How to regrow bok choy?

Can You Regrow Bok Choy: Growing Bok Choy From A Stalk

Can you regrow bok choy? Yes, you sure can, and it’s super-simple. If you’re a thrifty person, regrowing bok choy is a nice alternative to throwing the leftovers in the compost bin or garbage can. Regrowing bok choy as also a fun project for young gardeners, and the ruffly green plant makes a nice addition to a kitchen window or sunny countertop. Interested? Read on to learn how to regrow bok choy in water.

Regrowing Bok Choy Plants in Water

Growing bok choy from a stalk is easy. Chop off the base of the bok choy, much like you would slice the base of a bunch of celery.

Place the bok choy in a bowl or saucer of warm water, with the cut side facing up. Set the bowl on a windowsill or another sunny location.

Change the water every day or two. It’s also a good idea to occasionally mist the center of the plant to keep it well-hydrated.

Keep an eye on the bok choy for about a week. You should notice gradual changes after a couple of days, and in time, the outside of the bok choy will deteriorate and turn yellow. Eventually, the center begins to grow, gradually turning from pale green to darker green.

Transfer the bok choy to a pot filled with potting mix after seven to 10 days, or when the center displays leafy new growth. Plant the bok choy so it’s almost completely buried, with only the tips of the new green leaves pointing up. (By the way, any container will work as long as it has a good drainage hole.)

Water the bok choy generously after planting. Thereafter, keep the potting soil moist but not drenched.

Your new bok choy plant should be large enough to use in two to three months, or maybe a little longer. At this point, use the entire plant or carefully remove the outer part of the bok choy so the inner plant can continue to grow.

That’s all there is to regrowing bok choy in water!

How To Re Grow Bok Choy. An easy way to recycle off cuts and regrow to save money!

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Here’s a terrific Idea for you all! How To Re Grow Bok Choy.
Bok Choy, sometimes called pak choi, bok choi, and pak choy, depending on where in the world you live, is a lovely vegetable, used mainly in Chinese cuisine, although these days, is often used in many Western dishes. It’s a lovely vegetable, high in vitamins and really quick and easy to cook with.
Often, unless you live in Asia, it can be quite an expensive vegetable to buy, so this is a great way to get more for your money!
Usually, you would cut off the base and throw it away or add to your compost heap. Well, not anymore!
Here, I have grown two bok choi’s. the photos you see are still in their early stages, they are 1 week old, so be sure to check back in a few weeks and I will update this guide with another photo to show you how quickly they grow.
I have kept them outside in the garden as it is late Spring now. If you are trying this in the colder months, then of course I suggest you grow them indoors on your window sill.
So let’s see how you can save some money and enjoy growing your own bok choy!

1 Bok Choy
1 shallow container

1.All you need to do is cut off the bok choy leaves at the base, leaving around 2 – 3 inches of base.

2. Fill a container with around 1 inch of water and simply stand the base of the bok choy in the container.

3. If the water starts to go cloudy, change it for fresh water. I usually change my water every couple of days, and top up with fresh every so often.

4. Watch it grow!

NOTE: I have not got to the stage where I have tried to re grow this regrown one yet but I will try it and let you know once these little ones are ready to be used!
Good luck and happy growing!

Here’s another great guide from our blogger friend Debi over at Life Currents on how she grows her own Green Onions, Spring Onions.

How To Re Grow Bok Choy Prep Time 5 mins Total Time 5 mins Servings: 1 Ingredients

  • 1 Bok Choy
  • Water


  1. All you need to do is cut off the bok choy leaves at the base, leaving around 2 – 3 inches of base.
  2. Fill a container with around 1 inch of water and simply stand the base of the bok choy in the container.
  3. If the water starts to go cloudy, change it for fresh water. I usually change my water every couple of days, and top up with fresh every so often.
  4. Watch it grow!
  5. NOTE: I have not got to the stage where I have tried to re grow this regrown one yet but I will try it and let you know once these little ones are ready to be used!
  6. Good luck and happy growing!

Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis

Bok choy (or pak choi), literally translated from Chinese, means “white vegetable,” but the irony is that only the stalks near the center of the plant are white.

The outer leaves are beautiful shades of light purple or green, and seem to open out like supporting ballerinas arching back to reveal the star of the show – the compact-headed, bulbous-bottomed central stalks and leaves.

Like good supporting dancers, those outer leaves are pretty, but everyone wants to get to the main act – the sweet, juicy center. Steam them, braise them, stir-fry, or cook them in soup, they’re delicious! Eat them raw and you’ll get a hint of cabbage with a mustardy piquancy.

Here’s how you can grow them in your own little vegetable patch.

What Is Bok Choy?

Sometimes referred to as “siu bak choy” (small white vegetable) so as not to confuse it with “dai bak choy” (big white vegetable – the napa cabbage) this cruciferous vegetable is a member of the Brassicaceae family.

