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How to Grow Parsley Indoors (+Easy DIY Steps)

Updated December 14, 2021 by Mark Marino

Growing parsley indoors is easy. Parsley plants grow well in containers provided they have a sunny windowsill location and proper care. Although some people may still consider this herb to be little more than an attractive garnish, fresh parsley can actually brighten dishes with its clean, earthy flavor and, most certainly, will impart important nutrients such as vitamins A, K, and C. Fresh and dried parsley can be added to a wide range of dishes, including stews, soups, meat, vegetable, and seafood dishes. 

Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region and is in the same family of plants (Apiaceae) as celery and carrots. In fact, the Latin word for parsley is derived from the ancient Greek word that means “rock parsley.” In fact, for the ancient Greeks, parsley was sacred. They believed the parsley plant sprang from the blood of the hero Archemorus as he was being consumed by serpents. Fortunately for us, growing parsley indoors is without any heroic risks!

Parsley Varieties

When visiting your local supermarket, you’re most likely to come across flat leaf parsley or curly leaf parsley. Both are suitably parsley plants for growing indoors. Root parsley, another type, is similar to parsnips and is used mainly in Eastern European soups and stews. Both the following parsley plant varieties are likely to grow between 1-2 feet tall. 

Italian Parsley

Also known as flat leaf parsley, Italian parsley is known to be easier to grow than curly parsley; although, neither plant is regarded as challenging. Some people suggest that flat leaf parsley has a slightly stronger flavor. However, choosing between the two types of parsley is usually a matter of preference. Flat leaf tends to ‘behave’ a bit better when chopped up to add to dumplings, rice dishes, soups, etc…

Italian flat leaf parsley
Italian parsley

Curly Leaf Parsley

Curly leaf parsley is most popularly known as a garnish, which isn’t surprising as its bright yellow-green hue adds a fresh pop of color to any dish. But it is most certainly edible, and people would do well to enjoy it considering its nutritional value.

Curley Parsley growing
Curley parsley

Growing Parsley Indoors: Materials and Supplies

Whether you choose to grow flat leaf or curly parsley, you’ll want to procure the following supplies:

  • Parsley seeds or parsley seedlings 
  • Pot with drainage holes
  • Potting soil (do not use ordinary garden soil)
  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Grow lights (optional)
  • Pebbles and sand (optional)

Planting Parsley Indoors

Prepare your indoor parsley pots by adding your potting soil and a layer of sand to the pot. The sand will help promote good drainage, but be sure that your container has drainage holes. Poor drainage can result in parsley root rot. Sow parsley seeds on the top of the soil and then cover them with a light layer of potting mix–about ¼ deep. You can promote parsley seed germination by keeping the soil very moist but not overly saturated. Be sure to place your pot in the window with direct sunlight to grow parsley successfully.

It’s cheaper to plant parsley seeds than parsley seedlings. Not only will you get more plants, but transplanting parsley can be a bit tricky as parsley has a taproot that doesn’t care to be transferred from pot to pot. Remember that more parsley seed germination is likely to take place if you mind the watering and sunlight requirements. Be patient; seeds can take up to four weeks to germinate. You may be able to speed the germination process by soaking parsley seeds overnight first before you plant them.

Caring for Indoor Parsley Plants

When growing parsley in containers, the main criteria for these herbs is adequate sunlight and watering. Use the following care tips to grow parsley indoors:

Light

Place your parsley plants in a sunny window. They should have at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. If you do not have a sunny windowsill, you can use a grow light for growing parsley indoors. 

Soil

A general potting mix that’s sold for herbs and vegetables is a good choice for growing parsley indoors. You can grow either curly leaf or flat leaf parsley in this potting mix.

Water

Parsley needs ample water for healthy growth. Be sure to keep the soil moist in order to grow parsley successfully. However, you don’t want to overwater because parsley plants are vulnerable to root rot. 

Temperature and Humidity

Parsley prefers a warm, sunny windowsill. If you’re growing parsley over the winter, you may need to move your plants away from the window at night when temperatures dip lower. Parsley plants tend to thrive in a humid environment. You can promote humidity by adding some pebbles in a layer around your plants. After watering the pot, the water will evaporate off the pebbles to provide some humidity for your parsley plant. You can also mist your parsley plant with a spray bottle between waterings.

Fertilizer

Water soluble fertilizer is ideal for feeding your parsley plants. You can add fertilizer a couple times a month to make sure your plants have the nutrients they need to thrive.

Dried chopped parsley
Dried chopped parsley in dark wood bowl next to fresh parsley leaves isolated on white from above.

How to Harvest Parsley

You can begin to harvest parsley plants once they have mature leaves. However, wait to harvest until your parsley plants have at least 10 mature leaves to ensure they’re strong enough to tolerate leaf removal. Make a point never to remove more than half of your parsley’s leaves. This will ensure that your parsley plants continue to grow and generate new leaves for harvesting in the future.

You can store your fresh parsley in your refrigerator between paper towels. You can also dry parsley for later use. To ensure the best flavor, you can air dry parsley. Don’t apply heat to dry the parsley or it will lose its flavor.

Uses and Benefits of Parsley Plants

After growing parsley indoors, you’ll be able to harvest parsley leaves to enjoy them in a wide array of dishes. Parsley leaves can be chopped and added to all kinds of uncooked and cooked dishes, including soups, stews, stir fry dishes, salads, vegetable dishes, and much more. Parsley also contains numerous nutrients like antioxidants. There is some medical evidence to suggest that parsley supports bone health, supports vision health, has antibacterial properties, and has compounds that boast anticancer properties. 

Parsley is sometimes included in the classic fine herbs, along with tarragon, chives, and chervil.

parsley pesto

Indoor Parsley FAQs

How to dry parsley?

The best way to dry parsley is to cut it and then rinse and dry it. Cut your parsley so that it has several inches of stem. Then, bundle your cut parsley together and hang to dry. For best results, use a fan to ensure good air circulation. 

Does parsley grow well in pots?

Parsley grows very well in pots. The key to growing parsley plants successfully is to ensure that each plant gets plenty of water and sunlight. You can grow parsley in any pot that has good drainage.