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Parsley

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Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum

Plant type: Herb

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Parsley is a biennial plant with bright green, featherlike leaves and is in the same family as dill. This herb is used in soups, sauces, and salads, and it lessens the need for salt in soups. Not only is it the perfect garnish, but also it is healthy; it's rich in iron and vitamins A and C.

Planting

  • For a head start, plant seeds in individual pots indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last spring frost. For better germination, you can soak the seeds overnight.
  • Plant the seeds 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost because parsley is a slow starter. (The plants can handle the cold weather.) It can take up to 3 weeks for the plants to sprout.
  • Plant the seeds in moist, rich soil about 6 to 8 inches apart. For thinner plants, plant about 6 to 10 inches apart. Try to pick an area that is weed-free; that way, you'll be able to see the parsley sprouting after about 3 weeks.
  • You can use a fluorescent light to help the seedlings grow. Make sure it remains two inches above the leaves at all times.
  • To ensure the best growth, the soil should be around 70ºF.
  • Plant parsley near asparagus, corn, and tomatoes in your garden.

Care

  • Be sure to water the seeds often while they germinate so that they don't dry out.
  • Throughout the summer, be sure to water the plants evenly.

Pests

  • Stem rot
  • Leaf spots
  • Black swallowtail larvae
  • Carrot fly and celery fly larvae

Harvest/Storage

  • When the leaf stems have three segments, parsley is ready to be harvested.
  • Cut leaves from the outer portions of the plant whenever you need them. Leave the inner portions of the plant to mature.
  • One method of storing the parsley fresh is to put the leaf stalks in water and keep them in the refrigerator.
  • Another method of storage is drying the parsley. Cut the parsley at the base and hang it in a well-ventilated, shady, and warm place. Once it's completely dry, crumble it up and store it in an airtight container.
  • If you want fresh parsley throughout the winter, replant a parsley plant in a pot and keep it in a sunny window.

Recommended Varieties

  • Flat-leaf varieties in cooking because they have better flavor and are easier to work with than curly-leaf parsley
  • Curly-leaf varieties when you want a pretty garnish

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

Add a parsley infusion to bathwater to soothe and cleanse.

Comments

my last parsley plant was

By Joan Kelly

my last parsley plant was covered with catapillars who eventually ate all the parsley, I am about to plant another parsley, any suggestions to keep this from happening again. Thanks

They were most likely black

By Karen Melton

They were most likely black swallowtail caterpillars. Butterflies lay their eggs on specific host plants that the caterpillars are adapted to eat. In the case of black swallowtails, host plants are those in the carrot family, such as carrot, parsley, dill, rue and fennel. If you wish to support this beautiful butterfly, consider planting more parsley than you need for yourself, or covering some of the plants with netting. Also consider planting multiple BS host plants so the eggs don't all get laid on your parsley.

The caterpillar/s was an

By Almanac Staff

The caterpillar/s was an early stage in the formation of the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly, an important pollinator. Plants in the carrot family—including parsley, dill, fennel, and Queen Anne's Lace (in the wild) as well as carrots—are its desirable host, and it eats only these, which contain furanocoumarins (chemicals in the seed coat). Some sources say that "infestations" of the larva are uncommon.
You could plant one or more of the hosts as an alternate lure. Or plant more parsley so as to have enough later. Or try row/plant cover, to keep the plants from becoming hosts.
We hope this helps.

My parsley is a beautiful

By carl d

My parsley is a beautiful green when it's growing, but when I hang it up to dry it turns yellow. Any ideas?

I was just talking to

By Janet L Mackedanz

I was just talking to mydaughter out in Cal. for a little bit and we were talking about parsley and what you can do with it. She said that she knewa lady that uses it for her artheritus. So I decided to get on line and look it into it.and I found this network so I read through it to get some more information on it. My mother used to have quite large plant of it gowing in the house when I was growing up. I used to take little pinches of it and just eat.It tased really good. Janet Mackedanz

Where -a -bouts in the garden

By Alan Tonge

Where -a -bouts in the garden should I place my parsley pot. Does it like direct sunlight, shelter from the wind or shade etc.

Set the container in full sun

By Almanac Staff

Set the container in full sun or partial shade and keep the soil moist.

Can you plant flat leaf

By Lisa Marie Berry

Can you plant flat leaf parsley in the same large planter as curly leaf parsley? Or are they best left in separate planters? They are starter plants, not seeds.

When do you start to harvest?

By Someone

When do you start to harvest? How do you know?

Parsley generally requires 70

By Almanac Staff

Parsley generally requires 70 to 90 days from the time seed is sown to harvest. Begin harvesting parsley when it produces leaf stems with three segments. Harvest the larger leaves at the outside of the plant first, leaving the new, interior shoots to mature.

Why do the leaves turn

By Liesel

Why do the leaves turn yellow?

If your parsley has yellow

By Almanac Staff

If your parsley has yellow leaves, it is often a watering issue.Make sure that you water consistently each day, giving it a deep soaking at the base of the plant.
Also, is your parsley in a container? Make sure it's at least 10 inches deep so the parsley's long roots aren't overcrowded.
Finally, make sure the soil is rich with nutrients and that you aren't overfertilizing.

What do you do when parsley

By Kira

What do you do when parsley begins to flower? How much and how often should you cut it back? Thanks!

Parsley is a biennial. The

By Almanac Staff

Parsley is a biennial. The first year, it grows it leaves; the second year, it flowers to set seed and dies. You could still harvest any leaves though they'll have less flavor. Once parsley flowers, your harvest is over. You can keep the plant and enjoy the blooms.

If you prune it and snip the

By teachrjones on October 5

If you prune it and snip the buds before blooming, would it still be harvestable?

Our parsley has sprouted a

By Kberg

Our parsley has sprouted a large thick stalk right out of the center, which had caused the parsley production to halt and the stalk to continue to grow. What is this? If I remove the stalk will the parsley start growing again, or is my plant at the end of it's life?

Ah, I see. Thanks for the

By Kira

Ah, I see. Thanks for the information!

parsley

By Anonymous

i heard u only have to at least your finger size and push down into the ground and make a hole then put the seed or the seedling into the ground then cover it with the mud then water it and thats it

Soilless mix

By Anonymous

What is "soilless potting mix"?

Soil is absent from the

By Almanac Staff

Soil is absent from the potting mix and lacks pests/disease found in soil.

Parsley in Containers

By Anonymous

What about width for the container? How should I fertilize?

A container that is 12 inches

By Almanac Staff

A container that is 12 inches or deeper works well for parsley. Make sure it has drainage holes. Use moistened soilless potting mix to within 2 inches of its top. Mix in some granular slow-acting fertilizer. Water often. Do not let it dry out.

Italian Parsley

By Anonymous

How much depth does it need? I'm planting outdoors in containers.

parsley depth

By Almanac Staff

If you are growing parsley in a container, ensure that the depth is at least 8 inches to give enough space for the roots to grow.

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