Also referred to as pak choi, the variations of the name in English are derived from the phonetic translation of Chinese characters – the word choi or choy means “vegetable.” The bak, bok, or pak part means “white.”

Bok choy is a biennial plant that is usually grown as an annual. It thrives in the cool season in locations with temperatures between 55 and 70°F.

It doesn’t mind the odd light frost and can withstand slightly higher temperatures, so long as the soil is kept sufficiently moist. Certain heat-tolerant varieties are available to suit tropical environments – but it will not tolerate drought.

This quick-growing leafy green is used extensively in Asian cuisine. Its firm, crispy stalks have a mild flavor and maintain a delicious crunch when cooked.

The soft, tender leaves have a mellow taste with a hint of peppery spice.

Like its close cousins kale and cabbage, bok choy packs a hefty nutritional punch. Low in calories, it’s a rich source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate.

High in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, it also contains important minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.

Cultivation and History

Native to the Yangtze River Delta in China, bok choy has been grown as a food crop since the fifth century, most likely cultivated from native wild brassicas growing in the region.

An important culinary ingredient, it was also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Mentioned in the 16th century by the Chinese pharmacologist Li Shizhen in his “Compendium of Materia Medica” for its medicinal properties, this vegetable has since spread throughout southeast Asia and further afield.

Bok choy was brought to Europe in the mid-18th century, and to America in the late 1800s by Chinese workers during the Gold Rush.

Today, it’s grown nearly everywhere in the world.


This member of the crucifer or mustard family is easily propagated from seed, as well as from transplants. It thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-11.

From Seed

For a spring and early summer crop, sow seeds indoors in a seed starting mix 4-5 weeks before your estimated last frost date. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and spaced about an inch apart.

They should start to germinate in 4-8 days. When seedlings grow to about 2 inches high, they will be ready to transplant.

If you’re growing your crops in containers, choose pots that are at least 6 inches deep for dwarf varieties, and 8-10 inches deep for full sized cultivars.

Thin seedlings to 3-5 inches apart, and keep them indoors in a sunny spot until all risk of frost has passed.

You can also direct sow into your vegetable patch after your last frost date.

You’ll need well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter, so do a soil test and amend with compost as necessary.

Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1-2 inches apart. Thin them to 3-5 inches, depending on your variety.

You can enjoy baby greens in a salad or smoothie, or wait for them to mature before you harvest.

If you are planting a fall crop, sow seeds directly in mid- to late summer, up to 6 weeks before your predicted first frost date.

Keep them well watered and thin when seedlings are 2-3 inches tall.

The amount of space you provide between each plant depends in part on what variety you are planting, so be sure to check your seed packets for instructions.

If you plan to harvest at the baby stage, you can grow them closer together.

From Transplants

You can transplant seedlings into the garden or move containers outdoors once nighttime temperatures are holding above 50°F.

Be ready to protect your plants with a floating row cover if the temperature takes a dip after transplanting – if they feel the frost, they will think it’s winter and bolt as soon as temperatures rise.

Transplant into well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter; mix in some compost as necessary.

If you’re in Zone 8 or higher, late plantings can grow as biennials.

These plants will go dormant in a mild winter, before growing again and eventually bolting the following season.

The second season’s harvest will tend to be less tender and flavorsome – but you’ll be able to save the seeds for future planting.

Successive plantings every two weeks work well if you’re looking for a continuous harvest.

How to Grow

When choosing a spot in the garden, it’s wise not to plant in an area where you’ve previously grown other brassicas, as disease-causing fungi and bacteria can remain in the soil.

Best practice here is to rotate crops to avoid planting the same type of vegetables in the same place year after year.

B. rapa can grow in full sun, but prefers partial shade. Give your plants at least 3-5 hours of sun every day, and they will be happy in your garden.

Bok choy enjoys fertile, well-draining soil that is high in organic matter with a pH of 6.0-7.5. If your soil is rich or you have already amended with compost, you shouldn’t need to add extra nutrients.

But if you see slow growth or pale leaves, feed with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer after transplanting for happy, healthy plants.

Water your veggies frequently, particularly in the fall. Keep the soil moist but not over-saturated, and be sure to water at the base of the plants.

Try to avoid getting the leaves wet as this can encourage rot if plants are watered later in the day.

This plant loves both well-watered and well-drained soil. Whether you use sprinklers, drip tape, or a hose, water regularly so that the soil does not get a chance to dry out. Your goal is to keep the soil slightly damp, but not waterlogged.

Keep the area free from weeds so they don’t crowd out your crops and compete for soil nutrients.

You can also place mulch around the plants to combat weeds and help to retain moisture. Remember to keep the mulching material 1-2 inches away from the base of each plant.

