Parsley is a fabulous flavouring in all sorts of all food and actually has a whole range of natural health benefits for us and our gardens.
It is also incredibly easy to grow parsley quickly from cuttings. And once established your parsley will grow back again and again after cutting.
So parsley is a brilliant herb to grow if you’re beginning a garden on a budget – you don’t even need to buy seeds – or just starting to grow herbs.
In this post I’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to grow parsley quickly from cuttings and seeds plus the simple health benefits for you of eating more parsley and for your garden if you want to begin gardening organically.
Health Benefits Of Parsley
Cooking with parsley has a whole host of health benefits as parsley is rich in vitamins and antioxidants so it’s a great herb to add fresh to everyday meals and to immune boosting green soup.
Parsley can also be used in simple natural remedies including :
- Natural UTI & bladder infection remedies
- Natural remedies for stomach ache & indigestion
- Natural antihistamines for allergy relief
And parsley has been used traditionally to relieve bad breath and to promote clear skin.
Parsley In The Organic Garden
Parsley can be very helpful if you want to start gardening organically as planted amongst your vegetables and fruit it:
- Attracts key predators who will eat caterpillars and other pests.
- Repels with its fragrance specific pests, such as beetles.
By planting parsley as a companion plant for natural pest control you can easily reduce the need for toxic pesticides.
Best Types Of Parsley To Grow
- There are two main types of parsley, flat leaf and curly leaf.
- Flat leaf is generally more flavoursome and more useful as a companion plant and in natural remedies.
When To Plant Parsley
- You can plant parsley from early spring through till early summer.
- But parsley seeds prefer warmer temperatures – closer to 20c / 68 f for germination – and can take 6 weeks to germinate if it’s not warm enough.
- So to grow parsley quickly from seeds you are better off starting the seeds indoors if you have cooler springs.
- Or to grow parsley very quickly grow from cuttings.
Growing Parsley Quickly From Cuttings
- Parsley is one of the wonderful herbs like mint and oregano you can grow super quickly from cuttings. And it is incredibly easy to do.
- Simply find a friendly neighbour who grows parsley.
- Take 4 or 5 single stems cut from next to the soil.
- Remove any lower leaves so they don’t end up in the water.
- Pop parsley stems in a jar of water.
- New roots will appear from the stem.
- Once you have an inch or so of root, transplant the stems into into a single pot for growing on or individual pots before transplanting into a herb garden or vegetable or flower beds.
- Remember to acclimatise the parsley plants – putting out during the day, bringing in at night – before transplanting outside.
How To Grow Parsley Quickly From Seed
- If you can’t find parsley cuttings or want to grow a particular variety of parsley it it still possible grow parsley quickly from seed.
- The slow bit of parsley growing is typically germination – as we’ve seen it can take 6 weeks – but once germinated it grows quickly.
- So the key is to speed up germination.
- Soak the seeds for a day or so in warm water before sowing.
- Sow 1 cm / half an inch deep in nice warm soil.
- You can warm the soil before sowing simply by covering your pots with some clear plastic and putting near a sunny window.
- Keep the soil covered until the seedling appears.
- Just don’t let the soil dry out.
How To Grow Parsley Indoors
- Parsley does like sunshine so if you do have a garden or balcony or sunny window sill it’s best grown outdoors once it warms up in spring.
- But you can still grow parsley indoors.
- Keep parsley on a warm window sill that gets sun for most of the day.
- Rotate the plant regularly so all sides of it get sunshine.
- Keep well watered.
- Harvest regularly – see harvesting tips below – to stimulate fresh growth as typically parsley grown indoors will not be as tall and strong as that grown outdoors.
How To Grow Parsley Outdoors
- Parsley can be grown outdoors from March, although remember seeds will not germinate as quickly whilst the temperature is cooler.
- So if you do want to grow parsley quickly, start it off indoors, using the tips above on how to grow parsley quickly from seeds.
- If you do plant parsley outdoors, sow seeds 1 cm / half an inch deep in standard growing compost and 2 or 3 inches apart. You can thin seedlings later as needed.
