Thursday, August 9, 2012

Progress Report: Re-growing Celery from the Base

Those of you following along might know we've been experimenting with re-growing a celery stalk straight from the chopped off base of an organic stalk we bought from the grocery store almost 5 months ago. You might remember this is where we first started:


The last time we checked in 3 months ago, we were looking like this:


Over the past few months, it's been growing steadily in a planter on our windowsill and is looking more like this these days:


The leaves have grown much sparser and larger and the stalks have continued to grow up and out from the center of the celery base — they are getting thicker as well, but not quite thick enough for Tim to slather pimento cheese on them for a snack. Poor Tim.


We have been pruning off some of the thinner stalks that have wilted off to the sides and it seems to have helped strengthen the center stalks — which actually keep shooting up from the center of the base like they did when we first put it in the saucer of water.


So here we are 5 months in — we have a beautiful house plant that we've been able to chop off growth as we need for using in recipes like chicken, tuna and potato salads or other dishes that require smaller chopped pieces of celery. 

Lot's of people have asked if you can simply chop as you grow, so since we've been doing it already, we're happy to say it's been working and continuing to just regenerate leafy stalks from the center as the plant evolves.

We'll be sure to keep you posted as we continue to try to grow this guy! Keep up with our full celery growing progress and learn how easy it is to get your own started right here.

47 comments:

  1. I came across your first post only a couple of weeks ago, and have two little plantlets on my kitchen windowsill right now! They weren't actually organic, so I am kind of surprised they re-grew. It's a fun little project.

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    1. Great to hear and we wish you much success!

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  2. Congrats on your progress! Few things in life are more gratifying that growing the food you eat :) Can't wait to start a garden!

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  3. Great thing! Saw this amazing thing at your blog and now i'm doing celery growing on my home, too. It works fine and i'm glad i found your blog :-)

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    1. We are happy you found us please stop by often!

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  4. I started both a celery base in a bowl and a jar of green onions, and am surprised at how much growth both have shown. Though I haven't harvested from either yet, it's been a fun project and another reason for my kids to shake their heads and say, "Oh Mother!!".

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  5. It's looking great! I've started about five now. I planted three outside in the garden (on is thriving, another simply didn't make it and the third was chewed off by a rabbit that snuck in. Two have been planted in pots (the one is thriving and other I just started a couple weeks ago.) Here is the one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lieslree/7659107674/

    I was going to harvest mine all in one fell swoop but perhaps I'll start harvests some individual stalks now.

    I'm a little disappointed that the stalks aren't thickening up more though. I'm wondering if anything can be done to help in that department... But overall, I'm super impressed with this. Thanks again for the inspiration and how-to! :)

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    1. Well have had great success, we have had so-so success, and at times failed attempts so keep at it! Good luck

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    2. Liesl, I tried to view your link and it says it's private :(

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  6. After viewing your celery experiment, I immediately tried it on my own. First attempt..after repotting I placed outside which was a big mistake...just too hot in our southern climate. I just started my third and within 2 days I see growth...it still amazes me. The two that are potted are thriving on a shelf by a window and I will be happy just to have those beautiful, large leafs to dry and make my own celery flakes and celery salt. The green onions, also on the window shelf, are regularly "snipped" and I use them like chives in various dishes and salads. It's fun and some of my friends are also "gardening" in this manner. Thanks for the inspiration. Jan in SC

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    1. So happy to hear. Here is to continued success! Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you often!

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  7. What kind of nutrients do you add to your water if any?

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    1. Simply water but in some of the comments folks have added stuff to their water but we just used straight up H20.

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  8. :( the celery in the water was pretty good growing up amazing, but when I put it on the soil after 2 weeks the "roots" rotted :( I'm sad do you have idea bout what happened please help :( by the way i love your blog xoxo.... ps. sorry for "my english" ;)

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    1. So sorry to hear this Diana!

      What worked for us was planting the celery fairly quickly after it sprouted in the water — you don't even have to wait for roots. We also kept ours in a planter indoors by the window if this helps!

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  9. About three weeks in and going strong! So glad I came across this :)

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  10. I'm loving all these tips! I'm trying the green onions and the celery today! Now I just need to buy some sweet potatoes.

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  11. I found you via pinterest and was wondering if the stalks ever got thicker like you would find in the store?

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    1. Hey Abby!

      It's taken us about 6 months, but our stalks continue to get thicker and thicker and regrow from the center of the base as we chop ones off here and there.

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  12. My celery is growing like crazy. Started it just a couple days ago and it is probably four inches above the soil. So cool.

    The greem onions were good for a couple cuttings, then the flavor waned a bit. I will try again next time I need them.

    Love the blog, and I love Tim's blog, too.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading — thrilled to hear your celery is going so well. We are due for an update on ours!

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    2. If your onions are losing flavor it's because they need nutrients. I'd suggest putting them in the ground. When I did that with mine the next "harvest" of them was flavorful. Now (a year in ) they are very thin, but have a stronger taste than when I buy them at the store.

