How and When to Harvest Celery

Close up on the tops of a layer of celery stalks

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Harvesting celery may seem like a no-brainer, but if you want to enjoy the vegetable for months to come, then you should know how and when to harvest celery.

If you’ve never had fresh celery straight out of the garden, you are missing out! Grocery store celery can’t hold a candle to the taste and texture of fresh garden celery. Let’s talk about how and when to harvest celery!

Is celery an annual or perennial plant?

Neither—it’s a biennial!

Close up on celery growing in a garden.

When can I harvest celery?

Celery takes about 16 weeks after germination to reach maturity. But remember, it can take up to three weeks for the seeds to germinate in the first place, so you need to allow for almost 5 months from sowing to harvest—that’s a long growing season!

In cool to mild climates, sow celery in the spring for a summer or fall harvest. For a winter crop, you can also plant celery in the fall in mild climates.

How do I know when to harvest celery?

You can start harvesting celery stalks as soon as they are large enough to be used.

Two celery plants grow in soil

Does celery grow back after cutting?

It will. You’ll get faster results by harvesting individual stalks, but the plant will continue to grow if you harvest the whole plant at once as well.

How do you harvest celery so it keeps growing?

To harvest individual celery stalks, use a sharp knife to cut off the outer stalks. The inner stalks will continue to grow. 

To harvest the whole plant, use a knife to cut the plant away from its roots, leaving about an inch of plant above the soil. The plant will regenerate and grow more celery if it has time before the cold weather hits.

Why is my celery bitter?

It sounds like the celery plant got too hot! Try giving it some afternoon shade, when the temperatures are highest, to see if that fixes the problem. If not, you’ll need to pull up the celery and try again if there’s time.

Celery stalks on a white picnic table. There is a bowl of cut celery and a knife.

How do I store harvested celery? 

The refrigerator is the best place to stash any celery you aren’t eating the same day as you harvest it. For the longest storage, keep celery in an airtight container with water in the fridge. The water in the container will keep the celery from drying out, as the stalks can lose moisture relatively quickly once they are cut.

What can I do with celery?

One of the top uses of celery is in mirepoix—a blend of diced celery, carrots, and onions that is used as a flavor base for soups, stews, sauces, and many other dishes. And be sure to save the celery leaves and rougher ends to use in making stocks and broths!

It can also be used:

For more on growing celery:

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Cassie is a Certified Master Gardener and the founder of Growfully. She's been gardening organically for over two decades, and she's so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!

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1 Response
  1. Magret Jenneker

    Thank you so much Cassie for your article on how to grow and harvest garlic. I’ve tried but mine just disappeared in the ground. I will definitely follow your guidelines and do appreciate your guidance.

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Guide

Hi! My name is Cassie.

I’m a Certified Master Gardener and founder of Growfully. I’ve been gardening organically for over two decades, and I’m so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!

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A wooden hopper is filled with just-harvested vegetables.
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