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Ah, the smell of growing parsley! Could there be a more fragrant herb than parsley? You’d have to search long and hard to find one.
Of all the herbs you can grow in your garden, Parsley seeds are the easiest to grow. Packed with vitamin C and a variety of antioxidants, growing this tasty herb is a great way to add nutrition to your diet! Most of us know parsley as just a garnish, but as you’ll find out, this versatile herb is so much more than that.
Parsley is a great herb to start growing if you are interested in increasing your own garden ‘s sustainability. It requires very little maintenance and will give you tons of fresh seasonings. With the right climate conditions, you can grow parsley up to one foot per week and be harvested all summer long.
Quick Facts About Parsley Plants
- Scientific name: Petroselinum crispum
- Type of plant: biennial herb
- Native to: Eastern Mediterranean
- Light requirement: direct light for six to eight hours a day
- Water requirement: 1 to 2 inches of rain or supplemental water per week
- Preferred humidity: 95%
- Preferred temperature: 80F (27C) with a drop during the night to 68F (20C)
- Size upon maturity: 1 to 2 feet tall
- Type of native soil: well-draining soil, evenly moist but not soggy soil that is rich in organic matter
- Soil pH level: 6.0 to 7.0
- Fertilizer: 5-10-5 commercial fertilizer
- Word meaning: European umbelliferous plant
- Family: Umbellifers
- Growing season: spring until freezing weather
What exactly are parsley plants?
Parsley is an herb that grows in a cluster of stems. The leaves are light green, with a tall flower stalk, and a fresh, sweet taste. The most common variety, called “curly parsley” or “Italian parsley” has dark green leaves that are crinkled and curly.
These herbs are also known as “green leaf” or “bunching” parsley because they grow as a cluster of stems instead of as separate plants like most other herbs. Its easy to grow parsley indoors or in the garden.
Cultivation and History
Parsley is native to Europe and Asia, but it has been cultivated in the United States since colonial times. The earliest reference to the use of parsley seeds is found in Homer’s Iliad (circa 750 B.C.). In ancient Greece, it was believed that parsley would help prevent baldness and eye diseases. During World War II, German soldiers believed that eating large amounts of parsley would help them avoid being detected by enemy forces using infrared goggles (the idea was that the high iron content in their blood would cause them to show up more clearly on thermal imaging devices). And during the Middle Ages, it was thought that parsley could cure baldness if placed beneath a pillow at night or rubbed into your scalp as a poultice during the day!
Today, parsley is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It is used in many different ways, both culinary and medicinal. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, either alone or as part of a dish, while the roots are often used to flavor soups and stews.
Plant Parsley Varieties
There are many different types of parsley seedlings available for home gardeners to grow. Some are annuals, others are biennials and still, others are perennials. The flavor of each type varies considerably and so do their growth habits.
Curly leaf parsley
This variety produces crinkled leaves that curl around their stems like ruffles on a dress shirt or skirt. The leaves have an almost sweet aroma when you rub them between your fingers, but their flavor is stronger than that of flatleaf parsley. Curly parsley grows well from seed or transplants.
This variety has a milder taste than curly parsley, which can sometimes overpower dishes. The leaves are flat and relatively wide, so chopping with a chef’s knife is easy.
It has a mild flavor, but is more flavorful than the common curly variety. It is used in salads and as a garnish, particularly on fish dishes. The Hamburg parsley plant grows to about 20 inches tall and has a strong spicy aroma.
This type of parsley produces a long, thick root that can be eaten raw or cooked like carrots or potatoes. The leaves are less flavorful than other types of parsley though, so don’t expect them to taste like regular flat-leaf parsley when you cook them up!
The plant has a large root system and is more tolerant of the cold than the curly-leaf variety. The leaves have a more intense flavor than those of other parsleys. French parsley can be used in all the same ways that regular parsley can, but it has a milder flavor and fresher look than the curly-leaf variety.
Moss curled parsley
This variety has leaves that curl up at the edges like little horns, giving it a very unique look. It can be used as an herb or as an ornamental plant.
Italian flat-leaf parsley
This variety has dark green, crinkled flat leaves that are about 2 inches long by 1 inch wide. It has a mild flavor that is good for use in sauces and salads. Italian parsley grows well from seed but takes longer than other types of parsley to mature.
This type is grown for its distinctive curled foliage rather than its flowers or seeds. It can be difficult to grow from seed, so most gardeners purchase plants from online sources or local nurseries.
How to Grow Parsley Seeds: A Complete Guide
If you love the fresh and minty taste of parsley then you should know how to grow your own. Once grown, it can be cooked with most foods or eaten on its own as a snack. Here is a step-by-step guide that’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Parsley so you can enjoy your own homegrown parsleys.
Plant parsley in warm climates with full sun or partial afternoon shade. They will not grow well if they are grown indoors under artificial lights or sunlight from windows that face north or west; they prefer light from the southern sunny window of your home.
