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!
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.
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.
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:
- As a dipper for your favorite dips and condiments. This buffalo chicken dip is one of our favorites.
- Spread with peanut butter or cream cheese and raisins.
- In salads like this celery salad with dates, almonds, and Parmesan.
- As part of a crudité platter.
- To add crunch to dishes like Thanksgiving stuffing.
- And so much more!
For more on growing celery:
- Everything you need for how to grow celery, from types of celery to starting your own celery seedlings to the growing conditions celery needs to thrive.
- The best companion plants for celery to reduce pests, improve yields, and low the risk of diseases.
- Our one-sheet celery growing guide with all the information you need.