Growing parsley inside all year around is both easy and fun. Used primarily as a culinary herb, fresh parsley is one of the most familiar and widely used of all herbs.
It can be used as an addition to salads and as an attractive garnish or as a spice in many dishes.
There exist few different varieties of the herb such as curly parsley, Italian flat-leafed parsley, and Hamburg root parsley.
Parsley is not only useful as a spice but comes with many health benefits. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, aids in digestion and freshens bad breath.
Further information on the health benefits and medicinal uses of parsley can be found here.
What You’ll Need When Growing Parsley
- A Pot with Good Drainage
- Parsley Seeds
- Potting Soil
- Fish Emulsion or Liquid Fertilizer
The Right Amount of Light
If you have a south-facing, brightly-lit windowsill, then you have the perfect place for growing parsley. The herb loves the sunshine and needs six to eight hours of sunlight a day to thrive.
If the source of natural light is scarce, you can try supplementing it with fluorescent lighting or grow lights in order to stimulate the plant to grow.
Remember to turn the plant or plants every few days, or you’ll get too much light on one side and not enough on the other making the plant lean towards the light and grow incorrectly.
Use Correct Containers and Soil
Just as with any other plant intended to grow indoors, you will need a container with sufficient drainage. A good planting pot is about six inches in depth, with holes on the bottom, placed on top of a saucer to catch the excess water as it drains through.
When growing parsley be sure to purchase a bag of quality potting soil for planting. You can use pre-fertilized potting soil, but always choose one that is designed specifically for indoor container gardening. It is also a good idea to add a fistful of clean sand to the bottom of your pot before placing the soil on top to help with drainage.
Mild indoor temperatures between sixty and seventy-five degrees, with an average indoor humidity, is perfect for growing parsley.
Start the Planting Process
It is best to start growing parsley from seeds, as tap roots don’t transplant well. Let the seeds soak overnight in warm water to soften the seed pods. Then place the seeds on top of your potting soil and cover them with about a quarter inch or more of soil. Water on a regular basis to keep the soil moist, but not overly damp.
In about three-to-five weeks, the seeds will have germinated and you’ll begin to notice the young seedlings peeking through. At the beginning, they’ll look like wispy blades of grass. If you have too many seedlings, remove few of them using scissors as the seedlings will not grow well if they are over crowded. Remember not to pull them, as it may damage the roots of the remaining ones.
Parsley does well either by itself or in a container mixed with other herbs like thyme, basil, mint, chives or oregano.
Fully grown parsley can reach a height of eight to fourteen inches and tend to it is not difficult. Be sure to keep the soil lightly moist and always remove the excess water from the drainage saucer after every watering so the roots don’t get overly soaked. Additionally, fish emulsion or liquid fertilizer can be used every two weeks in order to keep the plant healthy and promote growth. Be sure to harvest weekly to keep the herb full and vigorous, otherwise, you will have rather crowded, spindly plant.
A biologist, zoologist, scuba-diver, blogger and aspiring herbalist with interest in nature conservation, animal protection, herbal medicine and medicinal plants.