Grow parsley in well-drained garden soil with a soil pH between 6 and 7.5. If your soil is too acidic, you can amend it with lime before planting your parsley seeds or seedlings. The best time to add lime to your garden bed is in fall during cooler temperatures or early spring when warmer temperatures return. Work any amendments into the moist soil at least 8 inches deep (this will help keep the plant cool during hot weather).
Choosing a pot
Choosing a pot size depends on how much parsley you want to grow at one time. A large container will hold more plants, but they may need more frequent watering than those grown in smaller pots because they have less soil volume to absorb water before it evaporates through the sides of the pot.
Preparing Soil for Planting
Prepare the soil by adding compost and manure to it. Prepare beds that are about 2 feet apart and choose a location that receives full sunlight or partial sun exposure. Dig holes in the center of each bed and add compost or manure to them before planting the seeds.
Parsleys require 1 inch of water per week when grown in the ground, but more frequent watering may be necessary when grown indoors with limited access to outdoor water sources. Use water that has been allowed to sit overnight so its chlorine content has had time to dissipate into the air; this will reduce the risk of burning your parsley plant’s roots during watering.
Grow parsley in temperatures between 70 F and 80 F (21 C to 27 C). Temperatures below 60 F (16 C) inhibit growth and may cause bolting. These plants will survive light frost with no damage, but they will bolt at temperatures below 40 F (5 C).
Pruning will help keep your plants a manageable size so they don’t overwhelm nearby plants or shade them out completely.
When pruning plants, you should only remove growth tips or side branches that are growing at an angle away from the main stem. This encourages new growth along the length of the flower stalk and stem instead of at the top where it gets leggy and unattractive. You should also remove dead or damaged leaves as they appear so they don’t spread disease to other parts of the plant.
To store parsley, wrap the stems in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. Once it’s completely dry, freeze parsley by placing the bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to two weeks.
If you buy fresh parsley that is already washed and ready to use, you can keep it in a airtight container of warm water with its roots covered by water. Change the water every couple of days. Parsley will start to wilt after about five days, so keep an eye on it and change the water before that happens if you want it to stay fresh longer.
How to Plant Your Own Parsley
Parsley is a great herb to grow in your own garden. You can use it fresh or dried, and it’s easy to grow. Planting parsley from seed is not difficult, but you must be aware of the proper planting time for your area. If you plant parsley too early or too late, the plants may not germinate or may die after germination.
The best time to plant parsley is in the spring, while the weather is still cool. But if you’re starting out with a new garden or adding fresh food to your diet, it’s easy to grow parsley in pots or containers as well.
- Choose a sunny spot in your herb garden and make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. If you’re planting your parsley in containers, choose a pot at least 6 inches deep so that the roots can spread out easily.
- Don’t grow parsley from seed; instead, buy young plants from a nursery or garden center, which will save you time and effort in growing the plants from scratch.
- Prepare the soil dry by removing rocks and debris from the area where you plan to plant. If you have a plot of land, break up any large clumps of dirt with a shovel or hoe. If you are planting parsley in a container, make sure to use a potting mix that has been enriched with compost or fertilizer.
- Dig holes for each plant about 3 inches deep and 2 inches wide. Space them about 12 inches apart if growing in rows, or as far apart as desired if growing them in beds or borders.
- Sow seeds about 3 inches apart in rows about 18 inches apart, allowing about 1 foot of space between each row.
- Water your parsley regularly so that it gets plenty of moisture but doesn’t get waterlogged.
Tips for Growing Parsley Plants
Parsley is a biennial plant that grows best in cool climates and rich, well-drained soil. It will grow best in partial shade, but it can take the sun if you water it regularly. If you have trouble growing parsley, try these secret tips:
- Start with healthy seeds. Start with fresh seeds from a reputable supplier. You should also plant your seeds in good soil and provide them with plenty of water and sunlight.
- Choose the right variety. Each variety has its own characteristics and uses; choose one that meets your needs before companion planting it with other plants. Some varieties are better suited for cooking than others; choose one based on your needs.
- Plant seeds in early spring, before the last frost of the season. If you grow roses in your garden, plant parsley around your rose bushes. Supposedly, you’ll reap more fragrant blossoms.
- Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and about 1 inch apart. Keep the soil moist until germination occurs (in about 10 days).
- Thin seedlings to 8 inches apart when they reach 4 inches tall.
- Harvest parsley by cutting individual stems and leaf stalks as needed throughout the growing season.
How to Harvest Parsley
Harvesting parsley plants is an easy process and can be done at any time during the plant’s growing cycle. While harvesting parsley can take place at any point, it’s best to wait until the plant has reached its full size. If you harvest parsley for culinary purposes, begin harvesting parsley leaves when they are young and tender. It is a quick process and can be done in less than a minute.
- First, you will want to cut off the top of the plant using scissors or pruning shears. Next, pull up the remaining roots from the ground by hand until all of them have been removed completely from their original location.
- Finally, rinse off any dirt or debris that may still be present on your harvested parsley before storing them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight until you are ready to use them in recipes or eat them fresh!
