How to Plant & Grow Parsley


Parsley is a common herb for home use. The green, frilled leaves are used as a garnish, and it is also used fresh and cooked to impart a fresh flavor to dishes. Parsley is a short-lived perennial, usually only surviving for two seasons before going to seed. Grow it as an annual in the herb garden and replace the plants each year to ensure you always have fresh parsley available. There are curly leaf varieties that add a pretty touch to dishes as well as sweeter-tasting flat-leaf varieties.

Step 1

Place parsley seeds in a bowl of warm water. Soak the seeds in the water for 24 hours to help speed germination.

Step 2

Fill a 3-inch diameter pot with moist potting soil. Place two to three seeds on the soil surface and cover with 1/8 inch of soil.

Step 3

Place a plastic bag over the pot and set it in a warm room to germinate. Germination may take up to four weeks.

Step 4

Remove the plastic bag once sprouts appear. Set the parsley in a warm, sunny windowsill and water when the soil surface begins to feel dry.

Step 5

Transplant parsley to a well-draining, full-sun garden bed after all frost danger is past in spring and once plants are 2 to 3 inches tall. Plant the parsley in the bed at the same depth it is at in its nursery pots, and space the plants 10 to 12 inches apart in all directions.

Step 6

Water the parsley when the soil surface feels dry. Irrigate until the soil feel moist to a 6-inch depth.

Step 7

Fertilize parsley after planting in the garden and again at mid-summer with 3 oz. of 5-10-5 analysis fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer between the parsley rows, and water immediately afterward to wash the soil down to the plant's root zone.

Step 8

Harvest the parsley as needed. Snip off a stalk near ground level with small shears. Cut off stalks from the outside of the plant, leaving the interior to produce more stalks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Parsley cannot tolerate dry soil. Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to help preserve moisture and prevent drying.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Small pot
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic bag
  • Parsley seeds
  • Fertilizer
  • Shears


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Parsley
Keywords: growing parsley, planting parsley seeds, herb gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.