Growing Parsley

October 5, 2006

Botanical Name:

Petroselinum crispum

Common names:



Parsley is a widely used culinary herb and a familiar sight in most supermarket produce sections. The crisp, compact leaves of Curly Parsley make striking edgings in the flowerbed and attractive garnishes. The flat-leafed Italian Parsley is coveted for its strong, grassy flavor and makes a wonderful cooked green. Hamburg Parsley is known for its tubular turnip-like roots, which can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. All Parsley grows feathery, moss-like foliage 9-12 inches tall and produces small clusters of green-yellow flowers during its second year.

Life Cycle:

annual, hardy perennial


full sun or partial shade


Parsley seed is slow to germinate and should be sown outdoors in early spring or late fall before the soil freezes. Seeds can be soaked in tepid water 24 hours before planting to speed germination. Parsley grows best in fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Plant seeds _ inch deep into well-watered furrows. Plants should be thinned to 3 inches apart when seedlings reach a few inches high. Continue to thin them as they grow tall enough to touch one another until they stand 12 inches apart. Sow in succession for a continuous crop of leaves all season. Parsley can also be grown indoors in containers near sunny windows.



Parts Used:

leaves and roots

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvest Parsley as soon as it reaches 6 inches tall. Use fresh leaves as needed, or refrigerate or freeze them for later use.

Medicinal Uses:

breath freshener

Culinary Uses

garnish (Curled types); cooked greens (Italian types); cooked roots (Hamburg types); egg dishes, fines herbes, sauces, salads, soups (all types)

Other Uses:

skin care, hair care
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4 Questions

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June 20, 2009

My parsley has started to flower. Can I cut them off to prolong the plant, or is this the end of it? Thanks. Mary

Hardiness Zone: 8b

By mary vine from Hat Island, WA


June 21, 20090 found this helpful

I think that you should just let it flower, because then it will germinate, and produce seeds and you wont have to buy a new plant as the cycle of life starts all over again. On the point of the original plant. I don't think it will die if you let it flower. So it really doesn't matter what you do. That is, unless you want more baby plants.

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June 21, 20090 found this helpful

Parsley is a biannual, when it blooms it's done with its life cycle, let it grow and let the swallow tell caterpillars enjoy it, after the seeds have dried on the plant save them and just sow them next spring free parsley plants.

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June 26, 20090 found this helpful

I've grown parsley many times. I'm in Calif, if that makes any difference. I always cut the plants really low & kept them alive as long as possible. If it insists on blooming again & again, it may be done. If it does go to seed, I would just let it do it & let the seeds fall. Next season, you will have many plants & then just move them to where you want. I harvest the parsley I don't use right then & dry & freeze. It gives you some spice that you grew your self.

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November 17, 2009

How often should flat leaf parsley be fed in an indoor herb garden?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By sharon from Sand Lake, NY


November 18, 20090 found this helpful

Fertilize plants in garden beds once or twice during the growing season, using a 5-10-5 commercial fertilizer at a rate of 3 oz per 10 feet of row. Use a liquid fertilizer at one half the label recommended strength every 3-4 weeks for container grown plants outside and every 4-6 weeks for parsley grown indoors. Good luck.

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January 4, 2007


Is Italian parsley a perennial? What can I do to protect it during the winter?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

d.fostrer from Portland, OR


D. Fostrer,

Although many gardeners grow Italian parsley as an annual and some seed catalogs list it as an annual, it's actually a biennial (it flowers the second year). The best foliage appears during the first season of growth, as second season foliage tends to "bolt" and go to seed rather quickly as soon as summer heat arrives. Italian parsley is considered hardy to zone 5. If you want to try over-wintering it outdoors for a second season, just cover the plant with 3-4 inches of loose mulch after it dies back in the fall. You can also pot it up and bring it inside as temperatures start to cool and keep it in a garage or basement, but it's usually not necessary. Italian Parsley is easy to grow indoors and makes a nice herb for sunny kitchen windows. Just make sure to keep their soil consistently moist (not wet) and turn the pot often to encourage even growth. The seeds like moist, nutrient-rich soil, so covering the pot with plastic or the top of a cut off soda bottle works best to get them started. As the plants grow, pinch them back to prevent them from getting leggy. Freeze parsley in a plastic bag or harvest it and use it as needed.



By (Guest Post)
October 24, 20060 found this helpful

Parsley is a biennial, which means it will grow for two years before needing to be planted again. I usually just shake some of the seeds (from the plants when they go to seed) down onto the soil to make sure it continues to come up.

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