Celeriac Growing Guide

Celeriac is closely related to celery, but easier to grow. It is prized for its crisp, celery-flavored root, which you can eat raw or cooked. A staple in Europe.

Site Characteristics

„ Prefers full sun
„ part shade
Soil conditions:
„ tolerates damp soil
„ requires high fertility
Prefers rich soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.0 to 7.0 and consistent, plentiful supply of moisture. Can tolerate soils that are less than well-drained because it was originally a wetland plant.

Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual; Biennial grown as an annual.
Ease-of-care: difficult
Seeds need to be started inside and are difficult to germinate. Cold weather after transplanting can cause bolting.
Needs plentiful moisture and long season, but doesn’t tolerate heat well.
Foliage color: medium green
Foliage texture: medium
„ cushion, mound or clump
„ upright
„ frost - Will tolerate light frost but can be damaged by a moderate frost.

Growing Information

How to plant

Propagate by seed
Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F - Optimum when starting indoors.
Days to emergence: 14 to 21
Seed can be saved 5 years.

Maintenance and care

Grow celeriac similar to celery. Start plants inside about 10 to 12 weeks before last frost. Plant several seeds per cell. Seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover seed deeply. 50 percent germination is considered good for this crop.

Keep soil moist and warm (about 70 F to 75 F) until seeds germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. After germination, grow inside in a cool location (about 60 F to 70 F). Thin to one plant per cell.

Set out transplants closely spaced - just 6 to 8 inches apart, about 2 weeks before average last frost. Plants can withstand light to moderate frosts.

Mulch or hill soil over root shoulders to keep them covered.

In Zone 7 and warmer, can be planted in summer for winter and spring harvest.


Tarnished plant bug
Cabbage loopers
Use floating row covers early in the season, and collars if cutworms are present.


Leaf blights
Celery mosaic
Black heart - calcium deficiency, add lime
Celery diseases are rarely a problem in home gardens


Look for different sized roots and days to harvest, usually 110 to 130 days. Several heirloom varieties are available.