Celery is a cool-season biennial that is readily available from the grocery store year round. It can also be grown in the garden, although the seed is slow to germinate and the plant takes a little fussing. Once harvested, however, celery has the ability to regrow even if the obvious roots have been cut away. It can then be planted in the ground for a second harvest.
Preparing the Base
To regrow a celery plant, cut the stalks about two inches above the base. Rinse the base and place in a shallow cup or bowl with about one inch of water in it. Place the bowl in a sunny windowsill. Once a day, pour out the water, scrub and rinse the bowl, then refill with one inch of warm water and put the celery base back in.
Getting Ready for Transplanting
After about a week, you should notice the leaves in the center of the celery base are beginning to grow. Fine roots will begin to appear at the bottom of the celery base. You may also notice some browning of the outermost celery stalks – this is normal. Somewhere between 10 and 14 days, the plant should be ready to transplant.
Celery prefers a very fertile soil that is moisture retentive but also drains well. For best results:
- Site the bed or place the container in full sun.
- Mix in plenty of well-rotted leaf mold, aged manure or good organic compost.
- Amend the soil with organic 5-10-10 fertilizer.
- If growing in containers, make sure drainage is adequate.
Moving the Plant Into Soil
Take the celery base out of the water and plant it in the soil. If the roots are long enough, spread them so they don’t touch and are surrounded by soil on all sides. Mound the soil about one inch above the base of the plant. Firm the soil and water well. Follow the same process if growing in a container.
Depending on the variety, it may take three months before you have a full-sized celery plant. Make sure the celery plant never dries out. Place organic 5-10-10 fertilizer in a shallow trench about two inches from the plant at least twice while growing. You can also water with compost or manure tea. Harvest once the plant reaches eight inches or more.