Growing Celeriac – Or Growing Celery Root


Is “Growing Celeriac” The Same As “Growing Celery Root?”

Celeriac plant

Exactamundo!  Growing celeriac and growing celery root are precisely the same!  Known by other names – such as turnip rooted celery – or, knob celery – celeriac, is a celery-like veggie that produces an edible globular swelling as part of the plant’s lower stem – with small roots growing out of it.

Even though celeriac’s root-like bulging bottom is destined for consumption – and, even though it resembles a turnip – there is no family connection between them.  Its meaty innards – though looking and cooking like a potato – have a soft, but pronounced celery flavor.


Where Did Celeriac Come From?

The Mediterranean Sea

The Greek poet, Homer, talked about celeriac in his famous poem, “The Odyssey”, referring to it as “selinon” – which is Greek for a celery-like vegetable.  That was a little over 28 centuries ago – around 800 B.C.

It is grown far and wide in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea – where it got its start.  Celeriac is also highly regarded all over Northern Europe.  In recent years, this healthy vegetable has grown in popularity in many parts of North America, as well.


Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber – Oh My!Lots of vitamins and minerals in celeriac.

Packed with fiber, celeriac is also an excellent repository for a myriad of vitamins – the most important being B6, C, and K – and minerals – iron, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium are those with the highest concentrations but, there are many others in lesser intensities.

Oil and juice gleaned from the celeriac plant are known to calm and sooth the central nervous system – increasing the ability to withstand pain.  Liquid celeriac has also been used to treat rheumatism and kidney ailments, as well as significantly reduce high blood pressure.  Celeriac fluid is also credited for helping to create restful sleep and increased memory capacity.Celeriac juice can put you to sleep.

This amazing plant’s natural sodium removes excessive body acid which reduces joint stiffness and makes the body more flexible overall.  High body acidity can damage the skeletal structure.

The high iron content balances the blood level – a low iron condition is routinely experienced by both anemic folks and pregnant ladies.

Vitamin K alleviates bleeding issues by helping the blood to coagulate more readily.

Vitamin C and other antioxidants fight cancer, boost the immune system and go a long way to fighting and preventing colds and flu.

The fiber improves metabolism and digestion – promoting regularity in bowel movements – which lowers the risk of colon cancer.

Since celeriac is ultra low in cholesterol and saturated fats, the chance of cholesterol build up in the arteries is minimized – leading to a reduced risk of heart disease.

DIETING TIP:  Drink a glass of celeriac juice – sweetened with a little honey before a meal.  Your tummy will feel full much quicker and you will eat less.  This is a great way to rehydrate the body – and reduce sugar cravings.  So, a couple glasses of this concoction every day will lend a huge helping hand to weight control!


Cooking Celeriac Dishes

This unique veggie is edible both raw and cooked.  Celeriac is normally harvested when it is 4 to 6 inches in diameter.  But, for a more intense flavor, pick some that are less than 4 inches wide.

Add thin slices of celeriac to soups, casseroles, salads, side dishes, and garnishes.  Put in some chopped up leaves and stems, too – since they add a very delicate flavor.

Celeriac fries are just as good as French fries.

I’ve had celeriac roasted, stewed, mashed, blanched, sautéed, stir fried, baked – and just about every other way imaginable.  One of my personal favorites is mashing some together with my homemade mashed potatoes for a mouth-watering change of pace to the normal “mashed potato taste.”

Instead of making traditional French fries, experiment a little and try making some celeriac fries.

Have any of you tried a celeriac-laden remoulade?  My remoulade is basically homemade tartar sauce with finely chopped celeriac added – giving the flavor a bit of a celery kick.


Grow Your Own Celeriac

First, buy the best celeriac seeds.  You’ll find them in “The Best Organic Vegetable Seeds – For All Your Growing Needs” along with other top-notch veggie seeds.

Then, proceed to seed the garden after the last spring frost.  In my neck of the woods, that usually happens about mid-April.  It will take from 10 days to 3 weeks for the seeds to begin sprouting out of the ground and in about 3 months, or so, harvesting can begin.

If you want a head start, begin germination inside about 2 months before planting.  That will allow enough time for transplanting into pots and hardening off the seedlings before transferring the celeriac plants to their garden home.

Try to keep them in an area of the garden that gets full sun in the morning and early afternoon – but, has some shade by late afternoon.  Celeriac doesn’t take well to the hot, humid weather in midsummer – especially in hardiness zones 7 and higher – so, having some shade late in the day is a boon for them.

Celeriac plants in a backyard garden.

