Parsley

Petroselinum crispum

Parsley is a lovely, deep green bushy plant that adds beautiful interest to a flower bed, even without the umbrella-shaped flower heads it gets in its second year. It has always been a popular culinary herb. While some only use it as a garnish, others value it in salads, soups and casseroles for its rich nutrition and flavor.

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Parsley is a Bienniel plant that grows best in zones 4 through 10
Light requirements: full sun 
Soil Requirements: moderately rich
Moisture requirements: moderately moist

Flowers

appear in the Summer

Fruit

appear in the Fall.

Parsley is best planted in the Spring for a Summer harvest

Parsley is not drought tolerant.
Parsley is shade tolerant

Growing Parsley

Plant parsley indoors in pots 6-8 weeks before you would like to set them outside, or you can grow parsley in a 1 gallon sized pot indoors or on the patio. It does well in a pot, provided it has good drainage. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil and keep them moist. Parsley seeds can take up to 3 weeks to germinate. Plant parsley about a foot apart in the spring as soon as soon as your first frost date is past. You can also direct sow parsley in the garden but the seeds are vulnerable due to the long time it takes them to germinate. Soaking the seeds overnight before planting them can help speed up germination.

Parsley only needs to be watered when the soil is dry and you should take care to keep the area weed free. A good thick layer of mulch around mature plants will make it virtually care free in the garden. It is also quite tolerant to cold, though freezing temperatures will cause it to die back. If you cover it in the winter it will be available to you all year, though it won't do any growing till spring.

Parsley is a bi-annual, so it will return in the spring in all but the coldest regions and it will put out flowers and seed in its second year. The leaves are still quite good to eat right up until the umbrella-shaped flower heads appear.

It is best to harvest parsley early in the day, as the flavor is best before the sun and the wind evaporate too much of its flavorful oils. Cut parsley sprigs as close to the base of the plant as possible or at a stem joint starting at the outside of the plant and working your way in.

Parsley is best used fresh and it uses much of its flavor upon drying. It can be dried for long-term storage, but it retains the best flavor if it is frozen.

Parsley is an excellent choice for your container garden.

Companions

Incompatible Plants

Potential Pests and Diseases

leaf spot fungus, blight, root rot, crown rot, Stemphylium fungus, Septoria leaf spot, spider mites, rarely, Aster yellows.

Parsley can be troubled by fungus, but proper spacing and watering practices can minimize these. If fungus becomes troublesome in one area, planting parsley in a different area and avoiding planting anything else in the family (carrot, parsnip, celery, etc.]]]) in the affected area for a period of several years may alleviate the problem.

Many types of caterpillars like parsley, including that of the swallowtail butterfly.

Uses for Parsley

Parsley is most commonly used for garnish, but it makes a highly nutritious vegetable as well.

Parsley Folklore

According to Greek lore, parsley sprung from the blood of Archemorus.

Correspondences
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