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Parsley is a biennial plant that grows leaves in it’s first year, and flowers during the second. The leaves are primarily used in many dishes from around the world, most extensively found in European, Middle Eastern, and North American cooking. There are two main types of parsley: curly-leaf, and flat-leaf or Italian.
Flat-leaved parsley is often preferred as it is easier to grow (because it is more tolerant of both rain and strong sunlight) and has a stronger flavor than the curly varieties. However, curly leaf parsley is also widely used as a garnish because of its more decorative appearance.
Grow parsley from seed in moist soil in a small to medium sized pot, spacing them 6″ apart. Cover with 1 cm (1/2″) of soil. Parsley sends out a deep tap root, so make sure your pot is relatively deep. Parsley is a slow starter, and may take up to 21 days to sprout.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each. Get the Free Container Size Guide for Small Space Gardening here .
Keep well watered. It is time to water your parsley when the top 1″ of soil is dry to the touch.
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow parsley indoors or outdoors. In the cooler seasons, parsley likes full sun. In summer, parsley would benefit from partial shade to protect it during the hottest part of the afternoon.
Parsley can overwinter outdoors if you are located in zone 5 or higher. However, parsley is considered a ‘biennial’ plant, meaning it grows leaves in its first year and then flowers in its second year. Parsley leaves will not be as plentiful in the second year and will also be less flavorful, so many people treat it as an annual and replant anew each spring.
Harvest leaves from the outer portion of the plant when you need them, leaving the inner leaves to grow.
Parsley can handle the cold. If protected i.e. with a cloche, parsley can grow throughout the winter.
Parsley is a great companion for planting along with tomatoes, apples, and roses. It does not grow well when planted along with lettuce or members of the allium family, such as onions, green onions, garlic or chives.