Roots 'n' Shoots: Parsley: How to Grow - Herb of the Month

Why is RnS Moving to

Google had brought out an algorithm update in May 2017. With previous updates like Panda or Penguin, Mr G had penalized blogs or websites with low quality content and those more focused on aggressive adverts (including multiple ads or pop-up ads in articles). However, many blogs/websites that weren't shady got penalized beyond recovery too and a lot of people lost their income. The May 2017 update has had wide-scale effect on blogs and websites, but without any explanation from Mr G as to why or what it does. RnS has been hit by it too and hard. RnS organic search stats (i.e. users from Google) have dropped by 75% since. Even though RnS is not a source of income, I tried to figure out why RnS is being culled. It seems that it doesn't really have anything to do with RnS per se, but likely because RnS is FREE and not paying for page ranking (via AdWords or Ad Ranking). Now it is likely being aggressively shoved to lower page rankings to accommodate the paid ads.

I cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. So I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @

I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom - (AKA Whisker Flowers)

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Parsley: How to Grow - Herb of the Month

Parsley stats/requirements at a glance

Ease of Raising:
5/5 – Very Easy, plant and leave
2/5 – Minimal, twice a week
1-2/5 – Full sun or partial shade
1/5 – Minimal (3Ds: Dead, damaged and diseased)
1/5 – Minimal (at least during the growing season)
Time to Harvest:
2/5 – Soon, 1-2 months when sown
Frost Hardiness:
1/4 – Very Hardy (can’t take black frost)

Culinary, Medicinal & Pollinator attractor
Most Problematic Nemesis:
Carrot fly, die-back with over-watering
Container Plant:

Petroselium sativum
Gemeine Petersilie Tafel 438
Flora von Deutschland,
├ľsterreich und der Schweiz
Kurt Stober Online Library

Quick intro

Parsley is one of the best known herbs and most widely used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, salads, stews and incorporated into sauces, condiments and garnish. Apart from its slow germination time, parley is very easy to grow and you do not have to give up valuable planting space to have it in your garden.


Parsley is native to Europe and the Mediterranean often used by the Greeks and Romans. It arrived in England during the 16th century and slowly made its way across the globe where it has become naturalised in many regions.

Science Stuff

Parsley belongs to the Apiaceae family of aromatic herbs. Also known as the Umbelliferae family, due to their inverted umbrella clusters of flowers, which includes coriander, carrots, fennel, dill, lovage, angelica, chervil, celery, parsnips and anise.

Flat leaf parsley
Petroselinum crispum var neapolitonum
Two types of parsley exists, those mainly used for their leaves and another thick rooted variety eaten as a root vegetable much like carrots or parsnip. The leaf varieties include Curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum var crispum - Historically Petroselinum sativum) and French/Italian/Flat leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum var neapolitonum). The tap-root forming variety is known as Hamburg or turnip rooted parsley (Petroselinum crispum var tubersonum).

Root parsley
Petroselinum crispum var tubersonum
Leaf Parsley
Petroselinum crispum var crispum

Growing & Pruning Parsley

Parsley can be purchased from your local nursery as a seedling ready to harvest once home. Else you can raise it from seed by directly sowing it into the garden. Parley, like most Mediterranean herbs, grow naturally in nutrient-poor gravel like soil, therefore you can literally plant it in places where other plants won’t grow. I used to grow mine in pots, but this year I tossed some seeds into the sparse soil cavity between my garden beds and the pavement where all manner of weeds used to grow and drive me insane. The parsley sprang up and overran the whole strip completely smothering any remaining weeds. So as I mentioned you can have parsley in your garden without giving up prime growing places!

Anti-weed parsley border

Parsley prefers a full-sun position; curly parsley would like to be sheltered from the harsh midday sun whereas flat-leaf parsley are more robust and will thrive in a full day sun position. Parsley is very susceptible to overwatering and a light hand with the watering can will be welcome.

Parsley doesn’t require pruning to keep its shape, but any flowers can be removed to increase the life of the plant as it dies after seed maturation.

Other Tips

Parsley is biennial, meaning it will only last two years in the garden. The first year it will grow lushly with lots of leaves. The second year it will send out flowering spikes and die. You can leave it to go through its natural life cycle, sowing a batch for the first 2 years, after which it should self-seed and always reappear for years to come.

Parsley has more Vitamin C than an orange (190 mg/100 g) and getting in your daily dose should keep flu at bay. It can be used as a hair rinse to kill head lice when the crushed seeds are infused in hot water for 10 minutes and strained. Parsley should not be used medicinally by pregnant ladies.

Harvesting & Storing

To dry parsley simply cut off copious amounts of leaves, gathered in bundles and strung upside down from their stems. Once completely dry simply remove the leaves and store in a glass jar.

Seed Saving & Propagation

Parsley flowers are a favourite amongst beneficial insects. Large amounts of tiny white or yellow flowers are carried in clusters known as umbels. Once umbels form seeds, they can be covered in a paper bag to prevent loss of seeds. When these are dry, the seeds are rubbed off into a glass jar and can be stored for 3-5 years.

Flat leaf parsley flowers
Petroselinum crispum var neapolitonum

Parsley can be very slow to germinate, so much so that the Romans believed that the seeds had to travel to the devil and back 7 times to ask permission to germinate! Seeds are sown when the soil reaches 20oC (68oF) and usually take 3 weeks to germinate, but has been known to take up to twice as long. It is better to sow the seeds directly into the garden as transplanted seedling often bolt (go to seed).

My Parsley

Curly: Usually grown under other herbs in order to get that midday shelter.

Curly leaf Parsley
Petroselinum crispum var crispum

Flat-leaf: Growing between the plots and pavement – and thriving!

Flat leaf parsley
Petroselinum crispum var neapolitonum


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