley herb is packed with nutrients, and it is another remedy plant used to treat cancer, anemia, antimicrobial, arthritis, and many more. The best way to consume parsley is to cut the entire leaves for the best flavor and garnish on roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, soup, salad, pasta, and many more. Parsley is easy to regrow after each cutting; therefore, you can always have fresh parsley on the kitchen counter. The more stems you cut, the fuller parsley will grow.
Cut the parsley stem to nearly 2–3 inches long and plant in moist sand or a jar of water. Place the parsley near a sunny window. Spray the plant every other day or change the water in 2–3 days. Parsley will be ready for harvest in two to three weeks.
Sage contains various vitamins — A, C, and K. In addition, sage is also packed with antioxidants that help in reducing the risk of cancer in the body. Sage also helps aid depression, obesity, dementia, diabetes, lupus, and many more. You can use dry sage leaves for culinary recipes or fragrances in diffuser oil or soaps. Same as rosemary, you can regrow sage from the cutting, or you can plant a seed.
Get sage from the market and pluck the leaves off the bottom of the sage, around 2–3 inches. Place the sage stem in a water jug and change the water on alternate days. After 3–4 weeks, you will notice the roots will be sprouting out of the stem. Now, you can transfer it to a soil pot. Spray the young sage plant and avoid overwatering it. Keep the sage in sunlight for a good 8 hours. Sage will be ready to use within 6–8 weeks.
Thyme is a herb that has a distinct smell, and it is commonly used in medicine and to flavor food. Thyme oil is generally used to treat baldness and added in mouthwashes as a germ killer.
The best way to grow thyme at home is via propagating — produced from the cuttings. Get a bunch of thyme from the market and chop the leaves from the bottom, leaving around 2 inches. Take a pot or mason jar, fill it with soil, and put the thyme. Place it near the window to get sunlight for at least 8 hours daily. Spray water only when you notice the soil is drying. It will take 3–4 weeks for the thyme to be ready for harvest.
No pizza meal is complete without having dried oregano in it. Apart from serving as flavor in meals, for centuries, Mediterranean people have been using oregano as herbal medicine to cure stomach cramps, skin sores, colds, indigestion, and many more.
To grow oregano from the cutting, chop leaves around 2-2.5 inches from the bottom. Plant the stem in a jar until the roots are visible, and then transfer to the soil. Water every other day, and by 6–8 weeks, you can harvest the oregano plant.
Chives are well-known for garnishing on salads, chicken dishes, pasta, potatoes, seafood, and many more. You can quickly regrow chives from the bulb.
Trim the leaves and use them in your meal; leave a 3 inches bottom part, the bulb. Plant the bulb in the soil and place it near the window or somewhere open where you get ample sunlight. Water the plant every 3–4 days. Once the leaves are tall enough, you can trim them and top them on your meals.
Rosemary is often touted as the queen of herbs as it has been used as a medicinal element and food for ages. Rosemary is prepared as a dried herb for culinary preparation, and the liquid extracts made up from leaves are used in teas or oil preparations. In addition, Rosemary has a wide range of health benefits, including ease of anxiety, improved concentration, pain reliever, aid digestion, and many more.
Get rosemary from the market and remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem; nearly 1–2 inches will be enough. Place the stem in a small or medium pot of soil. Choose a well-drained pot as rosemary hates water. Spray the plant only when you find the soil is dry; otherwise, it is good to go. Place the rosemary near the window to avoid direct sunlight. It takes 6–8 weeks for the rosemary plant to grow mature.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is packed with many medicinal values and rich in antioxidant and antibacterial elements. The aloe gel helps in soothing sunburn and healing wounds. In addition, Aloe vera juice is the best remedy to lower blood sugar levels in the body.
Aloe vera can grow in an indoor pot as well in an open ground. You can easily find the potted aloe vera plants at the nursery. To grow it at home: Choose a space with a bright and sunny location and plant in a big pot of 15–16 inches (as it grows wild and big), well-draining (aloe plant hates too much water), and ensure to mix succulent-specific potting mix. Water the aloe plant twice a week in summer season and once in winter/monsoon season. Do not keep the aloe vera plant out during the monsoon.
- Green Bush Beans
Beans are lovely green vegetables packed with rich protein. You will get two kinds of beans—bush and pole. Bush beans don’t need any support to grow unlike pole beans. Green bush beans are considered a summer plan as they need a good amount of sunlight to grow and need a well-drained pot with rich soil. However, if the sun is extreme, you can grow it in the shade with the partial sun touching the plant.
