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Celery Growing Problems: Troubleshooting

Posted Jun 07 2009 10:11pm

Celery requires plenty of moisture, fertile soil, and a long, cool growing season. You can start celery from seed, but germination is slow, about four weeks. Sow seeds indoors at least 10 weeks before seedlings are to be set out. A better plan might be to purchase celery starts when you are ready to plant.


Even with moisture, fertile soil, and the right climate for growing, celery is seldom trouble-free. Celery is susceptible to many pests and diseases. Here is a list of possible celery growing problems matched with cures and controls:

(For celery growing tips see How to Grow Celery or Celery Growing Success Tips at the bottom of this post.)


Here is a list of possible celery growing problems with cures and controls:


Seeds rot or seedlings collapse with dark water-soaked stems as soon as they appear.Damping off is a fungus that lives in the soil, particularly where humidity is high. Do not plant in cold, moist soil. Make sure soil is well drained.


Seedlings stunted, plants appear stunted; roots appear to have knots or beads.Root-knot nematodes are microscopic worm-like animals that live in the film of water that coat soil particles; some are pests, some are not. Root-knot nematodes feed in the roots and stunt plant growth; they are most common in sandy soils. Rotate crops. Solarize the soil with clear plastic in mid-summer.


Plants produce lots of leaves but not stalks; growth is slow.Sudden temperature fluctuations during early growth. Protect young plants from cold; use horticultural cloth or cloches when temperatures are low. Don't plant too early.

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