This is why you should start growing your own parsley (recipes included)
12/22/2020 / By Leslie Locklear / Comments
This is why you should start growing your own parsley (recipes included)

Parsley is probably the most widely-used garnish in the entire world, with the fragrant herb often seen adorning plate after plate after plate of delicious-looking foods in many restaurants. But there is more to it than just being everyone’s go-to garnish.

It turns out that parsley, a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean, is actually loaded with nutrients. So loaded, in fact, that over the years, parsley has been used to treat and address various health issues such as high blood pressure, allergies, and inflammatory diseases.

Among the many health benefits attributed to this fragrant herb are the following:

  • Parsley can help protect the body against oxidative damage. This is because parsley contains many powerful antioxidants, which can help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals in the environment.
  • Parsley supports optimal bone growth. Parsley is known to be particularly rich in vitamin K, which is considered by experts to be an essential nutrient when it comes to optimal bone health. According to medical experts, eating foods high in this nutrient has been linked to reductions in fractures as well as improvements in bone mineral density.
  • Parsley can help lessen one’s risk for certain cancers. Parsley is exceptionally rich in flavonoids and vitamin C, two compounds that act as potent antioxidants and are known to help assist the body against cancer.
  • Parsley can help keep your eyes healthy. Parsley Is known to be extremely rich in plant compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene. All of these compounds, according to research, exhibit abilities that can help protect the eye and even promote optimal eye health.
  • Parsley can help protect the body against heart disease. Parsley, just like other green herbs, is known for being quite rich in folate. Folate, according to experts, is a B vitamin that can help protect one’s heart and even reduce their risk of heart disease.

Because of these health benefits — and because of parsley’s refreshing, if mildly bitter flavor — many have started to grow the herb in their own backyards and container gardens.

The good news here is that aside from being a very versatile herb, parsley is also very easy to grow, as it is not particularly picky when it comes to growing conditions and the like.

Do note that there are two varieties of parsley that are currently available on the market.

These are the curly leaf parsley, whose mild flavor makes it perfect for fresh salads and sandwich fillings, and flat-leaf parsley, whose strong and sweet flavor is best appreciated in cooked dishes.

Planning on growing your own parsley? Here are some tips to help you get started:


  1. Start by scouting the area and checking its light and soil conditions. Parsley prefers bright, sunny locations and soil that is rich and well-draining.
  2. Next, flatten the soil in the area you have chosen, before sprinkling parsley seeds on top. Remember to space the seeds by around 2 centimeters (cm). Cover the seeds with a little bit of soil.
  3. Once that is done, you can add some water. Remember to keep the soil moist, but not too wet at all times.
  4. In addition, the soil should be around 70ºF. This will ensure the best growth for the plant.
  5. If you can, plant parsley near asparagus, corn, and tomatoes in your garden. The parsley will attract hoverflies, which will then prey on aphids that can attack tomato, asparagus and corn plants.


If you don’t have space for an actual garden, don’t worry — parsley works well as an indoor plant. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a container with drainage holes, add a soilless potting mix and sow seeds 1 to 2 inches apart, and about ¼ inch deep.
  2. Place indoor parsley pots near windows in order for them to get the brightest light possible. Doing so will keep the plant from becoming too leggy.
  3. If you feel like the plants aren’t getting enough light, you can use a fluorescent light to help your plant grow — just make sure it remains at least two inches above the leaves at all times to prevent them from burning.

How do I take care of my parsley plant?

No matter where you plant them, make sure that you water your parsley plants evenly, and that you allow them to drain. Parsley, like most herbs, like it when their soil is moist but not overly wet.

How do I harvest my parsley?

It is quite easy to see if your parsley plant is mature enough to be harvested.

As a general rule of thumb, when the leaf stems already show three segments, that is a sign that your plant is ready to be harvested.

To harvest parsley, just cut leaves from the outer portions of the plant whenever you need them, making sure that you leave the inner portions of the plant to mature. Doing this will ensure that you have a steady supply of this versatile herb in your kitchen.

Is there a way for me to store my cut parsley?

It is recommended that one uses parsley as soon as it is harvested in order to experience the fullness of its health benefits and flavor. However, if it is not possible to use them all on the same day, there are ways in which you can extend your cut parsley’s shelf life:

  • One method of storing parsley is to keep it fresh. This can be done by putting the leaf stalks in water and then keeping them inside the refrigerator. This method will keep the parsley sprigs fresh for at least three days.
  • Another more long-term method of storage can be achieved by drying the parsley. To do this, one can simply cut the parsley at the base and hang it in a well-ventilated, shady and warm location. Once the plant is completely dry, it can then be crumbled up and then stored inside an airtight container.

Aside from garnishes, what are the other ways in which I can use parsley?

Parsley is a very versatile herb that can be used in many recipes. It is especially valued for its bright, earthy and fresh flavor, which lends another dimension to most recipes.

Parsley And Lemon Pesto

Most of us know pesto as being that herby, intense sauce made from basil and garlic. However, did you know that you can make a pesto out of parsley as well? Bright and fresh-tasting, this pesto recipe is the perfect accompaniment to pasta and open-faced sandwiches.


  • 1 cup organic parsley
  • 1/2 organic garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/5 cup stale bread crumbs
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons organic lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon finely grated organic lemon zest
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly-cracked organic black pepper, to taste


  1. Finely chop the parsley and garlic and mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  3. Use immediately
  4. To store, pour into a sterile jar and top with a little olive oil to seal. This will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Chimichurri Sauce

If you’re looking to add more depth and aroma to your favorite foods, try dipping them in this modern take on the famous Argentinian sauce.


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, tightly packed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, tightly packed
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly-cracked organic black pepper, to taste


  1. Using a small bullet blender, blend all ingredients until a smooth sauce forms.
  2. To serve, drizzle the chimichurri on your favorite sandwiches and roast meats and vegetables.

Parsley is one of the most widely-used herbs in the world. More than just a simple garnish, however, it is also packed with nutrients, making it an extremely promising addition to dishes.


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