Purchase the beans seeds from the market and directly sow them into the big pot or the ground by digging a 1-inch deep hole and placing the seeds 10–12 inches away from each other. First, water the bush beans regularly for 4–5 days, allowing the roots to grow. When you see the little green is growing, keep watering once in 2 days to support the growth. Be careful not to overwater the plant. It takes around 7–8 weeks for bush beans to be ready for harvest.
Kale is a leafy vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrition, manganese, and Vitamin K. Kale belongs to the same vegetable species of cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, but it has thick leaves instead of round heads.
Though kale can be grown outdoors, one can ideally grow Kale indoors in a pot or a container. A single kale plant can be grown in a 15-16 inch round pot using good soil quality.
The kale plant should be watered once a day during summer and 2–3 times a week during winter or monsoon. Kale needs sunshine 4–7 hours a day; ensure no direct harsh sunlight. The sports grow within a few weeks.
Beetroot has more iron than various other vegetables. In addition, beetroot is rich in fiber, vitamin A and C. Beetroot helps aid ingestion, anemia, kidney disorder, and many more. Beetroot grows in a cool climate with lesser sunlight and can survive freezing temperatures; therefore, it is the best to pick for winter gardening.
To grow beetroot at home, buy beetroot from the market and slice the upper part with leaves and shoots. Place the half cut of the beetroot in a shallow container and fill it with water; do not submerge the entire beetroot in water; it won’t grow. Keep the container in the kitchen or near the window with no direct sunlight. Within 3–4 days, you will notice fresh leaves are growing.
Replace the water every other day, and by two weeks, you will see the leaves grow bigger. Now, you need to transfer the plant to a pot filled with organic potting mix and keep it under a partial sunshade.
Mushrooms are one of the healthiest picks because it is low in calories, fat-free, high in fiber, packed with vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants. Use it in stir-fried foods, ramen, pizza, sandwiches, soup, and many more. Mushrooms need moist, cool, and dark places to grow.
Button mushrooms are the easiest ones to grow. First, buy a mushroom grow kit, which is already packed with spawn. Use a six inches deep tray size 14×16 inch. Place the mushroom compost in a tray and on top sprinkle spawn. Keep the soil moist and cover it with a damp cloth. Harvest usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Ensure to use it within a day or two after harvesting to savor the fresh flavor of the mushrooms.
Nothing can beat the aroma of ginger spice in soup stock or freshly brewed tea. Ginger is fully loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that help the body fight high blood pressure, lungs, and heart diseases. In addition, ginger promotes healthy aging.
To grow ginger at home, buy fresh ginger with tiny roots attached. Ginger needs a lot of water and ample room to grow. Ginger grows easily in warmer climates; therefore, pick the summer season for planting.
Slice off ginger 1–2 inches with the bud and plant it at least 12–14 inches apart. Do pour a good amount of water daily, and you will notice the leaves grow within a week. Keep the plant under the shade. It will take at least six months for ginger to develop fully and be ready for harvest.
Why grow edible plants at home?
- Money saver
Inflation hits the economy, and growing herbs and vegetables at home is the best way to save money.
- Reduce waste
Tend to happen in the summer season when the herbs plant won’t stay fresh for a long time in the fridge. Sometimes we needed little herbs for garnishing but had to buy a big bunch as the store won’t supply a little bunch. By growing veggies or plants herbs at home, you need not worry about tossing the half-used withered herb.
- Save time and Eat Fresh.
Growing edible plants at home saves you a lot of time – commuting from home to store and coming back home to prepare meals. With growing vegetables at home, you can prepare a meal whenever you like and eat fresh at any time of the day.
- Easy to grow
Major edible plants can easily grow in pots and don’t require a big garden for plantations.
- Healthy Produce
We all know that with the increase in demand for fruits and vegetables, various farms do a mass production using chemicals to grow them faster. Therefore, growing your own vegetables and fruits at home is a great way to get healthy produce every day.
Good nutritious food leads to a healthy lifestyle. The vegetables, herbs, and fruits at the grocery store are picked early and are shipped to the various warehouses. Later, the container is distributed to the different groceries stores and supermarkets. Therefore, the vegetables and fruits are stored in cold storage throughout the process and then placed on the shelf for a while until people buy them.
Over time, the nutritional content of vegetables and fruits declines. Hence, growing your own nutritious edible plants at home is always a good idea, as you will be consuming fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits.