Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is the world’s most popular herb used in cooking. Native to the central Mediterranean region, but grown all over the world, parsley is used in Middle Eastern, European and Western cooking alike. The two main types are Italian flat leaf (continental) parsley and curly leaf parsley. Flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavour for cooking and curly leaf parsley is mostly used for garnishes.
A workhorse plant, parsley demands very little to grow successfully. If you have ever wondered how to grow parsley in Perth then look no further. Parsley is a simple herb to grow in Perth, but there are still a few tricks to successfully growing parsley in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.
When to plant parsley in Perth:
Spring is the best time to plant parsley seed or seedlings, but you can start parsley anytime in spring, summer and autumn.
Where does parsley grow best?
Parsley grows well in both full-sun and part-sun locations. If you are planting near summer time in a hot area like Perth, choose a part-sun location, If you’re planting parsley indoors, be sure to grow it near a sunny window. Water: Although parsley grows its best in moist soil, it is relatively drought-tolerant.
How much water does parsley need?
Parsley that is grown outdoors requires a thorough watering once or twice each week. The soil should be damp to a depth of around 5cm. Allow the soil to mostly dry before you water in abundance again. Water around the base of the parsley and try to keep the leaves as dry as possible.
Types of parsley in Western Australia:
There are two main parsley varieties – flat leaf parsley and curly leaf parsley. The flat leaf parsley (often called Continental or Italian parsley) has a stronger flavour than the curly leaf parsley. Both are excellent in cooking, and both are well worth growing in your garden.
How to grow parsley from seed:
Growing parsley from seeds is easy, fun and rewarding!
- Choose a sunny or partly shaded spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in a Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser.
- Sow your parsley seeds direct or fill starter pots or trays with a Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds, cover, firm down and water well. Keep the soil moist throughout germination – this can take up to 3-4 weeks.
- Once seedlings have emerged, feed weekly with a Liquid Plant Food suitable for herbs. Allow seedlings to grow to about 5-7cm before transplanting.
- Water regularly to keep soil moist and mulch around the base of the plants with organic mulch like pea straw to help retain moisture in the soil.
- Harvest your parsley when leaves are dark green and remove flowering stems to help extend the harvest window.
How to grow parsley in pots:
Growing parsley in pots is a great idea. Being able to move your parsley around to get the best conditions and for easy access to the kitchen.
- Choose a pot at least 30cm wide and deep and position in a sunny or partly shaded spot in your garden.
- Fill starter trays with a Seed Raising Mix. Sprinkle parsley seeds over mix, lightly cover and gently water. Keep the soil moist throughout germination – this can take up to 3-4 weeks.
- Once seedlings reach 5-7cm tall, fill chosen pots with quality potting mix. Transplant seedling into the pot and water in well with a Liquid Plant Food suitable for herbs.
- Water regularly and feed weekly with a Liquid Plant Food.
- Harvest parsley when leaves are dark green and remove flowering stems to help extend the harvest window.
How to propagate parsley seeds:
Harvesting parsley seeds from a plant in it’s second year is a good way to grow additional parsley. To gather parsley seeds simply follow these steps.
- Parsley sets seed in its second year.
- Harvest the first seeds as soon as they turn dark brown, this will ensure seed is ripe and ready to germinate.
- Remove seed heads and place in a container or bucket, leave to dry and then shake the seed from the heads.
- Spread over paper towel and allow to dry for a few additional days before storing in a clearly marked envelope.
How to grow parsley from cuttings:
Although not as easy as growing parsley from seed, you are able to root from cuttings.
- Cut the outer stems of a plant using some scissors. Choose healthy, around 12cm long side shoots.
- Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle and strip the leaves from the lower half of the parsley stem.
- Fill the jar with filtered water to give the cuttings a better chance of surviving.
- Place the cuttings in the water for two hours.
- Fill your pot or pots with soil, deep enough to accommodate the cuttings.
- Plant each cutting at least 2.5 cm deep and 2.5cm apart.
- For the next 3 weeks, keep the cuttings moist and in indirect sunlight.
- After this period, discard any cuttings that wilted or turned brown.
- You can now move each cutting to its own pot or plant directly in the garden (in the beginning, keep them in indirect sun while they establish and grow stronger).
What’s the best fertiliser for parsley?
Once parsley plants are growing well, fertilise monthly with a liquid plant food such as Yates Thrive Vegie and Herb Concentrate. The extra boost of nutrients will help support leaf growth. Be careful to apply to the base of the plant and not directly on the leaves as this will ruin the taste.
When to harvest parsley:
Harvest regularly as required, never removing more than half the plant at a time. Harvest from the outside inward to use the oldest leaves first.
Storing parsley at home:
Parsley is best enjoyed fresh from the plant. However if you have a picked bunch you can treat parsley much like a bunch of flowers will keep it fresh longer. Trim the stems slightly, and without washing place the bundle in a tall glass of water filled with about 1 inch of water.
Parsley care and common problems:
Protect from snails and slugs and apply a seaweed solution regularly during establishment to maintain optimal plant health.
Did you know that parsley is said to mask garlic breath?
Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides: