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The Care of Parsley Plants

Parsley is used as a seasoning in many dishes, as well as an attractive garnish. As a biennial, parsley grows over two seasons and produces seeds in its second year before dying off. It can be grown outdoors in a herb garden or in a pot near a sunny window. Its attractive green, frilled foliage also makes it suitable for use as both an herb and an ornamental in flower beds. Caring properly for your parsley plant ensures that it produces abundant foliage for use in the kitchen.

Plant outdoors in garden soil that is not prone to standing water after a rainfall. Use a well-drained potting mix when growing parsley in containers.

Grow parsley in beds that receive six to eight hours of sunlight per day, and avoid planting it under taller plants. Indoors, choose a south or east facing window and rotate the pot every two to three days so all sides of the parsley plant receive equal sunlight.

Water garden beds once a week, providing the plants with 1 to 2 inches of water each time. Water more often during drought periods. Water potted plants when the top inch of soil feels dry, adding water until the excess begins draining out of the bottom drainage holes on the pot.

Fertilize garden-grown parsley once in spring and again at mid-summer with 5-10-5 analysis fertilizer. Apply 3 oz. of fertilizer to each 10-foot row of parsley. Fertilize pot-grown plants with soluble fertilizer once a month, following label application directions.

Harvest the outside stalks of the parsley as needed throughout the growing season. Snip them off at ground level, using clean garden shears. Frequent harvesting encourages full growth of the plant.


Preserve parsley by freezing or drying. Spread the leaves out on a drying screen and turn them daily to dry evenly. Store in an airtight jar or bag.


Aphids are the only major pest of parsley, and they can easily be combated by applying insecticidal soap to the infested plants.

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