Pests, Diseases, and Treatment
There are many different pests and diseases that can affect your parsley flowers and other plants in your vegetable garden. Some of the more common include:
The carrot fly is a pest of carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and fennel. It lays its eggs on the leaves of the plant and when the larvae hatch they burrow into the root where they feed on it. The maggots are white with a brown head and can be up to 6mm long. They live in the root for about four weeks before emerging as pupae. The adult flies emerge after two weeks, mate and lay eggs on other host plant or in the soil nearby.
Treatment: To prevent infestation, destroy all affected plants, including those with maggots in the roots or surrounding soil. Covering new seedlings with fleece or newspaper will protect them from carrot fly damage until they have developed their own defences against attack.
These small white flies lay their eggs inside of your parsley roots, which develop into larvae that feed on them until they emerge as adult flies later in the season.
Treatment: Use row covers or floating row covers over your parsley beds to keep these destructive pests off of your herbs and companion plant during their vulnerable early growth stages.
This disease is caused by a fungus that affects many different types of plants, including parsley. It causes leaves to turn yellow and die back prematurely; if left untreated, it can kill the entire plant.
Treatment: Isolate new plants from infected ones and remove diseased plants as soon as possible. Use only healthy seedlings that have not been grown too close together (at least 6 inches apart). Do not use compost from previous years’ crops because this will carry the fungus spores with it into your garden bed.
Parsley loopers are 1/3-inch long green caterpillars with a white stripe down each side of their body. They feed on leaves and stems causing them to curl over.
Treatment: Pinch off infested leaves or spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil to control this pest.
Swallowtails are considered pests in many parts of the world because they can damage crops and other plants. They feed on many different types of plants including fruit trees, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants. Swallowtail butterfly also like to lay its eggs on citrus trees because they contain high levels of pollen which is a good source of protein for their larvae when they hatch.
Treatment: Plant garlic mustard as a trap crop – The plant produces allelochemicals that repel insects that feed on it. These chemicals are effective against many kinds of pests, including swallowtail butterfly. If you have small plants that are still young enough to be protected by netting or row covers, then you can also use these materials to stop swallowtail butterflies from damaging them while they grow larger.
Best Uses of Parsley
Parsley plants grown in vegetable and flower beds have long been used to treat indigestion and help with other digestive issues. They are also known to help cleanse the body of toxins and bacteria, which makes them great for fighting off illnesses like colds and flus. Parsley leaves are also used in some herbal remedies for high blood pressure and cancer prevention.
If you’re looking for ways to use parsleys around your home, here are some ideas:
Parsley has been used for centuries as a digestive aid. It can be used both internally or externally as an antacid to help relieve indigestion symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, heartburn or diarrhea. You can either chew on several leaves at once or make a tea using 1 tbsp of dried parsley per cup of boiling water steeped for 10 minutes before drinking three times daily until your symptoms subside.
It’s an integral ingredient in classic herb blends such as bouquet garni, fines herbes, poultry, and Italian seasonings. It is often used as a wonderful seasoning on top of soups and salads because it adds color and looks beautiful on the plate. Parsley can also be used as a seasoning in cooked meals such as egg dishes or pasta sauces. If you’re looking for an alternative to salt or pepper on your food, try sprinkling some fresh chopped parsley leaves on top!
Dye For Clothes And Hair
Parsleys are great for dying fabrics because they contain apigenin, which gives them their bright green color. If you want to dye fabrics using plants, it’s best to make sure that they’re organic so that you don’t risk exposing yourself or anyone else to any harmful chemicals from the plant material itself.
Parsley leaves are used to clean the floors and carpets because they have anti-bacterial properties. You can also use them to clean your kitchen countertop or any other surface that needs cleaning.
Does parsley regrow after cutting?
Yes, it does. Parsley is a herb that can be grown in the garden or in containers. It grows well in full sun but can tolerate partial shade as well. The plant will grow to about 2 feet tall and has small white flowers that bloom from June to September.
Do parsley come back every year?
Yes, but only in warmer climates or with a little help from you. Parsley is an herb that is best grown as an annual. That means it will die at the end of the season, but it will grow back again from seed the following year. If you live in a colder climate, you can grow parsley indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost in your area and then transplant them outside after all danger of frost has passed.
Is it okay to pick the leaves off my parsley plant?
Yes! Picking leaves is fine as long as you don’t strip any more than one-third of the plant’s foliage at any one time. This will allow the parsley plant to maintain its strength so that it can continue producing new growth throughout the season.
Should I fertilize my parsley?
Parsley is an herb that doesn’t need additional nutrients because it grows quickly and produces lots of leaves. Fertilizing is not recommended unless you have very sandy soil that needs some extra nutrients. If you must fertilize, use a slow-release fertilizer (5-10-5) or the organic option of compost tea.
If the pungent smell of a just-harvested Parsley plant is not enough to get you interested in growing your own, perhaps the many health benefits will. To grow parsley is a fun and easy way to add additional fresh herbs to your day-to-day meals, with very little effort. It is inexpensive to grow parsley, and once you learn the steps, it takes almost no time at all.