  • The ground should be tilled at least 6 inches deep – 8 inches is better.
  • Make a furrow along the row – and, add a layer of Jim’s 50/50 soil mixture.
  • In rows a foot and a half apart, place seeds every couple of inches.
  • Cover the seeds with a quarter inch of Jim’s soil mixture.
  • Water well and keep the ground moist – but not soggy. An inch of water per week should do it.  A water sensor or probe is a great no-brainer way to make sure the plants get enough fluids.
  • After the seedlings emerge and get at least their second set of leaves, thin out the weaklings so the plants have 6 inches between them.
  • Now is a good time to add a soaker hose and some mulch. Watering with a soaker hose reduces the risk of plant fungal diseases.  Mulching holds moisture in the ground.  Plus, it helps to control weeds that will rob the plants of water and nutrients.


Procuring The Prize At Its Peak

Harvested celeriac

Harvesting can start whenever you see that these round celeriac orbs have reached a width of 3 inches – give or take a little.  The younger pickings will have a more pronounced flavor.  If you prefer a milder, gentler taste, wait until they are more than 4 inches wide – but don’t wait for them to get more than 6 inches because, taste quality goes downhill as they get too big for their britches.

Remove all the small offshoot roots and wipe off the excess dirt.

Celeriac globes can be kept in a cool, dark area for up to 3 months.  But, personally, if I can’t eat the fresh pickings in a couple of weeks, I’ll blanch and freeze – or dehydrate – or freeze-dry – my celeriac.


Pests and Diseases



Leaf tier caterpillar

As it is with celery, aphids love celeriac, too!  And, these critters can not only cause plant growth to slow to a crawl, they can pass along some deadly plant diseases.

Thrips and leaf tier caterpillars may show up.  The thrips will suck moisture out of the plants – much like aphids do.  And, the leaf tiers will make leaves and stalks look like Swiss cheese with all the holes they will chew – plus, their larvae babies happily feed on these plants as well.

Get out an insecticide to put a halt to the activity of these pests.  I use Ortho Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer.  It does a thorough job getting rid of these pain in the neck creepy crawlies!



Wilt and early blight can occur – especially if the plants’ leaves are still wet as they go into the evening hours.  When leaves don’t dry out before nightfall, the plants are much more susceptible to fungal diseases.

If you catch problems early enough, blast the plants with some Daconil or Physan 20 – and there is a 98% chance that your worries will be over.  If the plant is too far gone, rip it out of the garden – by the roots – and bag it for the garbage collector – get the plant as far away from the garden as possible to prevent the disease from getting re-introduced to your precious veggies.  Never – ever – put infected, diseased plants into a compost pile.  As Shakespeare said, you will “rue the day” if you do!


Time For Jed

My neighbor, Jed, the retired farmer, keeps a collection of newsletter handouts that he gets every Sunday at his church.  Recently, he shared some of bloopers that the church’s beloved secretary, Bobbie Jo Scraggs, had added to these bulletins over the years.  Unwittingly, of course.

Have a look for yourself.  I’m sure at least a few of them will have you smiling:

Jed's church

“This morning’s sermon will be: Jesus Walks on the Water.  And, don’t miss this evening’s sermon: Searching for Jesus.”

“Please don’t let worry kill you off – allow our church to help.”

“Come and watch the choir tryouts next Sunday after morning services.  They need all the help they can get!”

Billy Bob Benson and Laurie Sue Cowcatcher were married last Saturday evening in the church. This ends a friendship that began in their school days.”

“Y’all are invited to come and listen to choir practice this Wednesday evening.  Afterwards, Reverend Bocephus will give a special sermon titled, What Is Hell?”

“Don’t miss our potluck supper this Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.”

“Our church ladies have cast off clothing of all types. They may be seen in the church basement this coming Saturday morning.”

“On Friday, 8 July, at 7:00 PM, we will be singing hymns in the picnic area next to the church. Everyone is invited – so bring a blanket – and, be prepared to sin.”

“Attention Weight Watchers coming to the monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 PM in the church’s auditorium. Please enter through the extra large double doors at the side entrance.”

“The Assistant Minister, Eugene Flatt, unveiled the church’s new donation campaign slogan yesterday:  I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”


Comments?  Emails?

That’s it for now.  Don’t forget!  I look forward to your comments and / or emails!  So, don’t be shy!


Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

20 thoughts on “Growing Celeriac – Or Growing Celery Root

  1. Adamuts Reply

    I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me

    I am a lover of celeriac because it’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, minerals and fiber. It also helps to lower my blood pressure and helps my digestion and metabolism. This has gives me insight on planting my own personal indoor celeriac.

    Thanks for the review. It is highly resourceful. Best regards.

    • Jim Reply

      Glad you got some useful information about growing celeriac.  Good luck with your indoor growing!


  2. ajibola40 Reply

    Thanks for writing this article on how to grow celery root. It was very informative and educational especially since this is my first time of reading about how to grow celeriac.