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  13. Love it! Can't wait to try it.

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  14. I wonder if, in a warmer climate, one could simply grow celery from seed and harvest it a few stalks from the base and leave the the main plant to keep producing and growing from the center of the plant.

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    1. I bet this could work! Let us know if you try it with success!

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  15. I just found your site via Pinterest. I just bought a stalk of celery so I'm anxious to give this a try. A couple of miles from our home they actually grow celery in "the muck." It is a low flat of land with wet black dirt. It's fun to watch it grow and be harvested. Wonder if they would let me have a can of the muck dirt to grow this in? Thank you for your site.

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    1. We hope you have great success! Keep us posted!

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  16. I've recently started leeks growing from just 1/2" or so of root saved. Just set root end down into a small amount of water. They sprout right up. I plan to plant them in soil very soon. Just wanted to share. Leeks are so expensive here. I'll be absolutely thrilled if I never need buy them again. :-)

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    1. So glad to hear it worked with such a small amount of end root — this is the project that just keeps on giving!

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  17. I did not put mine in water. I cut off the end, buried it in a flower pot, about 2 inches deep, and watered it.

    I planted mine this past Monday and I already have a plant today.

    Such an easy and great idea...

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    1. Olivia that is awesome! So glad to hear it also works just directly planting it in the soil.

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  18. this is truly remarkable demonstrating living being's ability to rejuvenate itself; I did get carrot bottoms to sprout and make nice leafy growths; however kept it in water too long and the base rotted. oops. I will know better next time.

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  19. I remember my Mom used to stick toothpicks into a sweet potato and put it into a glass of water (she rested the toothpicks on the edge of the glass) until it grew little viney looking runners. To tell the truth, however, I do not know what happened after that stage! I guess I was in school or just not paying attention because I don't know if she planted them outdoors in our regular garden or if she just kept it as a houseplant. I do remember the vines have pretty little green leaves that looked sorta like ivy.

    I don't recall having sweet potatoes in our garden now that I think about it. I'll have to do some more research and see what others might have to say about this method.

    Thanks for the great ideas - haven't done this with celery since a grade school project (when dinosaurs walked the earth) and I usually just grow green onions in a glass of water on the countertop and start new onions after 2-3 cuttings. After I'm done cutting the "chive" part of the green onion a couple of times, I then plant the root base into the ground outdoors, weather permitting, and wait for them to be bigger onions. Then I chop and freeze them for later. Lots of great ideas still to discover.

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  20. We just started our celery last week and were wondering if your plant has gotten close to commercial size yet. Our plant seems to be doing well, already growing very fast.

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  21. I tried this and did not have success. In the water stage I had almost instant growth, got to about 2" above the base and decided to put it in the soil. Placed it in the soil indoors and it simply died. Watered it generously, not sure what happened? Doing two more as I type, we'll see what we get going with these two. Thanks for the post!

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  22. Hello! I have tried regrowing celery, romaine, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and several types of onions. I have kept the potatoes alive, and the last time that I dug up my garlic to replace it, the roots looked like they were still going strong, even though the top green had died out. HOWEVER, with those exceptions, I have never kept anything else alive. I have been able to get the celery and lettuce to get a few inches tall, but then they begin to wilt, and eventually die. It looks like they might be rotting. I have tried to overwater, and underwater, and it is in a well drainging garden box. Do you have any suggestions? I have a black thumb, so I am sure that it is just me that is what is killing these plants, but I was hoping that there was something that I wasn’t doing after getting them to soil.

    –also, the lettuce and celery never produced visible roots before I planted, but I would start them in water, and plant 2 weeks later, when they had about 3 inches of growth

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    1. Katie, sometimes you just have to keep trying and we understand the frustration sometimes. We have had many failures (some never work) before we get one to root or continue to grow outside. It sounds like you are doing everything right. Good Luck and keep on trying!

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  23. I am on my 2nd celery. The first one died like Katie's. Keep your fingers crossed!

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    1. We certainly have had those also but we keep on trying! Good luck!

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  24. I was just wondering if you could do this window sill garden with beats to harvest beat greans???

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    1. I am sure it is possible. Please give it a try and let us know how it works out and we might just give it a try!

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  25. Hi there! I started my celery base about 2 1/2 weeks ago (first week in the dish and the second week in the planter) and it is already roughly 3 1/5 to 4 inches above the soil! I try my best not to overwater it, but I was just wondering how often you guys watered yours.

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  26. I read this post a long time ago and finally bought some celery a few weeks ago and remembered this post. i forgot to put the celery root in a plate of water and just put it in soil with a lot of water and it still bloomed! it's still growing today, cant wait to be able to eat some of it!

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  27. I just read that celery requires a very rich, loamy soil with high nutrients... compost, sand and dirt - maybe that is one reason the stalks aren't getting very thick? It also needs to be protected from direct hot sun in southern climates as it is a cooler weather crop. We have two started in water in the kitchen window and transplanting this afternoon, and have the benefit of composted manure from our goats & horses readily available. Fingers crossed!

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