How To Harvest Parsley Correctly

Parsley and parsley root are among the most famous seasoning herbs that can be harvested almost all year round. What you need to consider when you want to properly harvest parsley in the garden or from the balcony.

Petersilie ernten

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.

As soon as the parsley blooms, you must not use it. The 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 for harvesting
Like all aromatic herbs high in essential oils, parsley is best picked on a dry morning. The leaves are particularly aromatic then.

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Harvesting parsley seeds
Once flowering has begun, the parsley plant is spent. You can either pull them out right away or leave them 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.

Harvest parsley root
Parsley roots take a long time to harvest. Although they are sown early in the spring, they don’t reach their full flavor until fall.

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

You can also leave parsley root in the ground and harvest 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.

Tips & Tricks
Parsley must 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.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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