Did you know that you can regrow a bunch of celery after you’ve used the stalks? With food prices continuing to rise, getting the most bang for your buck is becoming even more critical for many households. That means looking for ways to save on groceries, but also ways to get more out of what you buy. Some vegetables can actually be regrown after you’ve used the more desirable parts, which is kind of like getting your own 2-for-1 sale, but with a little more work and less risk of waste from overbuying.
Celery is one of those vegetables that can be regrown. You can regrow it either indoors or even plant it in your garden or a pot outdoors. And, you can even start using it while it’s still growing
Here’s how to regrow celery:
Save about 2-3 inches of the root end of a bunch of celery (that’s the bottom part where the plant was originally cut). If you’re planning to use the full bunch within a short time, you can even cut the bottom off right away and store the cut stalks. Properly stored celery should keep for several weeks.
Push 3 or 4 toothpicks around the celery bottom. You’ll be placing the celery bottom in water in a glass or jar. You don’t want the celery to touch the bottom of the glass as that can cause it to rot, so the toothpicks should allow it to hover on the edges of the glass, with the root end in water and the top kept dry.
Place the toothpicked celery bottom in your glass or jar, root end down and fill with enough water so that just the root end is submerged.
Put the celery in a window where it will get several hours of bright sunlight each day.
Regularly check the water level and top it up as needed so that the root end is continuously submerged, but be sure to keep the top dry.
A few new leaves should start to pop up from the middle after a few days.
After a week or so, it will likely be ready to be planted in soil. If you leave it in water too long, the old cut stalks will start to rot, which isn’t good. It’s normal for them to look a bit soggy and brownish, but you don’t want it to go further than that. Once you’ve got a few leaves with small stalks that will stay above the soil, you’re ready to plant.
Plant your new celery plant in rich gardening soil outdoors, or in potting soil in an indoor or outdoor pot or planter. When planted, the new growth should be above the soil, with the old cut parts beneath the soil.
Watch it grow!
A full celery plant needs some sun, but ideally should get shade during the hottest part of a summer’s day, so keep that in mind if you’re planting it outdoors. Also note that critters like squirrels and groundhogs love celery. If you’re keeping yours indoors, that won’t be a problem, but if you’re planting it outdoors, you may need to protect it in some way.
Using regrown celery
You can start using your celery while it’s growing, without harvesting the whole plant. Instead, cut stalks or leaves as needed and let the whole plant continue to grow! When cutting a stalk, cut as far down as you can without damaging other stalks, and always make a clean cut.
Celery leaves, especially the vibrant, fragrant leaves you get from your own plant, are packed with flavour, so growing your own celery may have the added bonus of introducing you to a new way of flavouring foods. You can use it in a similar way to herbs, chopping it and adding it as a finishing to soups, salads, sauces, stews, dips and so on.
If you cut a stalk and don’t need the leaves or the top part of the stalk, you can freeze that along with other vegetable trimmings to use for making your own soup stalks later on.