How to Grow Parsley? The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide!

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of growing parsley, from preparing the soil to harvesting and storing it. So, let’s get started!

Why Growing Parsley is Beneficial?

Growing parsley is a great way to add a delicious and nutritious herb to your diet. Not only is it a versatile ingredient, but it’s easy to grow, too!

Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and it’s a great source of fiber and minerals. Plus, it can be used to brighten up a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to sauces and more. 

Parsley starting to grow in a terracotta pot.
Photo by Devin H on Unsplash

How to Grow Parsley: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. The Different Types of Parsley

There are several different types of parsley, each with their own distinct flavor and appearance. Here are some of the most common types of parsley:

  • Flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian parsley) has flat, serrated leaves and a robust flavor that is often described as slightly peppery. It is a popular choice for cooking and is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Curly parsley has tightly curled, frilly leaves and a milder flavor than flat-leaf parsley. This herb is commonly employed as a garnish, although it can also be utilized in culinary preparations.
  • Hamburg parsley (also known as root parsley) has a thick, white root that is similar to a parsnip. The foliage is consumable and possesses a gentle parsley taste. Hamburg parsley is often used in soups and stews.
  • Japanese parsley (also known as mitsuba) has delicate, fern-like leaves and a flavor that is similar to a combination of parsley, celery, and cilantro. It is often used in Japanese cuisine, particularly in soups and sauces.
  • French parsley (also known as French flat-leaf parsley) has flat, broad leaves and a strong, slightly bitter flavor. It is often used in French cuisine and is a common ingredient in bouquet garni, a bundle of herbs used to flavor soups and stews.
Type of ParsleyDescriptionFlavorCommon Use
Flat-leaf parsley (Italian parsley)Flat, serrated leavesRobust, slightly pepperyCooking, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine
Curly parsleyTightly curled, frilly leavesMilderGarnish, cooking
Hamburg parsley (root parsley)Thick, white root similar to parsnip, edible leavesMild parsleySoups, stews
Japanese parsley (mitsuba)Delicate, fern-like leavesSimilar to parsley, celery, and cilantroJapanese cuisine, soups, sauces
French parsley (French flat-leaf parsley)Flat, broad leavesStrong, slightly bitterFrench cuisine, bouquet garni

2. Ideal Temperatures & Lighting Conditions to Grow Parsley

Parsley is a herb that requires specific temperature and light conditions to thrive. Here’s some information about the ideal temperature and light conditions for growing parsley:

  • Temperature: Parsley grows best in cool to moderate temperatures. The ideal temperature range for growing parsley is between 60-70 °F (15-21 °C). It is important to avoid extreme temperatures as this can cause the plant to bolt, which means it starts producing flowers and seeds prematurely, rather than continuing to grow foliage.
  • Light: Parsley is a plant that requires plenty of light to grow well. Ideally, it should be grown in full sun, which means it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you’re growing parsley indoors, you can use artificial lighting to provide the required amount of light. Keep in mind that if parsley doesn’t get enough light, it may become leggy and produce fewer leaves.

In summary, the ideal temperature range for growing parsley is between 60-70 °F (15-21 °C), and it requires plenty of direct sunlight, ideally at least 6 hours per day. Providing these conditions will help ensure that your parsley plants grow healthy and produce plenty of flavorful leaves.

Growing ConditionIdeal Range
Temperature60-70 °F (15-21 °C)
LightFull sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day

3. What You’ll Need to Grow Parsley

Growing parsley is easy and rewarding, but there are a few things you’ll need to get started. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find the supplies at a local garden store or online. Here’s what you’ll need: Parsley seeds, potting soil, a planting container, fertilizer, and a watering can. 

The seeds should be planted in a nutrient-rich soil that drains well. If you’re using a pot or container, make sure it has good drainage holes. Fill the container with the soil, leaving a few inches at the top. Press the seeds onto the soil surface in a gentle manner.

Fertilizer is an important part of growing parsley. It’s best to use a slow-release fertilizer that will provide the plants with the nutrients they need for several months. You can also add a liquid fertilizer every few weeks to give the plants an extra boost.

Finally, you’ll need a watering can or other container for watering the parsley. Make sure to water the plants enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Excessive water can lead to the development of root rot and various other issues.

Parsley seedsTo plant and grow parsley
Potting soilNutrient-rich soil that drains well
Planting containerWith good drainage holes
FertilizerSlow-release fertilizer and liquid fertilizer
Watering canOr other container for watering

4. Preparing the Soil 

Growing parsley requires a well-prepared soil, so the first step in learning how to grow parsley is to get your soil ready. Begin by checking the pH level of your soil. Parsley prefers a soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5, so if your soil is too acidic or alkaline, you’ll need to adjust it.

Once you’ve adjusted the pH, you can begin to add organic matter such as compost or manure to the soil. By doing this, you can enhance the soil’s composition and supply vital nutrients to support the growth of your parsley plants. After you’ve amended the soil, you’re ready to begin planting!

Test soil pH levelParsley prefers a pH of 6.5-7.5
Adjust soil pH levelIf too acidic or alkaline
Add organic matterCompost or manure to improve soil structure and provide nutrients

5. Planting the Seeds

Step two in growing your own parsley is planting the seeds. Before you plant, you’ll want to make sure your soil is ready, and your seeds are fresh. Old seeds may fail to germinate. You can plant your parsley seeds directly in the soil or start them indoors in a seed tray.

If you’re planting directly in the soil, you’ll want to create small, shallow furrows in the soil, about an inch deep. Sprinkle the seeds in the furrows, cover them lightly with soil, and gently press down. If you’re starting indoors, fill your seed trays with potting soil and scatter the seeds over the surface.