Companion Plants

Companion plants can have various benefits such as pest control and nutrient enhancement, so consider planting some of these together with your bok choy to keep it healthy and insect free.

To enhance growth, surround it with veggies such as beets, bush beans, or carrots. Intercropping will also help you to maximize garden space.

Some claim that planting pungent plants like chamomile, garlic, or mint next to your bok choy will give it some extra flavor.

Celery and thyme help to repel cabbage worms. Any type of onion is a good deterrent to maggots, and rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro, and nasturtiums can protect your crop against flea beetles and aphids.

Growing Tips

  • Regular weeding and mulching reduces competition for soil nutrients and conserves moisture.
  • During dry periods, keep the soil consistently moist to prevent bolting; during times of extended rainfall, don’t water until the soil is dry a thumb’s width down.
  • Succession plant small batches every two weeks to maintain a good supply through the season.

Cultivars to Select

While you may have only seen one type of bok choy at the store, there are many to choose from for your garden.

Some varieties have large, crisp white stems contrasting with dark green leaves, while others have more delicate, pale stems and leaves.

Here are some of our favorite cultivars:

Joi Choi

Standing straight and upright on its thick white stalks, this hybrid variety is distinctive in the garden.

‘Joi Choi’

Adaptable to a wide variety of growing conditions ‘Joi Choi’ is a vigorous, bolt resistant cultivar.

Each plant typically yields 10-14 erect stalks that reach 8-10 inches tall with dark green leaves. Expect 55 days to maturity.

Packets containing 200 seeds are available at Burpee.

Tatsoi Rosette

The ‘Tatsoi Rosette’ variety is pretty with its dark green, teardrop-shaped leaves that arrange themselves around the center of the plant.

‘Tatsoi Rosette’

On the table, the stalks of this cultivar are sweet and tender, and the leaves are tasty in salads. Plant 6-8 inches apart, so that the leaves can spread out.

This fast growing heirloom prefers cooler temperatures and is suited to Zones 3-7. Matures in 50 days.

Find packets of seeds in a variety of sizes at True Leaf Market.

White Stem

‘White Stem’ is hardy and handles frost a bit better than other varieties, and can be grown successfully in Zones 1-9.

‘White Stem’

When fully mature, in about 70 days, its dark green, fan-like leaves have a mild, peppery flavor. This heirloom variety can be harvested early for tender baby greens. It is delicious in a variety of dishes, especially Asian stir-fries.

You can find packets of seeds in various sizes from True Leaf Market and also at Eden Brothers.

Managing Pests and Disease

Unfortunately, this plant is prey to a wide range of pests and diseases. But with attentive care and good growing practices, most of these can easily be prevented or treated.


There are a number of pests that love bok choy as much as we do. Floating row covers can help keep them off your crops. The main ones to watch out for are:


These pesky sap-suckers enjoy feeding on most brassicas, and bok choy is no exception. They can cause stunted growth and wilting leaves, and large infestations can kill your crops. Aphids can also contribute to the spread of turnip mosaic virus.

If there aren’t too many of them, you can wash them off with a hose. For larger infestations, spray with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Cabbage Loopers

This insidious inchworm is about 1.5 to 2 inches long, and it loves chewing large holes in your greenery. Natural predators such as ladybugs and spiders usually keep these pests under control by eating the eggs and larvae.

You can also use Bt or pyrethrins to keep these caterpillars off your crops.

Diamondback Moths

It’s not the actual moth that does the damage in this case, it’s the larvae. Hiding between the upper and lower leaf surfaces, they chew little holes on the bottom of the leaves, and can be seen coming through the tops.

Bt is effective at controlling these pests.

Flea Beetles

What they lack in size, flea beetles make up for in damage. Tiny holes dotted all over your greens are a sign that these little black beetles have taken up residence.

You can spray with neem oil or put down diatomaceous earth around the plants to control these critters.


The presence of pests can also contribute to the spread of bacterial and fungal disease. The most common ones to look out for are:

Black Rot

Caused by a bacterium, Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, yellow or dark lesions will appear on the edges of leaves. They’ll gradually turn black, eventually killing the whole plant. Learn more about how to protect your crops from black rot here.

Damping Off

This condition is usually caused by a fungus, either Rhizoctonia spp., Fusarium spp., or the water mold Pythium spp. that live in the soil. It mostly affects seedlings and young plants by attacking the roots and killing them. Read more about damping off and how to treat and prevent it here.

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is caused by the water mold Peronspora parasitica. It is mostly an issue in warm, moist conditions. The leaves will develop small yellowish spots on the top which gradually get larger.

When you turn the leaf over, there’s often a characteristic white powdery substance that looks like mildew on the underside. Treatment with fungicides is usually successful.

Sufficient airflow between plants and regular weeding helps keep this disease at bay. You can read more about downy mildew here.

