Growing Korean Celery, Dystaenia takesimana, In The UK Is Possible & Several Seed Companies Sell It. Here’s My Recommended Sowing, Cultivation & Harvesting Method
Once You Know How To Grow Korean Celery Dystaenia takesimana, in the UK it’s an easy crop to grow. The trick is knowing a few simple tricks that can soon turn failure into success. The biggest problem people get is not being able to germinate it. It’s incredibly difficult unless you understand the specific requirements of the seed. I’ll explain how I make use of my fridge to germinate the seed. But first let’s learn more about Korean Celery.
What Is Korean Celery?
Korean celery, Dystaenia takesimana, isn’t the same as European celery, Apium graveolens. As the latin name indicates, it is a different species and genus, though it is the same family.
Also known as Korean Pig Plant. wild celery, perennial Korean celery, Seombadi sobadi, dwaejipul, or Ulleung Giant Celery , it is a cool weather plant that needs stratifying for it to germinate.
The flavour is reputably somewhere between lovage and celery and it has the advantage of being a perennial that, once established , grows to a metre or so in height 9two metres when in flower). Both the leaves and stems are edible and often made into soups.
Being a cool weather plant is stays green throughout the winter and makes a good food forest plant. In the right location it is extremely tolerant off the cold.
How to Grow Korean Celery aka Perennial Korean Celery
There is a popular gardening myth that seeds need warmth to germinate and grow. Like most myths there’s an element of truth in it, but also a misunderstanding. Whereas warm loving plants such was tomatoes, cues, peppers and chillis respond well to warmth, Korean celery will not germinate if you keep its too warm. Korean celery needs a process called cold stratification, that is to say it needs chilling before it will grow. This can be achieved by placing the sown seed in a cold frame, unheated greenhouse or even outside for 3-4 weeks in autumn or winter. Alternatively it can be placed in the fridge for 3-4 weeks before placing in a slightly warmer place for a further 3-4 weeks, after which, if all is well, you should see the young plants pushing though the surface of the compost.
A standard purchased or home made seed compost is fine for starting the seeds, just remember to cold stratify them first.
Once the seedlings have a few true leaves they can be planted outdoors in their final location. For me it makes sense for this to be a flower bed (or food forest) as the plant is perennial and can be left in situ for years.
Keep the weeds down in the initial stages but once it is growing well it will compete with annual and smaller plants.
The planting / growing position should preferably be in full or partial shade.
Though Korean Celery is a cool weather plant it will cope with the warmth of a British summer once it is well established. The earlier it is planted the quicker it will establish.
Is Korean Celery Good For Biodiversity?
Yes. The flowering heads reach up to two metres high and insects love them.
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