How To Take Care Of A Parsley Plant: Seed To Herb

Learning how to take care of a parsley plant is the first step for many in their journey with herbs. It is an easy herb to grow. Check out this recommended reading for more detailed information on herbs.

Fun Facts

  • Parsley stems are more flavorsome than the actual leaf.
  • Parsley is a biennial herb. This means during the first year it establishes itself and produces flavorsome leaves. Then, during the second year, it begins to seed and die off.

How To Take Care Of Your Parsley Plant

What you will need

  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer 5-10-5 (optional)
  • Soil mix (optional)
  • Pots, 10 inches in size (optional)
  • Manure compost (optional)

Pot Vs Open Soil

Parsley grows best in rich well-drained soil. This soil can be from a potting mix or simply the soil from your yard. If you use yard soil it is best to mix with compost. Parsley can be grown both in pots and garden beds.

Growing In Open Soil

In an open soil configuration, plants will generally grow better as there is no restriction to their roots. But if you wish to move a plant there may be damaging effects to the roots. So always be careful and vigilant when rehoming your plants.

Growing In Pots

Pots on the other hand are quite convenient in terms of being able to move them around your home. As well as adding a nice touch of green to your spice up your interior design. But always bear in mind that your plant will be limited in size due to being in a pot for the entirety of their life (unless replanted in open soil).

How To Take Care Of A Parsley Plant. Parsley next to shovel outside.

How To Grow In Pots

To be grown in a pot it needs to be well-drained and big enough to support the roots. About 10 inches (25cm) wide and deep will give the best results. Fertilizing is more important in pots as the soil can run out of nutrients and the plants are constricted to the same small amount of soil. 

Planting Guide

To speed the lengthy germination time of parsley you can soak your seeds in water for 24 hours. After this time plant your seeds as normal and you will see the results quicker.


  1. Simply spread seeds over a moist paper towel.
  2. Fold the paper towel a few times over the seeds.
  3. Place the paper towel with the seeds inside, into a zip lock bag and seal.

Plant the now germinated seeds about 1-2 inches (3-5cm) apart and 1/4inch (6mm) seed depth.

Once the seedling has sprouted to about 2 inches (5cm) high, spread the plants out about 1 foot (30cm) apart. This is done to give the parsley more room to grow.

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Soil Care

It is completely optional to fertilize your herbs however there are benefits in doing so. The best type of fertilizer for herbs is the 5-10-5 mix. Parsley enjoys a well-fertilized soil. First, fertilize when planted and then weekly until a height of 10 inches (25cm) is reached. After this height is reached you can fertilize less frequently (every 3-6 months is best).

Which Type Of Parsley Should I Grow?

The two common options of parsley are Flat leaf (Italian parsley) and curly leaf. The how to take care of a parsley plant guide will work for both flat leaf and curly leaf varieties.

Flat Leaf Parsley 
  • Recognizable flat leafs
  • Strong flavor
  • Useful in various types of cooking
Curly Leaf Parsley
  • Dense looking curly leafs
  • Mild bitter taste
  • Used more for decoration due to taste

What Conditions Does Parsley require?

Parsley likes to be watered regularly to ensure good growth. The best way to check how much water is best is to look at the soil. It is best to have damp soil. Dry soil will stump growth however too much water will make plant roots rot.

Depending on where you live, keeping the soil damp could be as much as every second day or as little as once a week. You will simply need to judge it.

Flat-leaf prefers to be in full sunlight. Curly leaf, on the other hand, enjoys being in a small amount of sun throughout the day (4 hours of sunlight is optimum).

When And How To Harvest Parsley

Take cuttings of the herb when the plant reaches about 6 inches (15cm) in height. This is because the plant is growing vigorously and will continue to grow. It is important to take cuttings from the outside of the plant as new growth tends to be in the center. Cuttings should be made toward the bottom of the stalk.

Now you know how to take care of a parsley plant!

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