CELERY

FAMILY: Apiaceae | GENUS: Apium

TYPE
  • Annuals
  • Biennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Ample Water
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

Celery (Apium graveolens dulce) is native to Europe and Asia and is grown commercially in muck fields in Florida. It's difficult to grow in home gardens, because it needs more moisture and fertilizer than most other vegetables. The keys to success in the South are very rich, organic soil and an unfailing, plentiful water supply. Homegrown celery doesn't taste much different from that sold in markets, so grow it only if you enjoy a challenge.

Transplants are hard to find, so be prepared to start plants from seed. For a spring crop, sow seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost; then set out young plants 4 weeks before the last frost. For a fall crop, sow in summer, timing so that you can set out transplants 10 to 12 weeks before the first autumn frost. Work lots of composted manure and other organic material into the soil before planting. Space seedlings 7 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart; plant them so that the crown is level with the soil. Keep soil constantly moist. Side-dress rows every 4 weeks with 12 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 10 feet of row. To whiten stalks (thought to make them less stringy), place a bottomless milk or orange juice carton over each plant to keep out sunlight, but don't cover the leaves. Available selections include 'Tango Hybrid' (85 days from sowing to harvest), 'Victoria' (85 days), 'Tall Utah 52-70R Improved' (90100 days), and 'Ventura' (80 days).

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