Unlike many other seasoning plants, parsley is no longer edible after blooming. The culprit is the high content of poisonous apiol and the high concentration of essential oils, which poisons the leaves. Once the parsley starts to bloom, you should pull it out and dispose of it.
When Does Parsley Bloom?
Parsley is a perennial herb that begins flowering only in its second year. The main flowering period is June and July.
Just before flowering, parsley is particularly aromatic. Harvest as many leaves as possible before the plants begin to bloom.
This is especially true if you want to use parsley as a natural remedy.
Do Not Eat Parsley After It Starts to Bloom
As soon as parsley has developed flowers, you should not use any more leaves of the plant, not even as decoration for dishes.
Parsley should only be used in small amounts as a seasoning herb anyway because it contains a lot of toxic apiol. After flowering, the content is so high that eating it can be harmful to your health.
Doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid eating parsley altogether to prevent premature births. After flowering, expectant mothers should not eat parsley under any circumstances.
Parsley Seeds Are Also Poisonous
The seed of parsley is so toxic that it was even used for abortions in the past. The concentration of apiol and essential oils in the seeds is so high that eating it triggers contractions of the uterus.
Uproot Parsley Plants After They Bloom
Once the parsley has flowered, leave the plants until the seeds have formed from the flowers. You can use it to propagate the parsley for the next season.
After harvesting the seeds, pull out the plants and dispose of them. It is also important to use the bed to grow other vegetables or ornamental plants the next year.
Parsley is not compatible with itself. You should sow or plant it in a different location the next year. Only after at least three years will the seasoning herb will thrive again in the harvested bed.
Is It Sufficient to Remove the Parsley Flowers?
There is no use in simply ripping out the flowers of parsley. Since the leaves of the plant contain too much toxic apiol even without flowers, you should generally not use the herb after flowering.