Withanolides are biologically active secondary metabolites present in roots and leaves of Withania somnifera. In the present study, we have induced adventitious roots from leaf explants of W. somnifera for the production of withanolide-A, which is having pharmacological activities. Adventitious roots were induced directly from leaf segments of W. somnifera on half strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) semisolid medium (0.8% agar) with 0.5 mg l⁻¹ indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and 30 g l⁻¹ sucrose. Adventitious roots cultured in flasks using half strength MS liquid medium with 0.5 mg l⁻¹ IBA and 30 g l⁻¹ showed higher accumulation of biomass (108.48 g l⁻¹ FW and 10.76 g l⁻¹ DW) and withanolide-A content (8.8 ± 0.20 mg g⁻¹ DW) within five weeks. Nearly 11-fold increment of fresh biomass was evident in suspension cultures and adventitious root biomass produced in suspension cultures possessed 21-fold higher withanolide-A content when compared with the leaves of natural plants. An inoculum size of 10 g l⁻¹ FW favoured the biomass accumulation and withanolide-A production in the tested range of 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 and 20.0 g l⁻¹ FW. Among different media tested [Murashige and Skoog (MS), Gamborg’s (B5), Nitsch and Nitsch (NN) and Chu’s (N6)], MS medium favoured both biomass accumulation and withanolide-A production. Half strength MS medium favoured the biomass accumulation and withanolide-A production among the different strength MS medium tested (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0). The current results showed great potentiality of adventitious roots cultures for the production of withanolide-A.