Growing celery from the base of the stalks is a fun, easy garden project that produces fast results. There are two ways to do it: using just water in a container or planting the base in potting soil. You might get more leaves than stalks when growing celery from its base, and your celery might not be as big as a store-bought bunch. However, there are great ways to use celery leaves in cooking. Think of them as an herb: They taste like mild celery and work well in soups, stews, and more; some people even use them as a substitute for cilantro.
Furthermore, when growing your own celery from the base, consider starting with organic celery, as celery often ranks high for pesticide residue. Look for a bunch of celery that is firm with tightly packed stalks. The leaves should be green and appear fresh.
Equipment / Tools
- Trowel (optional)
- Bunch of celery
- Fresh water
- Small container
- Planting container with drainage holes (optional)
- Potting soil (optional)
- Slow-release fertilizer (optional)
- A piece of screening, coffee filter, or paper towel (optional)
Cut the Bottom Off Your Celery Bunch
Using a large, sharp knife, cut off the bottom of your bunch of celery about 2 inches up from the base. Store the celery stalks until you're ready to eat them, and save the base.
The best way to store celery stalks is to wrap them in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate them. Foil-wrapped celery can remain fresher a bit longer than plastic-wrapped celery. To revive stalks that have wilted, cut a half inch off both ends and put the stalks in an ice water bath for 30 minutes.
Place the Celery Base in a Small Container
Take the base of your bunch of celery, and put it in a small container filled with about an inch of water. Place the container in a bright area but out of direct sunlight.
Watch the Celery Grow
Your celery should start to sprout in a day or two. Change the water every couple of days, and make sure the dish doesn't dry out.
Plant the Celery in a Pot (Optional)
If you want your celery to get bigger, plant it in a pot. First, to prevent soil from coming out, cover the drainage holes in the bottom of your pot with a piece of screening, coffee filter, or paper towel.
Then, fill your pot with potting soil until it is about 2 inches below the rim. Mix in a slow-release fertilizer, following the label directions. Pat down the soil to level it, and add water so it becomes damp but not soggy. Next, place the bottom of your sprouted celery base on top of the soil. Add about another inch of soil, so it completely surrounds the celery base. Finally, place the pot in full to partial sunlight, and water often enough to keep the soil damp. Then, watch your celery grow.
Making Homemade Celery Salt
It's easy to make your own celery salt by using celery leaves and table salt, kosher salt, or sea salt. All you have to do is harvest celery leaves, wash them, dry them as much as possible with a clean dish towel or salad spinner, and dehydrate them. To dehydrate your celery leaves, either use a dehydrator or an oven.
If you are using an oven, preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay out your celery leaves in a single layer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the leaves are crispy but not browned. Once they cool, crumble them and mix them with an equal amount of salt. Then, store the mixture in an airtight jar.