Parsley is a versatile plant that can be used in many ways. It’s great for flavoring food, adding color to the garden or table, and even as an ornamental because its versatility means you won’t ever get bored with it!
Parsley is a great plant for everyone to grow, and it can be started from seeds as well. You don’t need much more than light and water- just make sure that your soil drains properly so avoid soggy areas or standing water!
Sow parsley seeds outdoors in the spring or autumn when temperatures are mild. Plant them 1 to 2 inches apart and about 1/4 inch deep, with good soil for their preferred growing conditions – full sun if possible but some afternoon shade protection will also do wonders! In warmer climates where summers can be hot and humid without rain, these plants will prefer an afternoon shade.
Each of the plants can grow 1-2 feet tall, depending on the variety, and withstand light frost.
Parsley seeds don’t all germinate at once. In order to encourage more of them, keep your soil moist but not waterlogged so that the new plants have a chance of thriving and being fruitful! Once they’ve grown up enough, they need regular watering (about 1-2 inches per week) to continue its growth.
Keep your parsley happy by giving it the water that’s just right. If you let soil go too dry, plant wilts and dies – but don’t overdo it or roots will rot away!
When parsley plants develop several sets of leaves, thin them so they stand 3 to 4 inches apart.
Parsley is a biennial plant, not perennial. The first year it grows and sends up flowers that turn into seeds which die after maturity in order to reproduce the following season with fresh plants for harvest.
How to Grow Parsley Indoors
Any indoor herb garden benefits from the addition of parsley. Choose a container with drainage holes, add a soil-less potting mix (garden soil is too heavy to use in a pot), and sow seeds 1 to 2 inches part, about 1/4 inch deep.
Place indoor parsley pots in the brightest light possible. However, these herbs may still grow spindly and weak because window glass decreases the amount of light the plants can receive.
Harvesting Parsley Leaves
Once parsley reaches at least 6 inches tall, you can begin to harvest the leaves. Beginning with the outside stems (the ones that grew first), cut the stems close to the ground. As you harvest the stems on the outside of the plant, it will respond with new growth from the center. Avoid shaving off the tops of stems; this stunts new growth.
How to Dry Parsley
Either type can be dried for later use. The easiest way is to place washed, stemmed leaves on a dish to air dry. Parsley can be quickly dried in just a few minutes in a warm 100 to 110 degree F oven; watch carefully so the leaves don’t burn.
When parsley leaves are completely dry, place them in a container, cover with an air-tight lid, and store them in a dark, cool location. You also can freeze dried parsley leaves in plastic bags.
Use dried or frozen parsley leaves within a year for freshest flavor.