Microgreens are popular for the varieties they come in and their versatility in being grown indoors and outdoors. They can be grown from any type of vegetable or herb seed and are great providers of nutritional and health benefits. Despite their abundance of varieties and health benefits, many want to get the most out of their plants and are unsure of their chances of regrowth.
So, do microgreens grow back after cutting? No, most microgreens don’t grow back after cutting however there is some light to this answer. Some microgreens such as pea species have a slightly better chance of growing back than most microgreens. Slightly is the keyword, however, as the chances of regrowth are very slim.
One of the most asked questions about microgreens is whether or not they grow back after cutting. It’s important to consider the fact that microgreens are indeed micro first and foremost and so their small size does not allow for much regrowth after cutting because it is stunted. For this reason, the probability of a microgreen regrowing is low.
How Microgreens Are Affected After Cutting
Typically during the harvesting period, the microgreens should be cut just above the soil line and then you would dispose of the remainder of the plant and the used medium. Cutting above the soil line will most likely be cutting the whole microgreen.
However, if you do plan on regrowing your microgreens, what you can do is to cut just above the lowest leaf of the stem. You will get a lower harvest as you leave part of the microgreens, but this may increase the chances of regrowth. By not cutting the lowest leaf, it may still allow for cell generation.
If you cut your microgreens close to the soil line, it affects the chances of microgreen regrowth. The reason is that all of the fully developed parts of the microgreen have been cut and therefore the remaining stem and lower roots no longer have access to the cell regeneration section that would encourage growth.
If you’re in the business of growing microgreens for profit, it may not be worth the time or the money to regrow microgreens after cutting unless they are ones with higher chances of survival such as kale, peas, or beans. The reasoning behind this is that the harvest may not be marketable due to low yield.
It’s better in the long run to grow new microgreens from fresh seeds or seedlings remaining in the soil that have not yet germinated. One-cut microgreens are usually the standard to produce retail because of their quality and fresh taste as opposed to regrown microgreens.
Microgreens Are Susceptible To Mold and Fungus
If you are considering trying to regrow your microgreens, it’s also important to note that microgreens are not fully mature plants and for that reason are susceptible to mold and fungal infections in addition to stunted growth after cutting. Microgreens are susceptible to mold and fungal infections because they are fairly young and vulnerable compared to their mature counterparts.
Cutting microgreens exposes the open tissue to infection and therefore decreases the chances of them growing back, let alone at the same rate of the previous harvest. It’s harder to heal after the initial cut which is why many gardeners choose to start fresh rather than dealing with the hassle of taking a risk with trying to regrow after cutting.
Because their height was affected at such a young age, a crucial time for growth and development, it would become stunted as a result. For these same reasons, many microgreens are unable to regrow after cutting because the areas of the stem responsible for growth and repair have been damaged.
Mold and fungus are highly dangerous to consume so it’s important to keep an eye for either of the two should you decide to regrow your microgreens. These can be avoided by applying fertilizer to the medium your microgreens are planted in and keeping them in a cool, moist environment.
Rare Chances For Regrowth
Even though there are lower chances to regrow microgreens in general, there are some kinds that are more likely to succeed. Pea variety microgreens such as green peas, snow peas, speckled peas, and even fava beans are some of the only microgreens with a higher chance of regrowth after cutting. There is no harm if you want to try it. The only downside is that you may not have as much growth as you did the first harvest and it may take longer for them to grow back as well.
If you want to know which microgreens regrow after cutting, you can test by leaving at least one inch of the stem from the soil when you harvest.
To increase your chances of regrowth after cutting, make sure that your microgreens recently harvested had strong and healthy root structures to ensure that your microgreens will at least have a good starting point.
Afterward, you should make sure that the roots are lightly moistened and receive lots of indirect sunlight to allow for the processes of photosynthesis and cell regeneration to occur. This step is crucial to increasing the chances of regrowth and the rate of plant survival.
For the next few days, you should continuously check to make sure the roots and soil stay moistened and receive warmth and sunlight. If these steps are performed correctly, you should start to notice that the leaves are coming through and if they are healthy or not. It’s also possible for regrowth if a healthy leaf remains, the process would still be the same.
What Are Some Alternatives To Cutting For Regrowth?
Although the chances of regrowth are quite slim after cutting, there are alternative solutions for regrowing microgreens. One alternative doesn’t involve cutting, but rather seeds that haven’t been germinated.
If you are interested in regrowing your microgreens, but not so towards the process of cutting and hoping for something to grow, try instead saving your soil. After your microgreens have been harvested, save all remaining soil to ensure that any seeds hiding throughout the soil are saved.
It’s highly possible that when your first planted your microgreen seeds that some of them did not properly germinate because of a high density per amount of space you allowed for proper growth. If there are any remaining seeds, you can reuse the soil to grow new microgreens without planting them once more.
This alternative doesn’t increase the chances of regrowth by much, but it’s certainly worth a try. Experimentation is also not a bad idea if you’re stuck on the idea of regrowing your microgreens from cuttings. It is possible that you see results and the microgreen leaves will grow, however, they will not be of quality.
Remember, growth is stunted after cutting so it’s likely that the microgreens that do grow back will be short and taste different from the first harvest.
Another alternative is the companion planting method of regrowing microgreens. This method involves planting the microgreens in close proximity to each other to increases the chances of regrowth after harvesting.
Personally, we don’t find it worth the effort of trying to regrow microgreens. It can feel like a waste to throw out the remainders of your plants only after the few weeks of growing, but the chances of getting new microgreens are low and at such, it won’t save you money.
Our recommendation is to grow from new seeds to ensure that you are getting the most value, healthy and nutritious microgreens.