Please, how to properly trim parsley ?

feranniaJuly 2, 2009

In order to encourage growth, do I have to trim stalks down to its root, or do I have to leave main stalks an inch or two above the root ?

My goal is to have thick and long parsley root in the fall next year.

Thank you.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Parsley is a biennial, meaning it has a maximum of a 2 growing season lifespan. I'm not sure the best time to harvest the root but I would suspect that you will want to harvest parsley started this year and grown for its root at the end of this growing season.

As far as trimming, if you are growing for the root and not foliage, I don't see any reason to trim the foliage at all. And then if you are trimming, no more than 1/3 of the growing plant material at any time else you will damage the plant.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:49PM
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If you're growing parsley for the root, you really should have the Hamburg Parsley (Petroselinum. c. var. Tuberosum) which has been developed especially for the root, which can get as big as a parsnip. These roots are harvested in autumn - first or second year.

The roots of the standard parsleys won't get anywhere near the size, no matter what you do. I've tried it, and they aren't worth the bother.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 6:54PM
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That's the parsley I planted on May 8th, Hamburg variety, yes.

But my wife and I have run into a gentle squabble about how to trim the foliage; and none of us is 100% sure. I was deeply convinced we have to cut down to the level of soil almost touching its root, while she has weak memories from her childhood her mother trimming it a bit above the root.

Your answers confirm she was right. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:50PM
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It does not matter. The compounded leaf stems that you cut, is not going to regrow no matter where it it trimmed. I would just trim it at convenienc with scisors, at slightly above soil level.Like it is mentioned, why cut healthy stems/leaves if you want bigger roots? Just trim the ones that are half-dead and/or yellowing. Becaus they are burden on the plant.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 7:37PM
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Last year I planted heirloom flat parsley from seed and I was quite pleased with the plants. At the end of the season I covered the plant, hoping that it would bloom again in the spring. A few leaves turned green this spring and then died. What did I do wrong? I really would like to harvest seeds. I planted all new seeds in May and the new plants are doing well.

All suggestions appreciated!

Rita Abend

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 8:36PM
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francescod(6b/7a VA)

-Rita: Parsley is a biennial, i.e. it flowers the second year. After it flowers and sets seed, it dies. Flowering can be triggered in the first year of life if the plant is subjected to about a month of temperatures in the 30's. Parsley is pretty cold hardy so winter protection is usually not necessary.

F. DeBaggio

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:36AM
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Do you have any idea why the leaves started to turn green and then the plant died?
I was hoping that the parsley would flower this year and I could harvest seeds.
Has anyone harvested seeds from their parsley plant?

Rita Abend

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Rita, if you really meant what you wrote " At the end of the season I covered the plant, hoping that it would bloom again in the spring". The plants had already flowered. Your new leaves could have been new plants or just the old one taking it's time dying. By covering you allowed all kinds of moisture, heat differences, fungi to congregate on the plant.

I allow the seeds to fall where they may for winter food for the smaller creatures. My soil seems to lack a nutrient that would allow the seeds to sprout or they are all eatten by the wee creatures.

I plant a new plant each year and then dig the older plant up the following spring after it is dead. The decomposing roots in that area will help that area to become lighter and drain better.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 9:50PM
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This is weird. I planted my parsley patch four years ago, and it is still thriving, and still tastes great. We don't have much of a winter, so it has never really died back--I know because I have clipped herbs from it all year long, every year. Why is it that it's still going strong after four years, if it's only supposed to last two? (It's Italian Flat Leaf.)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 5:16PM
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CA Kate

Has it reseeded and these are new plants?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:19PM
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