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How to Grow Parsley Like an Expert

Jana believes in being prepared and self-sufficient. She also loves sharing prepper tips and community projects with kindred spirits.


Who Wants to Learn How to Grow Parsley?

A lot of gardeners cultivate the plant for aesthetic reasons. Parsley is also grown by cooks who adore fresh herbs and people who use parsley for its health benefits.

Get Your Starter Parsley

Before you can learn how to grow parsley, you must first get some! Alright, backtrack a little. If you already have a plant and want to learn for the first time how to propagate, then you can take cuttings. But we will discuss those adorable baby sticks in a moment.

You can purchase a new plant (if you don’t already have one or want a younger bush). There is also the option to buy seeds. To ensure that you get the best deal, head on over to the next section.

Buyer’s Guide to Buying Parsley

  • For growing purposes, It’s best to buy a potted plant or seeds rather than a bunch of stalks from the grocery store.
  • Look for young, green plants.
  • Avoid yellowing or wilting parsley.
  • Avoid flowering plants (they are past their prime)
  • Common parsley species have names like Champion Moss Curled, Envy, and Bravour.
  • French parsley species is called either Festival 68 or Italian.
  • Seed packs should be sealed and undamaged.
  • Don’t let anybody fleece you! Parsley should never be expensive.

The Different Ways of Growing Parsley

How to Grow Parsley From Seeds

Parsley can be sowed throughout the year, providing that they get enough warmth and protection. In case you are wondering how to grow parsley in winter, that’s easy. Just move your project indoors where there’s a shelter against drafts and cold. One traditional place is the kitchen window.

Ideally, the seeds should be sown in the first weeks of summer. Prepare a patch outdoors where the soil receives sun during the day (but not so much that the earth is scorched). Plant the seeds a ruler’s distance apart, cover lightly with compost, and keep the area wet. The same rules count for parsley in the kitchen. Place a few seeds in a tray, cover them with a light blanket of compost, and keep moist. Position the tray in a cosy, sunlit place where it won’t dry out too quickly.

Be prepared to wait about a month before the seedlings decide it’s time to face the world. Keep growing them in the tray until they are strong and have plenty of roots.

Parsley plants, from root to leaf.

Parsley plants, from root to leaf.

How to Grow Parsley From Cuttings

This option is a fun project for anyone who loves growing stuff. Although not as successful as growing parsley from seed, you should still be able to root a few cuttings.

  • Gather clean scissors, a glass jar, pots, and soil.
  • Cut the outer stems of a plant. Choose healthy, 13 cm (10 in) long side shoots.
  • Cut at a 45-degree angle and strip the leaves from the lower half.
  • Fill the jar with filtered water to give the cuttings a better chance of surviving.
  • Place the cuttings in the water for two hours.
  • Fill your pot or pots with soil, deep enough to accommodate the cuttings.
  • Plant each cutting at least 2.5 cm (1 in) deep and the same distance apart.
  • For the next 21 days, keep the cuttings moist and in indirect sunlight.
  • After this period, discard any cuttings that wilted or turned brown.
  • You can now move each cutting to its own pot or the garden (in the beginning, keep them in indirect sunlight for a few hours every day).

Can Parsley Grow in Water?

Sorry, aquatic worshipers of the Mason jar. The evidence would suggest that parsley cannot grow in water like other herbs. An attempt to do this would most likely result in stem rot for the cuttings.

How to Grow Parsley Hydroponically

As it turns out, there is a way that you can grow parsley in water. However, setting up an effective hydroponic system isn’t cheap and requires a more in-depth article of its own. But if the thought appeals to you, then this propagation method is certainly an option for the dedicated gardener.

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Read More From Dengarden

Does Parsley Regrow After Cutting?

Yes, parsley regrows after pruning. This is a tough herb. It can weather a cook’s pinches and even mother plants used for cuttings will regrow after the stalks are harvested. Most plants experience a growth boost when their leaves are removed.

However, don’t tax a parsley plant so much that it weakens. If you plan on using a lot, then, by all means, cultivate several so that you have more than enough to use without destroying them through overuse. Also, give a young parsley time to grow 8 or 10 leaves before harvesting it for the first time. When the time comes, the correct way is to cut low on the stem and not directly under the leaves. Otherwise, you’ll end up with parsley that looks more like a porcupine than a bush.

Does Parsley Grow Back Every Year?

Parsley only lives for two years. The first season is a culinary bonanza. Now’s the time to enjoy the leaves and stalks. During the second season, the plant goes to seed. The leaves won’t be as abundant or aromatic but don’t view this as a loss. Collect the seeds to start a new crop. You’ll have an endless supply of parsley plants for free.

Second-year parsley with flowers.

Second-year parsley with flowers.

How to Take Care of Your Parsley Plant

The Basics

Parsley is easy to care for. The herb flourishes in nutrient-rich soil or when fertilized on a regular basis. Keep the plant moist but not soaking wet, and place it in a sunny area that is mild to warm (but not too hot). Parsley loves being in the middle - so avoid the extreme poles of temperatures, watering, and handling.

Managing Parsley-Loving Pests

Parsley is generally healthy. But some are hit by viral and fungal diseases, worms, aphids, and nematodes. Good husbandry eliminates most of the fungal diseases since they frequently strike in overly wet conditions. A lot of health issues are also avoided when you gather cuttings and seeds from plants without leaf discoloration, fuzzy spots, or bugs. Parsley grown indoors are also safer from pests.

As soon as you notice disease or pests, you can either destroy the parsley or treat it with a commercial product designed to help with the problem.

A Quick Summary

Parsley’s dominance in the culinary world cannot be overstated. The biennial herb produces flavourful leaves and stalks during its first year and during the second; beautiful flowers and seed. The seed and cuttings are easy to grow and maintain. You can also store parsley by freezing or drying the leaves.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jana Louise Smit


Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on June 01, 2020:

Great, Marie. Let us know how your seeds are doing. There seems to be a great interest from everybody in parsley these days. I'm interested to hear what you use it for as well. Please share!

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on June 01, 2020:

My seeds are in the ground outdoors.

Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on June 01, 2020:

That's great to hear, Dora. Please let me know how it goes with your parsley growing. :)

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 01, 2020:

Thanks for these detailed instructions. This comes in handy for me right now and I will use your article as a guide. Thanks again.

Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on May 31, 2020:

Hi Dave. Parsley tea sounds interesting! I love hearing what everyone else uses parsley for. :)

Dave A Smith on May 31, 2020:

Thank-You for the info Jana! I'm using it in salads and tea, then I eat a piece as I'm working in the garden.

Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on May 31, 2020:

Thanks, Lorna, I'm glad you found new tips to use! Parsley does make every dish better. You're so right about that. I love using it with nearly every hot meal I make, even toasted sandwiches.

Lorna Lamon on May 31, 2020:

I use parsley in most of my soups and stews. It has a wonderful aroma and adds so much flavour. I grow it in my vegetable patch, however, your article has given me a few other ideas. Excellent tips and advice in this enjoyable read.

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