Harvest Parsley without Killing the Plant – In 8 Easy Steps

Harvest Parsley
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Parsley is a versatile herb. You should, however, know how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant. If you can do that, it will assure you of a plentiful harvest throughout the season.

Harvest Parsley without Killing the Plant by snipping the parsley to stimulate new plant growth. Use a small, sharp pair of kitchen scissors or shears to ensure you make a clean cut. A clean-cut helps prevent damage to the plant. As you cut it, you encourage fast new growth.

Cut Parsley a piece or a bunch of parsley leaves and stems at ground level, depending on how much you need. Harvest only the younger plants and keep harvesting during the first cycle. As long as the leaves of the parsley plant are vibrant green, you can continue to harvest Parsley.

Use a small and sharp pair of kitchen scissors or shears to ensure you make a clean cut. A clean-cut helps prevent damage to the plant.

You can, however, use your hands to pick parsley leaves one by one. Harvest from the outside of the plant.

How to Harvest Parsley without Killing the Plant - In 8 Easy Steps

Parsley is a bi-annual plant that is fast and easy to grow. You can grow this herb in flower beds along with perennial plants. Or, it can also be grown in containers, wooden boxes, and small pots.

Parsley comes in different varieties. The different types of Parsley have almost the same harvesting method.

This popular herb should be harvested with care so it can be harvested throughout the year. Hence, it would be best if you learned how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant.

Parsley Is Not Only For Garnishing

The most common varieties of Parsley are the flat leaves Parsley and the curly leaves parsley. The flat-leaf Parsley adds fresher flavor to food. The curly leaf parsley is used to garnish salads, egg dishes, pasta dishes, and soups.

Parsley is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.

An Antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, Parsley is well worth having in the garden. It also has an enjoyable taste for delicate sauces, which is very popular.

Parsley is well-loved by cooks because of its subtle taste that can transform your ordinary dish into a gourmet meal. Parsley is also a well-loved herb because it is easy to grow and harvest. Therefore you can always have fresh Parsley!

When to Harvest Parsley

You can start harvesting Parsley about 70 to 90 days after planting. By this time, the plant already has sufficient vegetation. Of course, you can pick its leaves any time during the growing season.

Unlike other herbs, Parsley, when adequately protected, can withstand hard frost and can also be harvested in winter.

Here are some signs that show your Parsley can already be harvested:

The plant has grown three or more clusters of leaves in a single stream. Do not harvest Parsley when the plant only has only 1 or 2 stem segments.

Harvest parsley before it starts to flower to ensure a good taste.

You can harvest Parsley when its stems have grown to be 6-7 inches tall.

Parsley is ready for Harvest when the plant has too much new growth from the middle of the inside.

You can harvest younger Parsley if you intend to use it as a spice. Parsley is known to have a strong flavor when harvested in the first year of planting.

You can start harvesting Parsley when the plant is starting to get bushy.

Parsley is best harvested in the morning before the day starts to heat up after the dew has dried. Freshly harvested Parsley is more flavorful than the stored ones.

To ensure you can have fresh Parsley every day, you need to know how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant.

How to Harvest Parsley without Killing the Plant

You are looking forward to harvesting your Parsley but don’t know where to cut it? Your parsley plant likes to be snipped to encourage new growth.

Parsley is known as a ‘cuts and grows again’ herb. It is one of the herbs that grow back quickly after Harvest.

Knowing the right way of how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant will make it keep producing.

Not knowing the proper way of harvesting parsley, on the other hand, will kill the plant.

It is easy to harvest Parsley. You can harvest Parsley in smaller amounts when you intend to use the herb immediately in your meals.

If you want to gather vast amounts of Parsley, you need to make sure that you do not harm the parent plant.

You are assured of an abundant supply of Parsley for the entire harvest season up to early. As long as the leaves of the parsley plant are vibrant green, you can continue to harvest Parsley.

Did you know that the flavor of parsley vanishes, when the color of the leaves turns brown and fades? So that’s the sign to watch out for.

Parsley grows aggressively and yields a lot of produce when harvested regularly and only when you know how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant.

As you cut Parsley, you stimulate new plant growth. Cut Parsley a piece or a bunch of parsley leaves and stems at ground level, depending on how much you need.

Use a small and sharp pair of kitchen scissors or shears to ensure you make a clean cut. A clean-cut helps prevent damage to the plant.

You can, however, use your hands to pick parsley leaves one by one. Harvest from the outside of the plant.

Harvest Parsley without Killing the Plant – In 8 Easy Steps

1. Harvest only younger plants. When harvesting Parsley, focus only on the mature ones with main stem branches with three or more segments.

Parsley plants with less than three segments don’t have the best flavors, even though the younger parsley plants come with the most robust flavors.

Harvesting parsley leaves during its first growth year give the best yield.

2. Keep harvesting during the first cycle.

The first growing cycle of Parsley allows continuous harvesting. The plant will produce fewer leaves during the second growth year. The leaves will also be less tasty.

This is so because the plant has cultivated deeper roots during this growth cycle.

3. Break off or cut the outer stems of the parsley plant and leave the leaves and inner stems. Leave about ½ to 2/3 of the parsley plant when harvesting to allow the plant to keep on growing.

