One of the most popular culinary herbs, parsley is a common seasoning and garnish that packs a ton of vitamins and minerals.

Check out all our parsley varieties: Plain Italian Seed, Curled Seed

Edible Parsley

Edible Parsley

In addition to its use as a raw garnish, parsley is typically added to cooked dishes at the end of the cooking process to add a slightly spicy note. The curly-leaved variety is the most popular but flat leaved parsley, also known as Italian or French parsley has a stronger flavor that many believe make it better for cooking.

Interesting Facts About Parsley Plants

Fact 1
Parsley—Petroselinum var. crispum and var. neapolitanum (curly leaved and flat-leaved respectively)—is a member of the carrot (Apiaceae) family. Other members of this family include celery, parsnips, dill, and fennel, among many other herbs and vegetables.
Fact 2
People who study such things believe that parsley originated in or near Sardinia, and spread throughout Europe by the end of the 15th century. For those who don’t know, Sardinia, a neighbor of Corsica, is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea and is an autonomous region of Italy.
Fact 3
Parsley’s botanical name, Petroselinum, comes from the Greek word for stone because it grew on rocky hillsides in ancient Greece, though it wasn’t consumed as food. The ancient Romans discovered that munching on parsley sprigs would freshen breath.
Fact 4
Though typically grown by gardeners as an annual edible herb, it’s actually a biennial which means it grows to full size its first season and then blooms, sets seed, and dies in its second season. If you live in a northerly clime, you can dig up parsley plants and pot them for overwintering, if you want.
Fact 5
Parsley is a favorite food for swallowtail butterfly larvae. Consider planting extra seeds to support this magnificent pollinator.

Parsley Gardening Tips

Difficulty
Difficulty

Easy

Sun
Sun

Ideally full sun but it can tolerate some light shade.

Water
Water

The soil should be kept evenly moist but not soaked. Freshly-planted seeds and newly established plants should receive a gentle, regular—but not soaking—watering. Be careful not to splash soil onto the leaves.

Soil
Soil

Parsley likes moist, rich, well-drained soil that has a pH range of 5.5 – 6.7 and is at least 70° F.

Air
Air

Parsley seeds will germinate in air temperatures between 60° and 85° F.

Timing
Timing

Parsley is a slow starter so the sooner you plant the seeds, the better. In northern climates, start parsley seeds indoors about 10-12 weeks before your last anticipated spring frost. Or, you can direct sow outdoors several weeks before the last frost since parsley can tolerate the cold.

Planting
Planting

Plant seeds ¼-inch deep, 4-6 inches apart. Outdoor rows should be spaced 12-18 inches apart.

Germination
Germination

21 days. It helps to soak seeds overnight before planting to hasten germination.

TIME TO HARVEST
TIME TO HARVEST

Seeding to maturity generally takes 70-90 days

Feeding
Feeding

Add organic fertilizer at planting time and again every six weeks.

Mulch
Mulch

Add mulch as the seedlings develop to retain moisture and discourage weeds.

Special Considerations
Special Considerations

Parsley is not prone to disease or attack from insect pests; established plants can tolerate cold temperatures down to 20° F.

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Good companions include: chives, carrots, corn, peppers, onions, peas, and tomatoes. Don’t plant it with lettuce or mint.

Container-Friendly
Container-Friendly

Yes! Parsley is a wonderful container plant and can be planted among other herbs, vegetables or flowers for an attractive display.

Harvesting Parsley

Harvesting You can harvest parsley continuously once the plants have matured sufficiently (when the leaf stems have at least three segments). Similar to lettuce, harvest leaves from the outside, leaving the inner, central part of the plant to continue to grow. Cut the leaves off at the base of the plant to encourage new growth.

Growing Parsley—Highlights

  • Parsley is perhaps the most ubiquitous culinary herb in much of the world, served in soups and salads and as a garnish to any number of dishes.
  • Attractive, hardy and easy to grow, parsley makes a wonderful addition to your garden.
  • Parsley is slow-to-germinate and slow-growing so it’s best to plant seeds as early as possible.
  • In warmer regions of the country, seeds can be planted in late winter for early summer harvest and then again in the fall for early spring harvest.
  • A few parsley seeds will produce plants with plentiful foliage which can be frozen or dried for later use.
  • Even consumed in typically-small quantities, parsley packs a lot of Vitamins C, A, and K, as well as iron.

Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.