How to Harvest Parsley Properly

Parsley and parsley roots are among the most popular seasoning herbs that you can harvest almost all year round.

But what do you need to consider when you want to properly harvest parsley in your garden or from your balcony?

When to Harvest Parsley

You can harvest parsley all year round. Parsley growing in the garden, from spring until frost, forms new leaves, which you may cut off continuously.

In the second year, perennial parsley begins to bloom. The flowering period is in the summer months of June and July. Once the parsley blooms, you should not use it.

Poisonous apiol is then formed in the leaves and especially the seeds, which has a harmful effect on the digestive system. Especially the seeds are poisonous and must not be eaten under any circumstances.

Harvesting Parsley Correctly

The biggest mistake you can make is to cut the heart of the parsley.

You can recognize the heart by the thickened stem, on the side of which new shoots develop. It is usually located in the center of the plant.

If you cut the heart, the parsley will stop growing and die after a short time.

Always Cut Parsley at the Bottom

To harvest parsley properly, don’t just pluck the leaves. Cut the whole stem as low above the ground as possible.

By doing this, you encourage the parsley to grow more shoots with leaves.

The Best Time to Harvest Parsley

Like all aromatic herbs high in essential oils, parsley is best picked on a dry morning. The leaves are particularly aromatic then.

How to Harvest Parsley Seeds

Once flowering has begun, the parsley plant is exhausted. You can either pull it out right away or leave it standing so that the flowers are pollinated by insects.

In the fall, the seeds are ripe and you can use them to propagate parsley the next year. Store them in a cool, dry place until ready to sow.

How to Harvest Parsley Root

Parsley roots take a long time until you can harvest them. Although they are sown early in the spring, they don’t reach their full flavor until fall.

This is how harvesting parsley roots works best:

  • Stick a digging fork next to the plant
  • Lift the soil a little
  • Pull out the roots
  • Keep the roots in a cool place for storage

You can also leave parsley roots in the ground and harvest them as needed.

Only when temperatures drop so low that the soil is in danger of freezing through, do you need to get all the roots out of the ground.

How Long Does Parsley Last After Harvesting?

Parsley should be consumed as soon as possible after harvesting. Even if you put it in a jar of water, it will not last long and will also lose flavor.

If you have harvested too much, it is best to freeze the seasoning herb. You should dry it only in exceptional cases because dried parsley has hardly any aroma left.