Growing Parsley:
How to Grow Parsley Organically

Growing parsley is a must, even for the beginning gardener. It’s easy to grow and provides ornamental value as well as great flavoring for your foods.

All parsley needs to flourish is full sun (partial shade is okay in very hot areas) along with light, well-drained soil. It makes a wonderful addition to hanging baskets or along the edges of flowerbeds.

In most areas, you'll need to pot up a plant or two to bring indoors if you want to have parsley throughout the winter months.

Growing Parsley: Plant Snapshot (Petroselinum crispum)

Growing Parsley
  • Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
  • Annual or Perennial? Annual - Ready to harvest about 70 days after planting
  • Recommended varieties: Gigante d'Italia, Dark Green Italian, Hamburg Root, Triple Curled
  • Cold tolerance: Half Hardy – Will survive light frosts. Seeds germinate at low soil temperatures and can be planted 2 weeks before the average date of the last 32 degree F (0 degree C) temperature in spring.
  • Required Sun: Full sun (partial shade in hotter temperatures)
  • When planning vegetable crop rotation, group with crops from this family: Any except other carrot family members (carrot, celery and parsnip).
  • Companion plants (see Companion Planting Charts for more info):
    • Companions: Asparagus, corn tomatoes
    • Avoid: None
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Growing Parsley: Planting the Seed

Where to Find Planting Supplies...

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Parsley is grown from seed, but requires some patience as it can take from 14 to 28 days or more for the seeds to germinate. Plant indoors during the winter to speed up production, then move seedlings to the garden when they are 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) tall.

Give them fertile soil and good spacing to encourage air circulation.

Many gardeners grow parsley outside during the summer and inside in a cool sunny location during the winter.

Snapshot: Planting Parsley

  • Planting depth: Dust with soil (0.1 cm)
  • Spacing in rows: About 5 inches (15 cm)
  • Germination soil temperature: 60 to 75 degrees F (15.5 to 24 degrees Celsius)
  • Days to germination: 14 to 28 or more
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Growing Parsley: From Germination to Pre-Harvest

Where to Find Growing & Plant Care Supplies...

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Parsley is easy to grow in full sun to partial shade. Its shallow roots require plenty of water, and it should be organically fertilized regularly throughout the growing season.

To encourage production of better leaves, remove flower heads as they appear .

Snapshot: Growing Parsley

  • Preferred soil pH (see soil pH tester for more information): 5.5 to 7.0
  • Growing soil temperature: 50 to 85 degrees F (10 to 29 degrees Celsius)
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Growing Parsley: Harvesting Time

Parsley can be harvested as needed as soon as the plants start growing vigorously. The best leaves are the ones picked before the plant flowers.

If you do not allow flowering, you should have delicious parsley all season.

Snapshot: Harvesting Parsley

  • Time to harvest: About 70 days after planting; Harvest throughout the growing season
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Storing Parsley, Drying Parsley and Freezing Parsley

Parsley can be used fresh or dried, and the leaves can even be frozen, but most people prefer the flavor of fresh parsley.

Fresh parsley leaves can be stored in the refrigerator in plastic bags for about a week. To dry the leaves, tie bouquets of parsley with string and hang upside down or lay the leaves on screens.

Parsley seeds are good for about a year.

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Growing Parsley: Pests & Diseases

The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Parsley. For more information about preventing and controlling them, see Organic Garden Pest Control.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Carrot weevil
  • Flea beetles
  • Leafhoppers
  • Occasional caterpillars
  • Occasional black swallowtail butterflies
  • Plant bugs
  • Diseases

Diseases

  • Leaf spot
  • Root rot
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YOUR Experience & Advice About Growing Parsley

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