How to Grow Radishes from Scraps

Children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learn about the parts of plants and food that come from plants.  They learn about the roots, stems, leaves, seeds, and flowers and the function of each of these parts.  Quite often children... and sometimes adults... are surprised to find out that the radishes we eat don't just come from a plant... they are actually a part of the plant!  This quick blog post will give you the directions you need to plant a radish in the classroom and watch it transform into a full plant.

Learn how to grow radishes from scraps at home or in the classroom. You only need a radish, toothpicks, a glass and some water. #kellysclassroomonline

Learning About Radishes

Radishes are a special kind of root called a tuber.  Not only can you eat radishes raw, you can also eat them roasted, toasted, grilled, and pickled.  Radishes are full of vitamin C and contain smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin K.  They are also a good source of fiber.

Radish Life Cycle

To Grow Radishes from Scraps, You Will Need:

  • one radish, whole with stems and leaves removed
  • three toothpicks
  • small glass or plastic cup
  • water

How to Grow Radishes from Scraps

Step One

Take your radish and stick three toothpicks into it.    Place the radish on the rim of the glass.  Adjust the toothpicks as needed.

Growing Radishes
After the first day, a few small root hairs are starting to show.

Step Two

Pour water into the glass, but do not fill it all the way. Leave the top part of the radish poking out of the water. If you cover the entire radish, it will drown. Put the jar in a sunny window and wait. Add more water as needed.  In a week or so, you should see some roots and leaves starting to grow!

    How to Grow Radishes from Scraps + STEM Activity
    After two weeks, the radish has filled the glass with roots. 

    Step Three

    Once the radish starts to grow roots and leaves, it is important to transfer it to a flower pot. At this point, the plant needs the nutrients that are found in the soil. Keep the radish plant in a warm, sunny window and water as necessary. If you care for your radish plant properly, it could grow to be 18 inches or taller! 

    How to Grow Radishes from Scraps + STEM Activity

    Important Note

    If you are planting your radish at home, keep it out of your pet's reach.  I transplanted the radish into a pot of soil and set it in a sunny window.  One day I woke up and discovered one of my cats had dug up the radish and eaten the stems, leaves, and roots.  All that was left was a wrinkly, mushy radish and an empty pot of dirt.  Sadly, my growing radishes experiment came to an abrupt... and tragic... end.  RIP, little radish, RIP.

    How to Grow Radishes from Scraps + STEM Activity
    Do you see my cat's little teeth marks?

    Kramer, Eater of Radishes

    Did you enjoy this post about growing radishes? If so, check out these blog posts for more children's books and STEM activities about growing plants:


    1. Thank you for this informative post! I hope to try growing radishes with my 2nd graders soon. Also, I had no idea cats liked radishes. I'm guessing it was more for entertainment than flavor, on Kramer's part.

      1. Hahahahaha! I had no idea as well. Thankfully, radishes aren't toxic to cats!

    2. There is no point growing one raddish from one raddish. It is a waste of time. Plant the roots, then you will get new raddish to eat.

      1. Well... yeah... when you think of it that way. But the purpose of this activity is for children to watch a radish go through its life cycle and to investigate the parts of the plant. If you are looking to propagate more radishes, this activity wouldn't meet that objective.

      2. How long does this take?

      3. It takes a couple of weeks for students to see the roots, stems, and leaves emerge. After that, it can take up to two months to grow a fully mature radish plant.