Cover with a thin layer of soil and mist with a spray bottle. Place the trays in a warm, well-lit spot until the seedlings appear. Afterward, you can relocate them to the garden.

Plant the parsley at least 8 inches apart to give the plants enough space to grow. Water the planted seeds lightly, and you’ll soon see the seedlings sprout.

Prepare soilEnsure it’s ready and seeds are fresh
Plant directly in soil or start indoorsSmall, shallow furrows in soil or fill seed trays with potting soil
Space parsley plantsAt least 8 inches apart
Water lightlyWait for seedlings to sprout

6. Watering and Maintaining the Parsley 

Once your parsley seeds are planted and germinated, it’s time to start caring for them! Watering and maintaining your parsley plants is key to having a successful harvest. Parsley needs at least 1 inch of water per week, so it’s important to water your plants regularly and deeply.

In the warmer months, it may be necessary to increase the frequency of watering. Make sure to mulch your parsley plants to help retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

You should also fertilize the parsley every 2-3 weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Additionally, you may need to prune your parsley plants occasionally to keep them bushy and healthy.

WateringRegularly, at least 1 inch per week
More frequently during hotter months
Water deeply and mulch to retain moisture
FertilizerEvery 2-3 weeks with liquid fertilizer
PruningOccasionally to keep plants bushy and healthy

7. Identifying Signs of Pests and Diseases

Now that your parsley is planted and growing, you want to make sure it is healthy and free of pests and diseases. To do this, you need to be aware of the signs of pests and diseases that can affect your parsley. Common pests include aphids, thrips, and caterpillars, while common diseases include root rot, powdery mildew, and downy mildew.

Aphids can cause deformed or yellowing leaves, while thrips can cause silver-colored streaks on the leaves. Caterpillars can cause large holes in leaves, and if left unchecked, can quickly devour the entire plant. Root rot, a type of fungal infection, can lead to leaf wilting and yellowing.

Powdery mildew can cause white or gray spots on the leaves, while downy mildew can cause yellow spots. If you recognize any of these signs, you want to take immediate action to prevent the pests or diseases from spreading.

This may include using organic insecticides to kill the pests or using a fungicide to treat the diseases. It’s important to always follow the directions on the packaging to avoid any potential hazards.

AphidsRoot rot
ThripsPowdery mildew
CaterpillarsDowny mildew
Nutrient deficiency

8. When and How to Harvest 

Harvesting your parsley is an exciting milestone in the growing process. The best time to harvest parsley is when the leaves are fully developed and the plant has reached a height of at least 6 inches. To harvest, use scissors to cut the stems from the base of the plant.

Cut off the top 1/3 of the plant and leave the lower 2/3 to continue growing. After harvesting, you can either use the parsley immediately or store it.

To store parsley, wash and dry it and then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If stored correctly, parsley can last for a maximum of two weeks. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

TimeWhen leaves are fully developed and plant is 6 inches tall
MethodUse scissors to cut stems from the base of the plant
Cut off the top 1/3 of the plant and leave the lower 2/3 to continue growing

9. Storage and Use of Parsley

Once you’ve successfully grown your parsley, you’ll need to figure out how to store and use it. Luckily, parsley is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. To store it, you can either place it in the refrigerator in a sealed container with a damp paper towel or freeze it in an airtight container.

You can also dehydrate it, either in a dehydrator or in the oven on low heat, and then store it in an airtight container. When it comes to using parsley, there are many options. Adding parsley to salads, soups, and pasta dishes is a fantastic way to enhance their flavor.

It can also be used as a garnish on meats and fish. Additionally, parsley can be blended into pesto or used in sauces or marinades. You can also add it to smoothies or juice for a nutritional boost.

And of course, you can use it fresh in your cooking. However, you choose to use it, fresh parsley is sure to add flavor and nutrition to your meals.

RefrigerationPlace in a sealed container with a damp paper towel
FreezingStore in an airtight container
DehydrationIn a dehydrator or oven on low heat
CookingSalads, soups, pasta dishes, sauces, marinades
Blended into pesto or used as a garnish
Added to smoothies or juice for a nutritional boost

10. Troubleshooting Common Problems

Growing parsley can often be a tricky endeavor, as there are many different pests and diseases that can affect your plants. Fortunately, there are a few key tips that can help you troubleshoot any issues that you may encounter along the way.

Check your plants regularly for signs of diseases, such as yellowing or wilting leaves. If you see these signs, it may be a sign of a fungal infection or nutrient deficiency. You can also check your plants for pests, such as aphids, caterpillars, and slugs.

If you find any of these, you can remove them by hand or use an insecticide to get rid of them. Additionally, if your parsley is not growing as quickly as you would like, it may be a sign that it lacks adequate sunlight or nutrients.

To fix this, you can move your plants to an area that gets more sunlight or add fertilizer to the soil. By troubleshooting common problems, you can ensure that your parsley plants grow healthy and strong.

DiseasesUse fungicide or nutrient supplements
PestsRemove by hand or use insecticide
Slow growthMove to a sunnier location or add fertilizer

Conclusion: Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor

Congratulations! You’ve just completed your step-by-step guide to growing parsley. Now that you know the basics of planting, watering, maintaining, and harvesting, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Growing parsley is a rewarding experience, as the herb is incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of dishes. Plus, it’s a great way to add a bit of green to your garden.

With the right care, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of homegrown parsley for many years to come.

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  • Vince S

    Hello, I'm Vince, and I bring over 25 years of dedicated experience in the world of herb gardening. From cultivating fragrant basil to nurturing hardy rosemary, my journey as a passionate herb enthusiast has allowed me to explore the wonders of these versatile plants. Through, I'm thrilled to share my knowledge, tips, and insights to help you embark on your own herb gardening adventures. Let's grow together!