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Five Tips For Growing Celery

Homegrown celery has more flavor than its grocery-store counterpart and is convenient to have in the garden. Learning how to grow celery is easier than you think. Learn how to grow celery with these 5 tips.

How to grow celery in Arizona

Disclaimer: this post on growing celery contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.


5 Tips for How to Grow Celery:


1. Choose your planting method for growing celery 

Plant celery from seed, starts, or even the cut-off base of a grocery-store bunch. I have grown celery with all three methods.

  • If you find starts at your local nursery, it’s a great way to get a quick start.
  • Growing from celery seeds will give you more control over the variety you grow.
  • A cut-off base is a simple way to grow celery.

Try all three methods for growing celery and see which one works best for you. I’ve found celery transplants (started from seed indoors) give me the largest plants and most consistent results

Plant a cut-off celery base and new celery will sprout and grow
Plant a cut-off celery base, and new celery will sprout and grow.

Here’s a video tutorial that explains how to grow celery from a cut-off base.   

Start celery seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before your last frost date. Transplant celery seedlings (or cut-off celery bases) when the soil temperature is at least 50°F.

Celery planting dates for the low desert of Arizona:

Transplant seedlings (or cut-off celery bases) outside 8-10 inches apart at the same level as the nursery pot. For square foot gardening, plant 4 celery per square.

If planting from seed in the garden (not recommended because of the need for a long growing season), plant seeds 1/4 inch deep and thin to 8-10 inches apart when seedlings are about 6 inches tall.


2. Celery needs plenty of water & nutrients to grow

Soil must be consistently moist, but not soggy, to grow celery. This is one of the most important things to remember. If celery dries out, it can be stringy, bitter, and bolt. It’s important have a consistent watering method. I use garden grids to water my garden with excellent results.

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Celery grows best in compost-rich soil that is high in organic matter.

Fertilize celery with a fish-emulsion solution once a month throughout the growing season. To do this, add fish emulsion to a container and fill it with water, following dilution instructions on label.

Fish emulsion is a great source of organic nutrients and nitrogen that will not burn plants. It is easily absorbed and quickly taken up by the roots of the plants.

You can also amend soil around celery with compost. Feeding your celery allows it to thrive.  

Fish emulsion

3. Blanch celery before harvesting (if desired)

Many varieties of celery do not require blanching and are “self-blanching”. However, you may want to blanch your celery about 2 weeks before harvesting.

Blanching celery (even self-blanching types) helps eliminate the bitter taste, and makes it sweeter and more tender. Unblanched stalks are darker green and tougher, but contain more nutrients than the lighter-blanched varieties.

How do you blanch celery?

Wrap or cover stalks with heavy paper, soil or mulch, juice or coffee cans, boards, or other items to keep out the light. Leaves should be exposed.
How to blanch celery

4. Pick a little or a lot when you grow your own celery

  • For best flavor, water celery well the day before harvesting.
  • Harvest single stalks as needed from the outside of the plant when it reaches the desired height.
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To use the entire plant, cut it at soil level with a knife. Harvest celery until it begins to get hot. For me in Arizona, that means late spring.

Celery doesn’t like hot temperatures and the flavor will be affected; it will become bitter. The celery may also bolt, meaning the plant’s focus turns to producing seeds. A central stalk becomes taller and literally “bolts”; if it remains in the ground, it will flower and produce seeds. 


5. Use harvested celery in many ways 

Celery stalks have very few calories but contain important vitamins and minerals. Harvested celery can be stored in the fridge for several weeks.

Celery is used as a seasoning base in many dishes. Classic uses include veggie trays and filled with peanut butter.

Chop and freeze celery, and it is ready to be added into soups and stews. Dehydrated celery can be powdered for celery powder.


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Debbie Argyle

Monday 26th of July 2021

I love your guide it will be of great benefit to me because I'm planting celery in a shade house but my teaching is totally different to yours thank you very much.