- Do mark where you’ve planted the parsley seeds outdoors because they will take time germinate.
Where Does Parsley Grow Best
- In anywhere but the hottest climates parsley grows best in a sunny spot.
- If the temperature is consistently above 32 c / 90 f however parsley will do better in a pot or container with morning sun and afternoon shade.
How Much Sun Does Parsley Need
- Parsley really does love the sun, so unless it will get very hot in your garden – as described above – try and make sure it gets a good 8 hours of sunshine daily.
How Much Should Parsley Be Watered
- Keep parsley well watered and don’t let it dry out in hot weather
- But don’t over water to the extent the parsley is sitting in soggy soil
Does Parsley Need Feeding
- Some gardeners will encourage you to feed parsley but planted in good, fertile soil with plenty of sunshine, parsley should not need feeding.
- If we want to garden more organically we need to cut down on unnecessary soil feeding as much as possible.
- Growing parsley in vegetable beds with soil feeding vegetables such as peas and turnips can help ensure your parsley gets all the nutrients it needs to grow quickly.
How Quickly Does Parsley Grow
- You may see gardening tips telling you parsley will take 12 to 16 weeks to grow but you can actually get that down to 6 to 10 weeks if you grow from cuttings or use the tips above on how to grow parsley quickly from seed as much of the lag is the time taken to germinate if you try and start it off outside when it is still too cool.
How To Harvest Parsley
- Harvest parsley as you need it.
- As with other soft stem herbs – e.g. mint & oregano – cut stems low down near the soil to stimulate more stems.
- Cut any yellowing stems from the soil to promote new healthy growth.
- Parsley is a biennial so your plants will only last 2 years going to flower and seed at the end of summer in the second year.
- You can collect the seeds for planting the following year.
Common Parsley Pests
Parsley is a pretty robust plant generally but it can suffer from the following pests:
- Carrot fly : camouflage your parsley from the carrot fly by planting with chives and garlic.
- Celery leaf miner : watch out for tell tale leaf miner trails through leaves and browning leaves and remove damaged leaves on sight.
Parsley As A Companion Plant
Companion planting is all about planting together vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers that can feed and protect each other and is key to gardening organically
At its best companion planting is very simple. And the simple thing to know about parsley as a companion plant is that it attracts little predators who help you control pests naturally.
But there is some contradictory advice out there about parsley as a companion plant so you may need to to make some trade offs.
- Apples : growing parsley under apple trees can attract the little – non stinging – wasps who will keep coddling moth caterpillars under control.
- Asparagus : parsley repels the asparagus beetle.
- Beans : parsley attracts cut worm predators.
- Brassicas : parsley attracts predators of the cabbage white caterpillar so can help cabbages and collard greens.
- Chives & garlic : chives and garlic can protect parsley from the carrot fly but some gardeners claim they can stunt parsley growth.
- Corn : parsley attracts the small wasps who eat the earworm that devour corn.
- Peas : again predators who can control pea moth caterpillars on your peas.
- Roses : parsley can help repel aphids from roses and it is claimed actually enhances the fragrance of roses.
- Tomatoes : some people say yay for growing parsley with tomatoes claiming it increases plant health but others say nay and claim it stunts growth.
Plants That Do Not Grow Well With Parsley
- Mint : parsley should be kept away from mint as neither of them seems to like the other.
- Dry soil herbs : don’t plant parsley in a bed with herbs that don’t like much water e.g. oregano, rosemary & thyme.
And there you go, everything you need to know about how to grow parsley quickly from cuttings and seeds. It really is quick and simple to grow for new gardeners starting a herb garden so do give it a go.
For more simple herb growing and vegetable growing tips for beginners do check out these posts:
- Growing mint in water
- How to grow oregano from cuttings & seeds
- How to grow thyme from cuttings & seeds
- How to grow rosemary from cuttings
- Growing collard greens from scraps
- Quick growing vegetables
- Growing vegetables for beginners on a budget
Original image sources : sloely.com and rawpixel.com and under creative commons from Marco Verch.
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