Biennial herb (Petroselinum) grown as an annual. Its many horticultural varieties are grouped as curled leaved (var. crispum), fernleaved (var. filicinum) and Hamburg or “rooted” (var. radicosum). Though the leaves of all are used for flavoring meat dishes, soups, salads, etc., the curled varieties are most popular in America for this purpose and for garnishing, though the fern-leaved are just as attractive. Hamburg Parlsey is generally cooked like parsnips.
As parsley seed germinates slowly (sometimes taking several weeks), it should be soaked in warm water overnight before planting. Sow outdoors in early spring in rows 10 to 12 inches apart, and cover 1/2 inch deep. Later thin the plants to stand about 6 inches apart.
The leaves may be cut all season for use as needed. In the fall they may be dried and stored in tight jars, or roots may be transplanted into pots or hydroponic planters to be grown on indoors. The following spring remove the flower stems as fast as they appear so as to keep the plants producing leaves until those grown from a newly sown crop are ready.
Parsley grows well in a deep pot, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.
Parsley grows well in loamy garden soil rich in nitrogen, and does well in full sun or part shade. Parsley can overwinter if lightly mulched during extremely cold weather.
Outdoors, containers, hydroponics.
Parsley plants grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches (30 – 45cm).
Parsley plants should be spaced 9 to 12 inches (22 – 30cm) apart.
Preferred pH Range
Parsley will grow in a pH range between 5.6 (acidic) and 7.5 (neutral) with a preferred range between 6.0 and 7.0.
Sow indoors in sunny location or under plant grow lights six weeks before last frost.
Seed Germination Period
21 to 28 days.
Seeds Per Gram (Approximate)
650 to 1,000.
Tolerates most soils, but rich, well-drained, moist, with a pH between 6 and 7 is best.
Alternative Growing Media
Soilless potting mixes, perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, coco peat, Oasis foam.
Time From Seed to Saleable Plant
Sow in plugs or direct in pots, 4 to 5 seeds per plug or 12 seeds per pot. Seeds to finished plugs, eight weeks. Plugs to saleable plants, six weeks.
Sun & Lighting Requirements
Parsley grown outdoors prefers full sun and can tolerate some shade.
Parsley will grow indoors satisfactorily under standard fluorescent lamps, and exceptionally well under high output fluorescent , compact fluorescent, or high intensity discharge (metal halide or high pressure sodium) plant growing lights. Keep standard fluorescent lamps between 2 and 4 inches from the tops of the plants, high output and compact fluorescents approximately one foot above the plants, and HID lights between 2 and 4 feet above the plants, depending on wattage. Have an oscillating fan gently stir seedlings for at least 2 hours per day to stimulate shorter, sturdier, and more natural plant habit.
5a to 9b.
Average water needs. Water on a regular schedule, do not overwater.
Potential Pests & Diseases
Whitefly, spider mites, aphids. Minimal disease issues.
Grown for aromatic foliage. Suitable for containers.