Parsley is great for both decorative and practical purposes. It’s a delicious herb that fits in many different recipes, and its curly foliage looks fantastic just about anywhere. Growing a small pot of parsley on the counter is fantastic way to get started! Today we’ll looking at everything you need to know to start growing parsley indoors!
The good news is that parsley is very easy to grow and is a quite hardy plant. This makes it easy to care for and difficult to kill. Simply put it in a sunny spot, give it regular water, and it will grow happily for years.
Parsley Quick Overview
- Parsley is an easy to grow herb, but has a long germination period. Start with a seedling for faster harvests.
- Parsley grows best in bright light, and needs at least 6 hours per day of it for optimal growth.
- Watering should be done every 2-3 days as this plant enjoys moist soil. You should still be careful not to overwater though.
- Harvest consistently throughout the growing season to encourage healthy, full growth.
- Dried and stored properly, parsley can last for up to a year with minimal flavor loss.
- It’s grows well in a wide temperature range making it a great option for greenhouses or even overwintering in some areas.
Parsley Container Gardening
Parsley makes an excellent choice for container gardening, and can thrive in even small pots on a windowsill. Make sure to purchase a pot that has ample drainage to prevent overwatering. Standard clay pots with drainage holes and saucer work well for this.
Choose a high-quality, well draining potting soil to use. However, fill the bottom inch of the pot with small rocks or pebbles, this helps promote good drainage and prevents any issues from overwatering.
If you’re growing from seeds, it’s best to start in the primary container as parsley doesn’t transplant well. Plant the seeds directly into the soil, roughly 1-2″ apart, and then cover with roughly 1/4″ inch of soil. Keep the soil fairly moist, the soil should maintain an overall moistness until all the seeds have germinated. Expect the seedlings to emerge within 2-3 weeks.
It is important to keep the soil moist even after the first seeds have sprouted as parsley is notorious for sprouting very sporadically. Many gardeners will keep their soil moist for a few weeks even after the first sprouts have come up to encourage all the seeds to sprout.
Starting from a seedling is usually easier, and is encouraged for most new gardeners. Most hardware stores or nurseries will have parsley seedlings, season dependent.
Parsley, like most herbs, is a sun loving plant and does best in a bright, sunny location. Generally, give the plant 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. A sunny windowsill in the kitchen or other room is a great place to grow as parsley does not need much room to thrive.
Using grow lights to supplement is another option, and should be run to hit the 8 hour mark for healthiest plants. This is also a great option for dreary winters when the sun isn’t as intense.
Water & Feeding
Establish a regular watering schedule, and allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings. Once the soil is dry to the touch, give it a decent amount of water to thoroughly saturate the soil. Parsley is a water loving plant, so it will need consistent watering.
Generally, watering will take place every 2-3 days, but could be different depending on your plant and its location. Parsley will very clearly begin to wilt or droop when it’s thirsty, so it’s pretty easy to tell when it needs to be watered.
Feed the plant with a half strength fertilizer roughly 1-2 times per month. This can be lessened a bit in the winter as well as the plant will be dormant and not grow as quickly.
Parsley is most commonly used in cooking in one of two ways. The first, is puree it into sauces and dips Parsley goes well in a variety of pasta or fish sauce recipes, and works well with other "Italian" style herbs. The other is to sprinkle a bit of fresh parsley on top of a finished meal. This adds a subtle, fresh flavor, and works with a variety of dishes including fish, pastas, meats, soups/strews, and much more. It also adds some visual appeal if you're going for presentation points.
Parsely is a very forgiving herb when it comes to temperature, and does well in most homes. Look to keep it in the 50-85°F range, which should be no problem for nearly every home. This applies to both the full-grown plant, and while germinating seeds.
Due to its ability to thrive in relatively low temperatures, parsley makes a great addition to a winter greenhouse. It’s also a good choice to over-winter in more mild regions.
Even if you don’t plan to use it, harvest parsley every 1-2 weeks. This helps to promote healthy growth, and will keep the plant looking healthy and full. It’s important to keep this consistent thinning schedule for optimal growth.
Initially harvesting should take place once the stalks have reached between 4-6 inches in height. Simply cut back plant, leaving some of the stem for the plant to continue growing.
Parsley plants are biennial, meaning that they will grow for 2 years. At the end of the two years they will flower and produce seeds which can be used to grow new parsley plants. Doing this, many gardeners are able to keep a constant supply of parsley from a single parent plant.
Parsely is easy to dry and store, and can be saved for up to a year. Simply placed washed, stemmed leaves in a sunny location to dry out over a few hours. You can also place them in an oven heated to about 100°F for a few minutes, but be careful to not burn the leaves. Afterwards, place them in an air-tight container and store in a cool, dry location such as a pantry.
Growing Parsley Indoors
Parsley is an excellent choice to grow, and will be a treat for every level of gardener. The two keys to growing parsley indoors are to water correctly, and provide a good amount of light. That’s it! With those two key items, you’ll be growing delicious and fragrant parsley in no time at all!
Parsley Garden FAQ
Does Parsley Regrow After Cutting?
Yes it does, and quite rapidly so. Parsley is one of the more quickly growing plants, so it’s not uncommon to have to cut it back several times in a single season
How Long Do Indoor Parsley Plants Last?
2 years. Parsley is biennial, and will flower and seed in their final growing season.
How Often Do You Water Parsley Grown Indoors?
Parsley usually needs to be watered every 2-3 days when grown in containers. The plant will begin to wilt when its soil gets dry, but will perk back up when watered.
How To Prune Parsley?
Pruning parsley is easy to prune and should be done even if you’re not going to use it. Using a sharp pair of scissors, gently cut back long stems of parsley that are overflowing the container. Doing this periodically will help your plant continue to grow and is good for overall growth.