Turnip Mosaic Virus

Spread by aphids and an overgrowth of weeds, turnip mosaic virus can be devastating, especially to young plants. Signs can vary from yellow spots on the leaves to large, light green lesions.

Keeping weeds and aphids under control using integrated pest management is the best way to prevent this disease.


Depending on the variety, you can generally harvest mature bok choy 5-8 weeks after germination. You can also harvest tender baby greens at 4-5 weeks, when they are 6-10 inches tall.

Hand harvest your plants during the cooler part of the day, to reduce moisture loss. Cut the plants just above the soil line, all in one snip.

Alternatively, you can use the “cut and come again” method where you harvest the outer, older leaves approximately 1 inch above the soil line, keeping the center leaves intact so that the plant can keep growing.

After harvesting, move your vegetables to a cool location as soon as possible.

They are prone to wilting in the summer sun, so place them in the shade after picking, and take them to the kitchen quickly to maintain their crisp texture.

Seed Saving

If you want to save seeds from your bok choy to plant next year, you’ll need to allow them to bolt. The plants will grow tall and produce flowers, which will eventually fall off and be replaced by seed pods if pollination was successful.

Harvest the seed pods when they are brown and dry – this is an indication that they are getting ready to burst. Just make sure you don’t wait too long or they will open up and release their seeds into the garden.

Cut at the base of each stalk with garden shears when the plant is dry; it’s best to avoid early mornings or shortly after after watering.

Cut the pods off and place them in a bucket or paper bag. If any moisture remains, allow them to dry out completely in a cool, dry place.

If you notice that some pods have already burst, this means it’s going to be easy to separate the remaining seeds from their pods.

To separate the seeds from the chaff, twist the dry pods over a fine mesh strainer or screen. The small seeds will fall through, leaving the dry plant material behind.

Pour the seeds into a lidded container or envelope, and label it with the plant name and date before placing it in a cool, dry location for storage. Seeds can remain viable for up to five years.


Proper storage of this leafy green will preserve its nutrients, as well as its flavor.

If you don’t plan to eat your bok choy the same day that you harvest it, don’t wash it – damp vegetables will rot faster in the fridge.

You can keep whole harvested plants intact, or separate the stems and store them in a zippered bag. Cut holes in the bag for air circulation and put them in the crisper.

This plant is best eaten within 4-5 days, although it can last for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

If you plan to eat your harvest right away, the most thorough way to wash and prepare it is to break off the larger stems and then, when you get to the more tightly-packed inner stems, slice off the base to separate the remaining stems and leaves.

This allows you to clean all the remaining dirt and grit from between the stems.

Rinse well in cool water. Dry them with paper towels or a salad spinner and use immediately, or wrap in paper towels and place in a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days.

Don’t have a salad spinner? , has a handy guide to help you find the best model for your kitchen.

You can also place the separated cleaned stalks into a jar of cold water for a crisp snack that’s ready to enjoy. Put it in the fridge, and eat within 2 days.

Freezing is an option, if you treat the stalks properly. Follow these easy instructions to freeze your homegrown harvest:

  1. Clean the vegetables, then blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
  3. Dry them thoroughly, then place them in zippered bags. Be careful to remove all the air.
  4. Put them as deep into your freezer as you can, and they will last for up to 10 months.

To keep your veggie crop long-term, consider pressure canning it for shelf-stable storage for up to a year. Dehydration is another option, as is pickling.

Cooking Ideas

This nutritious vegetable is a low calorie source of dietary fiber, protein, and a variety of healthy vitamins and nutrients. It offers vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins as well as phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. A one-cup serving contains only 9 calories.

Tiny “baby” bok choy can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a sweet and slightly piquant taste.

Large, mature leaves and stems have a milder flavor. If you let the plants bolt and you don’t plan to save seeds later in the season, the inflorescences (flowering stems) can be stir-fried like broccoli.

You can use this nutrient-packed leafy vegetable in fresh salads, preserve the generously proportioned leaves in a spicy homemade kimchi, or stir-fry them with garlic and soy or oyster sauce for a simple Chinese side dish.

Bok choy is also delicious as a roasted vegetable. The leaves become crispy and the stalks soften and become a bit sweeter.

Quick Reference Growing Guide

Sprouting New Opportunities

Now that you know a little bit more about easy-to-grow and versatile bok choy, we wish you happy experimenting in your garden! Share your experiences and crop photos in the comments below.

If you found this guide valuable, try these suggestions for further reading on brassica and cole crops:

  • How to Grow Broccoli, a Cool Weather Crop
  • How to Grow Savoy Cabbage
  • How to Plant and Grow Turnips for Roots and Greens


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© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 31, 2019. Last updated: January 30, 2020 at 23:59 pm. Product photos via Burpee and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: . Significantly revised and expanded from an article originally written by Drew John. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

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