    I do eat celeriac in different dishes but never for once did I have it in mind to plant it until I read this article.

    It really straight forward and direct giving me everything I need to know about growing celery root.

    • Jim Reply

      Good luck with cultivating your own celeriac.  Nothing tastes better than coming from your very own backyard garden.


  3. Olanike Reply

    Hello Jim,

    Can celeriac be grown indoors? Can I grow celeriac all year round with same results?

    Apart from celeriac which other vegetable has the health benefits like celeriac?

    Does it matter if my soil is not completely organic?

    Will partially organic soil and insecticide have any impact in the flavour of my celeriac?

    Thanks for the information. I will be looking forward to getting answers to my questions.

    • Jim Reply

      So many questions!  The best advice I can give you is to just do a search in The Perfect Vegetable Garden.  All your questions will be answered in great detail.  Good luck pursuing your green thumb adventure!


  4. alexandra Reply

    This brings back some good childhood memories for me. My grandmother would always have celeriac in her soups. I love the taste of it but I actually never knew how many good vitamins were in it. I love the idea of making healthier fries out of celeriac. This is something I must try. I will put some seeds in the ground as soon as it gets warmer outside to see if I will be able to grow some celeriac myself. I will follow your instructions and hope for the best. Thank you for all the good information about Celeriac, not only on the benefits of celeriac and how to grow it but also what to do to keep bugs away and prevent any diseases on your celeriac.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Alexandra,

      Isn’t it always the grandparents who we think about when we grow our own veggies.  Why?  Because, they all seemed to have backyard plots with great veggies growing in them – and, we were probably “volunteered” to help them in their garden whenever we visited them.

      Now, I’m getting nostalgic, too!


  5. Lok Which Reply

    This article talks about a lot of things I didn’t know about celeriac and I’m sure many others out there will also be unaware of these facts unless they read your article. I never knew celeriac origins were from Greece. Thanks got showing me how to grow it. I think I will try growing it, too, so I can enjoy it myself.

    I will take it upon myself to rebroadcast this article to all my friends.

    • Jim Reply

      Anyone interested in growing celeriac should definitely read about it here, in The Perfect Vegetable Garden.  No where else will you get the true scoop – from seed to harvest.


  6. Gracen Reply

    Hello Jim,

    This is my first time knowing that turnip rooted celery can also be called celeriac or knob celery. I only know it as turnip rooted celery. It has quite a great number of medicinal properties.

    What I really find interesting is that its liquid can be used in treating rheumatism and kidney ailments and also used in reducing high blood pressure.

    Prior to reading your article, I only associated it as a means of controlling weight because of its high fiber contents.

    Your article is quite an eye opener to the medicinal properties of turned rooted celery. Thanks for writing on this article.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Gracen,

      The health benefits are truly enormous.  I can’t see why any self-respecting gardener wouldn’t jump at the chance to add celeriac to their garden growing season.


  7. Kenechi Reply

    I used to think that growing celery roots were quite different from growing celeriac. But now I understand what it’s all about. Thank you for that. You really took out time to explain this leafy vegetable in great detail and I will love growing celeriac especially now that I know the high nutritional value and health benefits.

    • Jim Reply

      Not only healthy – but, tasty too!  That’s celeriac in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoy growing your own!


  8. Olalekan Reply

    I appreciate you writing this article on growing Celeriac. I really commend your time and effort in putting this article together to share with us.

    I learned about Celeriac from a close friend but didn’t really know much about it. However your article has shown just how beneficial Celeriac is to the body. I have learned something very valuable today.


    • Jim Reply

      You’re welcome!  Glad I gave you some “food for thought.”


  9. Topazdude Reply

    Wonderful! This is really practical. I appreciate you taking time to analyze and give detailed information about growing Celeriac.

    I enjoyed hearing about this great plant with numerous vitamins for human. I was really shocked, when I found out about this plant removing excessive body acid which reduces joint stiffness and makes the body more flexible.

    I am going to love planting celeriac in my garden. What type of soil will be better for planting it?

    • Jim Reply

      I’m glad you got something out of my “how to grow celeriac” article.  It’s really impressive – how nutrient rich this veggie is.

      If you go back and read the article, I cover how to prepare the soil for best results.


  10. Rgpratap Reply

    Hi Jim,

    Kitchen gardening is my favorite but it requires good care, quality time and interest to make the kitchen garden fruitful.

    Well, I have already learned about the multiple health benefits of the Celeriac plant. But in the North Eastern part of India, Celeriac is not planted so I never get the chance to include this veggie and its root in my kitchen. Luckily, I heard that the Celeriac seeds are now available in India.

    And today from this article I also have learned how to grow this particular plant. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.



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