4. When harvesting a small amount of Parsley, cut off the outer portion of the plant and leave the inner stems. The outer parts of the plants are older stems, and cutting them prevents the plant from turning brown.

Harvesting a small amount of Parsley also helps focus on the younger stem energy production. This will allow the parsley stem to further mature into healthy and fresh produce.

5. When harvesting a large amount of Parsley, cut off the entire stem at the base of the parsley plant. This is the portion that connects the stems to the central stem.

Use a sharp pair of scissors or a knife to avoid damaging or killing the plant.

This method will also make your parsley plant grow healthier, bushier, and more abundant because the plant will grow more leaves and stems.

Pulling off individual leaves will not be as forceful and will not give you a good yield.

6. Cut stems down to the ground. Cutting stems of the parsley plant to the ground encourages continued and new growth throughout the plant’s growing season.

Pruning has been proven to stimulate the energetic growth of the parsley plant.

7. Cut stalks of the parsley plant from the bottom. Cutting off the top leafy portion of the parsley plant and leaving the stems will tend to make the plant slow down its growth.

8. Cut mature stalks at the outer portion. Cut the more mature stalks at the outer part of the plant to allow the newer parts, (inner plant) to mature before harvesting.

If you intend to harvest the whole parsley plant, hold the bunch down with one hand and use your other hand to cut the entire bunch.

Leave your parsley plant alone for about 2 to 3 weeks after harvesting. This will give the plant some time to recover. And grow back after harvesting. You can harvest again once you notice the growth of new stems.

Harvesting Parsley for Seeds

You can also harvest parsley seeds. Parsley plants do not, however, produce seeds during their first growth cycle. Thus, you will need to be a little more patient after your plant’s seed development.

Before starting to harvest Parsley, remove any imperfect or weak parsley plant at the end of the first growing season.

This will ensure your parsley plant will be healthier and stronger during the second growth year. It will also ensure the production of high-quality seeds.

Things to Remember

Harvest Before The First Frost.

Your parsley plant will die if you keep it outdoors during the winter. If your parsley plant dies during winter, it will grow again from the roots in spring.

To ensure a continuous supply of Parsley, harvest all your Parsley before winter and keep your plant indoors during winter to avoid them getting killed by the harsh winter conditions.

Keep harvesting until the plant reseeds.

Continue harvesting until your parsley plants seeds again and starts a new growth cycle—the parsley plants seeds when it grows a wood and tall flower stalk.

Ensure continuous growth and yield.

Avoid tampering with the inner stalks in the center of the parsley plant to ensure its continuous growth and yield.

The more you cut the parsley plant, the more the plant will grow and the more leaves to yield.

You can also start harvesting the taproot of your parsley plant four months after planting. The roots also have a tasty flavor. You can use the roots of the parsley plant to replace carrots in your stir-fries and salads.

Use fresh Parsley.

If you cut the leaves a little at a time, it is best to use newly harvested Parsley immediately.

You can store Parsley in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you have to store Parsley, wrap it in a damp paper towel. It will last in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can also keep several sprigs of Parsley in water and store them in the fridge.

Your Parsley will then be able to last for up to seven days.

Storing Parsley in the freezer can make them last longer because when you defrost it, you can use it in the same way as fresh Parsley.

Store parsley in the freezer by cutting up the leaves into small portions. Place a small amount of water into ice cube trays and add the Parsley. Before using frozen Parsley, defrost and drain the water.

Remember, though, that frozen Parsley will have the same flavor as fresh Parsley but will no longer be crisp.

You can store Parsley for several months at room temperature, but they will dry out, and its flavor will not be as strong. However, you can dry them in the right way so you can keep them long-term.

Hang whole sprigs of parsley upside-down in a dark, warm, and well-ventilated room. Allow your Parsley to dry for a week or two, after which, crumble the leaves and store them in an airtight container or bag.

Final Thoughts

Parsley is an easy-to-grow plant. It is an excellent herb that is more than just a garnish to make dishes look more enticing because it contains many health benefits.

Harvesting parsley not only allows you to take advantage of its many culinary uses but also allows new growth for your plant.

Knowing how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant will guarantee a continuous harvest of one of your favorite herbs.

As long as your parsley plant continues to be of vibrant green color, you can enjoy as many sprigs of your herb as you like.

Remember, though, that you need to know how to harvest Parsley without killing the plant. Otherwise, your continuous supply of this herb will be gone. Have fun with it and enjoy!

Editor Notes:

We hope this article has given you sufficient information for you to be able to harvest Parsley without killing the plant!

As a young child, I remember that the first herb I was introduced to was Parsley. I loved it – especially in a white sauce.

I loved to eat fish, and the UK was an island, so fish was more plentiful than other proteins, during those immediate post-war days.

For many years thereafter, (probably painful years for my Mother who had to make large quantities of the almost ubiquitous Parsley sauce!) because I would only eat fish if it came with Parsley sauce and, being a child, I was quite vocal about it!

To this day, I still enjoy Parsley sauce with a fish dish. However, I learned long ago how to grow my beloved Parsley and how to harvest it without killing the plant.

I also produce a great many other herbs these days, but I still favour Parsley!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edit & *Comments by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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