Harvest | Herbs

How to Harvest Parsley So It Keeps Growing: 3 Easy Steps

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Fresh and flavorful parsley adds so much to so many different dishes! Growing it in your garden takes very little effort, and its so worth it. Learning how to harvest parsley is easy, as well, and I’m happy to share my best tips.

I should mention, we love our parsley plants because they also attract the beautiful black swallowtail butterfly as a host plant. If you’re growing parsley, hopefully you’ll see some of these lovely visitors as well.

While the caterpillars and butterflies enjoy parsley, so will you and your family in the kitchen. Once you plant it, it’s only a matter of time until you can harvest some.

Caterpillar on Parsley
Caterpillar on Parsley

You can grow parsley from seeds or starter plants from your favorite garden center. Let’s dig into the whole experience of harvesting parsley from the garden!

When to Harvest Parsley

Knowing when to harvest parsley depends on whether you’ve started from seeds or nursery plants. Once your parsley planted from seed reaches 70 to 90 days old, it’s considered mature and you can harvest parsley for your needs. Store-bought parsley plants may be ready to harvest sooner. Be sure to leave the roots intact so you can continue harvesting parsley throughout the growing season.

How do you know when parsley is ready to harvest?

Fresh parsley is ready to harvest when the plant is rather bushy with quite a generous amount of foliage. Because parsley is biennial, if your plants survive the winter, you should be able to harvest parsley at will during the next year as well.

Will parsley keep growing after the first harvest?

If you harvest parsley correctly, you can enjoy parsley all season long. Be sure to snip the parsley stems at the soil level rather than pulling parsley. This allows your parsley plant to keep producing!

How to harvest parsley so it keeps growing - here you can see more new parsley leaves growing from the center.
How to harvest parsley so it keeps growing – here you can see more new parsley leaves growing from the center of the plant.

How to Harvest Parsley So It Keeps Growing

Harvesting parsley so it keeps growing is the only way to harvest parsley, in my humble opinion. If you play your cards right, you’ll have parsley all growing season long!

Just follow these super simple steps on how to harvest parsley from the garden or a container.

  1. Bunch it together. Start with the outer leaves and bunch together any stems of parsley you plan to harvest.
  2. Snip! Hold the stems in the same hand as a bunch and gently snip the stems at the base of the plant. Be sure to leave the roots intact!
  3. Enjoy your parsley harvest! Now, bring the parsley indoors and use it immediately or place it in water in the fridge for future use. You can also dry or freeze parsley if you have enough to save for later.

Harvesting Parsley for Beginners

Harvesting parsley is so quick and easy. You may have even figured out how to do it on your own!

I truly believe every kitchen garden or herb garden should have at least one parsley plant. We love parsley for so much more than a garnish! It’s one of the star ingredients in our family’s favorite garlic knots, among other things.

Now that you know how to harvest parsley so it keeps growing, I hope you get to enjoy endless parsley this season. And if you’re lucky, your plants may overwinter, too, as mine have.

(Be sure not to yank them out of the ground at the end of the season!)

Harvesting Parsley so it keeps growing is easy and worth doing!
Harvesting Parsley so it keeps growing is easy and worth doing!

Parsley Picking Tips

Here are a few last tips for harvesting parsley from the garden:

  • Inspect picked parsley and rinse if desired. We already know black swallowtail caterpillars love parsley. Make sure you didn’t pick any of these little buddies!
  • Pick parsley at the end of your harvesting session. Fresh parsley wilts fairly quickly, so pick parsley on demand when you need it. If you’re picking in advance on account of timing or weather, be sure to slip the stems into a glass of water until you’re ready for them.
  • Leave plants in the ground at the end of the season. Parsley is a biennial and may survive through a second year of growth. At the end of that season, you can try harvesting parsley seeds for future planting needs!

That’s it! Harvesting parsley is super easy and as long as you don’t pull the roots out, you’re doing just fine.

I hope you have many delicious dinners and meals with fresh parsley in your future!

Feel free to hit me up in the comments with any questions you may have or to share any other tips. We love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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