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Green parsley-like leaves of sea celery
As the name suggests, this bush tucker plant looks, smells and tastes like celery, but with a hint of the sea. This salty leafy green vegetable is easy to grow in garden beds or pots and can be added to soups and stews, or used as a garnish.


What you need to know about sea celery

Name: sea celery, annual celery (Apium annuum).

Height: 30–50cm.

Plant type: annual or biennial herb/vegetable.

Climate: warm temperate and sub-tropical.

Soil: well-drained, enriched with organic matter.

Position: full sun to part shade.

Foliage: small leaflets with toothed margins, resembling celery.

Flowering: clusters of small white flowers appear from spring to summer. 

Feeding: liquid feed regularly throughout the growing season.

Watering: water regularly.

Appearance and characteristics of sea celery

Sea celery has long, thin stalks topped with small green leaflets that resemble celery, and has small white flowers. It is considered a native substitute for celery – the foliage smells and tastes like celery, but with a salty flavour. It is drought-tolerant once established. 

Uses for sea celery

Use sea celery as a substitute for traditional celery. It imparts a salty taste and can be used as a garnish, to flavour soups and stews, or mixed with other herbs in a seasoning mix. 

How to grow sea celery

Choose a spot in full sun to part shade with well-drained soil. Enrich with organic matter and dig in well. If growing in a pot, fill with a premium quality potting mix. Dig a hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the existing root ball. Remove seedling or young plant from its pot, loosen the mix to free the roots and position in the centre of the hole. Backfill, firm down and water in well. 

Caring for sea celery

While sea celery is drought-tolerant, water regularly throughout the growing season to maximise harvest. Spread an organic mulch, such as pea straw or sugarcane, around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.

How often should you water and feed sea celery?

Water often to keep the soil moist. This may mean watering once every couple of days or more often in hot, dry conditions.

Feed regularly in spring with an organic-based liquid fertiliser to help keep the soil microbes happy and the plant well fed. An organic-based fertiliser typically contains goodies to help nourish the soil, and fast-acting nutrients to boost plant growth.

How and when to harvest sea celery

Harvest as needed by picking the outer stems throughout the season.

Diseases and pests that affect sea celery

Spider mites can attack sea celery. Their presence is often overlooked as they’re difficult to see, but in severe infestations there may be silvery strands or webbing between the stems and foliage. Treat them with a suitable organic insecticide.

How to propagate sea celery

Grow sea celery from seed or seedlings. In spring, sow seeds in a tray of seed-raising mix, position in a warm spot and keep the soil moist. Germination can take up to 4 weeks.

Safety tip

After applying fertiliser, delay harvesting for a few days and rinse well before cooking and eating. If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

If you like this then try

Native lemon grass: a clumping fine-leafed grass with lemon-scented foliage.

River mint: a pungent native herb with wonderfully mint-scented foliage.

Midyim berry: an attractive sprawling shrub with sweet white, purple-speckled berries. 

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!


Photo credit: tuckerbush.com.au


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