Celery RIb

How long is celery good for? And how to keep it longer

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Celery is one of those things that can sit in the fridge for seemingly ever, waiting for that next homemade soup or Waldorf salad to wisp into your meal plan.

That is of course unless you juice it. Then it disappears quickly.

It’s super nutritious and provides great flavor to many classic and modern recipes, making it an excellent vegetable to keep on hand.

But how long IS celery good for in the fridge?

How long does celery last?

Raw celery, on average, is good for 3-4 weeks in the fridge when Raw. That all assumes 3-4 weeks after the purchase date, so if you grow and harvest it yourself, it might last a little longer.

Once cooked, it’s good for about a week.

And if you buy it prepackaged in little tubs at the market, those usually only last a few days.

Full head or stalk of celery on black
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The best celery to buy?

The best bang for your buck is the whole head/stalk. If possible, buy organic because celery is one of the crops with highest pesticide use.

How do you know if it’s off?

When celery goes bad, it goes limp and soft. You might even notice a faint white coloring on it. People tend to refer to this as becoming hallow.

You definitely won’t notice the typical snap you expect when breaking the ribs.

Can you Eat limp Celery?

Yes! Limp celery is fine to eat as long as it’s not showing other sings of spoilage, such as whitened color or foul smell.

It’s sensitive to cold and can go limp if stored in too cold of temperatures, like in the bottom drawer of the fridge that’s closest to the freezer.

Limp celery will have lost its crispy crunch. For that reason, avoid using the softer ribs in things like crudite where you want the vegetable to sturdily hold dipping sauce and to feel that crunch with each bite.

Even if slightly limp, celery is great for soups, stews, curries and bone broths. Here are a few recipe ideas for limp, but still good, celery:

celery stalk buts
Image by Steven Bol from Pixabay

So how to keep celery the longest?

Store it in a hydrated place with airflow. The two most common reasons celery goes bad are that it dehydrates or it lets out too much ethylene.

If you’re a constant celery user (and you should be) then these celery keepers are great. We had the vintage ones growing up and they were great. They make sure the celery stays hydrated but not soggy and has plenty of airflow.

You could, alternatively, store it in a bag or foil with a moist paper towel. You can usually get by with just a paper towel or the celery keeper, and save a little plastic and foil.

What if it’s (almost) too late?

Sometimes life just gets ahead of us and we forget to put the damp paper in the vegetable drawer for better preservation. Or we go out to eat and don’t use it up as planned.

What then?

A few good ideas on what to do with your aging celery:

  • If you really crave fresh celery, soak the stalks in some ice water. They should crispen up
  • Use it for a broth! It provides excellent flavor and is good for any meat or vegetable broth.
  • Juice it – celery juice is a great way to get a big dose of gut-healing mineral salts.
  • Dice and freeze for a future roux, curry, stir-fry or soup. In the freezer, it’ll keep nearly 8 months. However, it will be devoid of structure at that point and is best for cooking, not juicing or fresh snacking.
  • Try regrowing it by placing the bottom nub of the stalk in water to sprout and then transitioning to soil
Regrow your own celery
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

What is the Difference between a Head, Stalk, and Rib?

A head of celery or the bundle you would buy at the store is technically a stalk. Each individual stick is a rib.

In other words, what you commonly purchase at the store is a stalk and it has about 15 ribs on it.

Recap: How Long Does Celery Last?

  • 3-4 weeks after the purchase date if stored in the fridge
  • 1 week after cooking
  • A few days if purchased pre-chopped and pre-packaged.

How to Store Celery Correctly for Longer Shelf Life?

Celery: an affordable and nutritious snack. But how long is celery good for? And how should you be storing and purcahsing celery for the best bang for your buck?

About Alicia

I love cooking almost as much as I love eating so I try to make sure I feel good about what I'm eating. I believe it's always a good occasion for some bubbly and I also love feeling healthy and being outdoors. I try to buy, cook and eat whole nutritious foods that promote a fun active lifestyle.


  1. […] least negative impact. I originally was surprised to see what was on this list, particularly the celery!  I definitely hadn’t been prioritizing buying organic celery, but now I avoid […]

  2. […] And that is just 1 rib! 16 oz of celery juice takes about 12-15 ribs or one full stalk. […]

  3. I bought three pages of organic celery yesterday and forgot to refrigerate for 12 hours…I cleaned and cut off about 6 brown patches…may I make juice with it without side effects?

  4. After leaving my prepared cut celery in the fridge, beyond their best before date of Oct. 5, 2020, I noticed they were a bit slimy. I washed and did a taste test. They were still crunchy (10 days late) and stiff, like when they were purchased. The celery tastes great and I’m not worried about the slime, which no longer exists. I’m eating them now, with cherry tomatoes and hummus.
    I didn’t notice you mention the ‘slime factor’, so, I thought I would share my findings.
    Thank you.

    1. Glad you were able to save them! If the slime was from another veg you can wash it off, if it was from the celery itself, beware!

  5. I have roommates who are late risers, would the celery be okay to juice the night before, refrigerate and drink early in the am? Thanks

    1. Yep! I’ve definitely done that before. It’s better fresh, but we also have to be realistic with our constraints so prepping is a good idea. Just give it a good shake before you drink it in the morning.

      If you end up not liking the taste after it sits overnight, you could also consider having the juice later. The key is to have it on an empty stomach which is why the morning is so great. However, if you wait a couple hours after your last meal and 45 minutes before your next meal, you could have it at night time too!

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