There are a couple of methods for growing, or regrowing, certain plants without seeds, but is spinach one of those plants? Can you grow spinach without seeds? I have done some research and written this article to answer that question.
It is technically possible to grow spinach without seeds, although you must have some rooted plants. Spinach cannot be propagated or rooted like many other plants, but an already rooted spinach plant can be harvested and regrown. Spinach from supermarkets often has roots left on it and can be regrown.
Unfortunately, we can’t make spinach appear out of thin air, but we can make it grow back from an already harvested plant without needing seeds. This trick works with both your own homegrown spinach and with fresh spinach bought at a supermarket, as long as there are some roots left on it. I will explain everything you need to know and show you how to regrow spinach in this article.
Growing Spinach Without Seeds
If you already have some spinach plants, either homegrown or storebought, that have roots on them, don’t throw out the scraps after you pick the leaves. Those scraps can be replanted and used to grow a lot more spinach for free.
The only requirement for regrowing spinach from scraps without using seeds is that the spinach scraps have intact roots and that those roots are alive.
In my experience, spinach that has been replanted generally isn’t as productive and doesn’t look quite as nice as the first time it grew, but the point is that you can get a lot more out of a spinach plant than just one harvest.
If you have spinach growing at home, then the easiest way to let it regrow is to just pick the leaves when you harvest it instead of taking the whole plant out of the soil. Just cut the leaves about an inch (2.5 cm) or so from the base and leave the remaining part of the plant in the ground. Within a few weeks, you will be able to harvest another round of spinach from the same plant.
You can also regrow storebought spinach, but the method is a bit different than with homegrown spinach since the plants have been taken out of the ground. That said, if you go after the pack of spinach with the largest and freshest looking roots next time you shop, you will almost certainly be able to make it grow again. I explain how below.
How to Make Storebought Spinach Grow Again After Using It
Storebought spinach often comes in bunches that still have roots on them. That is a great thing if you want to regrow it and get a lot more out of it.
Here is how you make storebought spinach grow back.
- You are obviously going to want to use the leaves (otherwise, what is the point), so cut them all about an inch or two (2.5-5 cm) from the base, leaving all the roots intact and still attached to the bottom of the plants.
- Once you have the bottom of the spinach plants with the roots (and no leaves), get a pot and some soil or find a suitable place for the plants in your garden and cover the rooted parts with soil while leaving the freshly cut stems above the soil.
- Keep watering your spinach frequently. Water it whenever the top of the soil begins to become dry. It is much better to water spinach in small but frequent doses than to give them a lot of water more rarely.
- New spinach leaves will have grown and be ready for harvest within a few weeks. Harvest by only picking the leaves and not the whole plant. Leave the bottom of the plant, including the roots, in the soil to allow it to grow back once more.
This is just one method for getting as much as possible out of your spinach plants. I have another article (here) with some more tips for increasing your spinach yield even further.
Regrowing Spinach From a Leaf
A very common question I have come across is if you can root spinach leaves and make them grow as new plants.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to regrow spinach from just a leaf. Spinach leaves cannot produce roots, so trying to propagate them in water or soil will not work.
Instead, you have to replant the bottom of the spinach plant. The part that has the roots. That is the only way to regrow spinach.
An easy (sort of) way to get a lot of spinach practically for free is to allow one or some of your spinach plants to flower and produce seeds. You can use the seeds to grow a lot of new spinach, but you should know that it probably won’t be the exact same type as the plant you collected the seeds from. I explain both how to do it and why they will be different below.
Collecting Seeds From Storebought Spinach
Collecting seeds from spinach is easy and a good way to be able to grow a lot more. The process is simple and doesn’t take a long time. Here is how you do it.
To collect spinach seeds, allow the plant to bolt and flower until it begins to dry up naturally. Once the plant is done flowering and is completely dry, the seeds can be collected. The seeds are found all along the top of the tall stalk that has grown from the center of the plant.
The easiest way to collect spinach seeds, in my opinion, is to cut off the stalk with the flowers once it is dry, place it inside a bag and then shake the bag. That way, the seeds that are dry and ready for being collected will fall off into the bag very easily.
The only thing is that the spinach you get from the seeds probably isn’t the same type as the one you collected the seeds from.
According to this article from South Dakota State University Extension, spinach is an outcrossed plant, which means that it requires pollen from a different plant to become fertilized and produce seeds. If you are curious about this, I really recommend reading the article.
I found this great quote from the article that pretty much sums it up:
Seeds from outcrossed plants will not necessarily come true; thus you should not save seed from these plants if you want to be certain that the plants will be exactly the same as their parents.Rhoda Burrows
Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist (source)
If you are interested in spinach flowering, including why and when it happens and what to do, then I recommend reading this article I wrote about that.