Why does celery taste bitter?

In this brief article, we will answer why does celery taste bitter and five reasons behind the bitter taste of celery

Why does celery taste bitter?

Celery tastes bitter due to lack of water; it produces stingy and bitter stalks. Every plant needs at least a minimum of half inches of water; otherwise, it will get stressed.

Celery is a marshland plant and consumed as a vegetable around the world. It has a long fibrous stalk and long leaves. Its stem and leaves are used as a food product in different areas of the world

Benefits of Celery:

Celery is an edible vegetable that provides many nutritional benefits as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has a low glycemic index and has a steady effect on blood sugar, making it the best choice to lose weight. It is rich in minerals like Potassium and folate and low in sodium. It also has a rich amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C in it.

Taste of good celery:

Celery has a mild strong taste and a bold flavour, but it does not taste bitter. Instead, like other green vegetables, it has an earthy flavour and somewhat near the taste of kale salad.

Reasons why celery tastes bitter:

Celery is a plant grown in soil and requires water, soil, sunlight and nutrition. But sometimes, when a plant observes a lack of any needed resources, it makes the plant stressed. The side effect of celery is that its vegetable will taste bitter once grown.

Even though many people might not like the natural taste of celery, there is a difference between bad taste and bitter taste. Some of the reasons behind this bitter taste are:

Lack of water:

It is one of the primary reasons why celery tastes bitter. Like any other plant, when celery experiences a lack of water in the growth period, it becomes stressed. If it doesn’t get enough water, its stalk becomes stingy and bitter.

One way to make sure your plant is getting half inches of water is by putting your finger in the soil surrounding the plant. If you poke the finger three inches deep into the ground, and it feels dry. It is time to water the soil

  1. Lack of nutrients:

In the case of a poorly fed plant, the taste of that plant becomes bitter or stingy. Plants get their nutrients from soil and fertilizers. If the ground you have planted celery in isn’t suitable for cultivation, the ending vegetable will turn bitter. One way to ensure nutrition through the soil is the use of natural fertilizers.

Natural fertilizers are herbs, feeds, compost, eggshells, kitchen waste and animal waste. As all of them are naturally recyclable, the process of decay enriches the soil with organic compounds. These organic compounds are used for vegetable nutrition

  1. Too much heat:

Celery is a warm area where daylight temperature is as high as 70 to 80°F and nights are as cold as 50°F. But if the temperature goes high, it affects the plant. At high temperature, the plant loses its moisture and becomes bitter.

To prevent your celery plant from too much heat, sow the plant in an area where not too much heat reaches. If there is a spike in temperature, cover your plant with a light cloth and keep them hydrated.

  1.  Over maturation:

Plants have a maturity stage at which they are ready to harvest. If a plant is left in the soil after maturity, the over maturation will negatively affect the plant’s growth. Any plant will start losing nutritional values once over matured as it will go towards ageing

In the case of celery, the way to identify the maturation stage is:

After 130-140 days since the seedling germinated

Six-inch taller stalk from their base of the first leaf

  1.  Unblanched stalks:

Blanching is a technique in which a plant’s heat is constrained to stop the enzymatic activity and improve its colour. In the case of celery, if it is not appropriately blanched, it becomes bitter and stingy.

To avoid bitter celery, you can blanch the stalks with the help of a newspaper. Cover the stalks with a newspaper for about two weeks before harvesting. It stops direct heat from the sun to reach stalks and prevents photosynthesis. The product now harvested is blanched with a lovely, light and vibrant colour.

What to do with Bitter celery?

Bitter celery is yet edible as it just lost its taste and isn’t toxic or harmful. One thing you can do is use it as a stuffing by sautéing it with butter. Sauteing it will soften the bitter flavour and retain the texture in stuffing


In this brief article, we have answered why does celery taste bitter and five reasons behind the bitter taste of celery



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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