Fresh parsley is full of flavor and vitamins. The rich green leaves add beauty and good taste to the garden. Learn how to grow parsley outside, inside, and in containers with these 5 tips. 

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

5 Tips for How to Grow Parsley

1. Plant parsley at the right time

Plant parsley 5 weeks before the last spring frost date. Parsley prefers cool weather and tolerates a light frost. 

In the low desert of Arizona, plant parsley seeds and transplants beginning in October and plant through April

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers

2. Plant parsley correctly

Parsley seeds are very slow to germinate. Sow seeds in the garden 1/2 inch deep and 6 inches apart. It can take 3 to 4 weeks for seedlings to appear. 

You can also plant parsley transplants. Look for small transplants with bright green leaves. Plant parsley transplants at the same depth as the nursery container. 

Parsley prefers well-draining soil and grows in full sun or partial shade. Do not overwater. 

Carrots, chives, dill, onions, peas, and peppers are good companion plants for parsley. 

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers

For square foot gardening, plant 4 parsley plants per square foot.

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
Flat Leaf (Italian) Parsley
How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
Curly Parsley

Flat Leaf (Italian) Parsley: Looks like a large version of cilantro. Robust flavor often preferred over curly parsley. Try Dark Green Italian Giant. 

Curly Parsley: Often used as a garnish. Flavor is similar to but less intense than flat-leaf varieties. Try Triple Moss Curled Parsley. 

3. Care for parsley correctly

  • Let top inch of soil dry out between watering. 
  • Parsley is one of the easiest herbs to grow and does not need a lot of special care or attention. 
How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers

How to grow parsley in containers:

  • Parsley has a long taproot and does best in containers at least 8 inches deep.
  • Parsley grown in containers benefits from a liquid organic fertilizer application each month during the growing season. 

How to grow parsley indoors:

  • Plant a parsley transplant in an unglazed terra cotta pot at least 8 inches deep.

  • Water parsley only when top inch or so of soil is dry. 

  • Provide supplemental lighting for parsley for 10-11 hours with the lights about 6 inches away from the plant. 

  • Ideal indoor temperature: 50°F-75°F. 

  • Parsley grown indoors benefits from a liquid organic fertilizer application each month during the growing season.  

4. Harvest parsley often

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers

Begin harvesting parsley when a harvest won’t take more than 1/3 of the plant. Harvest parsley using the cut-and-come-again method. It will continue to produce leaves all season. Harvest the oldest leaves first, leaving the inner leaves to grow. 

Parsley is a versatile herb and can be used in dips, dressings, sauces, soups, potatoes, chicken, and the list goes on and on. 

5. Allow parsley to grow for 2 years to attract beneficial insects to your garden

Often grown as an annual, this biennial herb will send a flower stalk up during its second year which attracts pollinators

Allow a plant or two to overwinter, and the following year the tall flower stalk will form in the center of the plant. Swallowtail butterfly larvae are attracted to parsley flowers. The flowers develop into seeds that can be harvested to plant again or left to scatter and (hopefully) reseed. 

The foliage of second-year parsley is coarse and not as tasty. Plant new parsley each year to harvest the greens. 

How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
Flowering parsley
How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
Swallowtail butterfly larvae on parsley flower
How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
How to Grow Parsley: Outside, Inside and in Containers
86 Shares

1 comment on “How to Grow Parsley: 5 Tips for Growing Parsley”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *