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Planting Parsley for Indoor Herb Gardens

Parsley is an annual culinary herb native to Europe. Growing Parsley indoors is easy and lets you keep this versatile herb on hand all year round. There are many varieties to choose from, each with their own flavor profile.


Parsley Plant Appearance

Parsley grows in a clumping habit with green, lacy foliage. The stems grow approximately 1 foot (30.4 cm) tall with triangular leaves. Parsley is often used as a garnish and flavor accent. 

Growing Parsley: Sunlight Requirements

The Parsley plant requires at least 6 hours of sunlight per day for optimal growth. Morning shade from an East-facing window is ideal when grown indoors. If moving your Parsley plant outdoors for summer, avoid the hot afternoon sun which scorches the leaves.

Parsley Water Needs

Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Parsley is not drought tolerant, so do not let the soil become dry. The foliage withers and browns easily when the plant doesn’t receive proper hydration.

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements

Planting Parsley in pots requires using a well-draining potting soil with added organic matter. A pH level between slightly acidic and neutral is ideal. Fertilize your Parsley twice in the spring, one month apart. Use a balanced, liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. 

Temperature and Humidity

Keep temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 Celsius) for optimal growth and plant health. Average household humidity levels are acceptable. If humidity drops below 40 percent, supplement by placing a tray filled with small pebbles and water under the pot’s saucer. 

Harvesting Your Parsley

Parsley is ready to harvest once the stems reach 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Cut entire stalks, just above the soil, to encourage new growth. Choose the outer stems first to allow the inner stalks to mature. Harvest your Parsley as needed, but never more than one-third of the entire plant at one time. Parsley will keep well in the fridge when stored in a container with water. Parsley also dries well. Hang the stems upside down in a shady place with good air circulation.

Propagating Parsley

Propagation by cuttings is the best method for growing new Parsley plants. Snip a 6-inch, healthy stem. Plant the stem in a peat filled with vermiculite. Place the cutting in bright, indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist. The cutting will develop its own roots within a few weeks.

Common Pests and Diseases

When growing Parsley indoors there are no pests you need to worry about. If moving your Parsley outside for the summer, the caterpillar of the swallowtail butterfly is your main concern. 

Powdery mildew and fungal disease are common diseases with Parsley. Both are avoided by providing proper air circulation and not watering the plant overhead. 

The Parsley plant is an easy-care herb that adapts well to most household environments. Growing Parsley in a pot, indoors, gives you better control over water and temperature. Add this versatile herb to your indoor kitchen garden.

Parsley FAQ

Is Parsley Toxic to Pets?

Yes, Parsley is considered toxic to cats and dogs.

In What Climates Can I Grow Parsley Outdoors?

Parsley is a hardy herb that grows outdoors in USDA zones 3 to 9.

When Should I Repot My Parsley?

Repot your Parsley only if it becomes crowded in its current pot and airflow is an issue. Replant the herb to a larger pot to maintain the plant’s health.

What Dishes Can I Use Parsley in?

Parsley goes well with almost any meat or seafood dish.

How Does Cilantro Compare to Parsley, nutrition wise?

Parsley is higher in vitamins K, C, A, and folate than Cilantro. Cilantro is lower in calories. Both are an excellent source of antioxidants.