How to Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant

Parsley is one of my favorite herbs to cook with and gives extra flavor to my meals. Like almost all herbs, parsley should be easily grown after harvesting. Discover how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, so you should have parsley all year long!!!

Parsley comes from the Mediterranean; it is a biennial plant, but most people grow parsley as an annual. In our case, we have fresh parsley at home all year round, during the winter we have it in pots inside the house. Let’s continue to learn how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, so you will always have fresh parsley for cooking.

When to Harvest Parsley

When to Harvest Parsley? Parsley should be harvested after 60 to 70 days of cultivation. You should also harvest the parsley earlier, but it is not recommended, it is best to wait for the parsley to develop well for the first harvest of parsley.

Wait until the parsley plant has ample foliage before starting to harvest parsley. When you observe that the parsley plant has several stems and leaves, it is the right time to harvest parsley. Like most herbs, parsley benefits from harvesting because it encourages the plant to grow again.

On warm days, harvest parsley in the morning, before the heat warms the plant. It is possible to harvest parsley at any time of day on chilly days or if it is protected from the sun. Do not harvest parsley at very low temperatures, as this can cause cold burns on the cuttings and weaken the plant.

when to harvest parsley
When to Harvest Parsley? Ideally, parsley should be picked 60 to 70 days after planting.

How to Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant

How to Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant? Parsley is one of the easiest herbs to grow and harvest. To harvest parsley without killing the plant, the first thing to do is to use sharp, disinfected scissors. I do not recommend pulling the leaves or stems of the parsley because you could damage the plant or even the roots, causing the plant to die or not be able to recover properly.

Always harvest the outer stems of the parsley first, parsley grows from the center outwards, this way you will harvest the oldest stems of the plant and make way for new stems. Cut the parsley stem to be harvested a few inches (cm) above the soil to allow it to recover.

Always harvest the parsley stems because if you only harvest the leaves the plant will not grow properly, harvesting the parsley stems encourages the plant to continue growing and producing.

To harvest parsley without killing the plant, I recommend that in the first harvest you do not harvest more than 1/3 of the plant. Then let the parsley plant recover for 15 days, in the next harvest you should be able to harvest up to 2/3 of the parsley plant.

Every time we harvest parsley, especially if we cut a lot of stems, we should water it more frequently the days after harvest and, if necessary, add nutrients to the soil.

In summary, to harvest parsley without killing the plant, you must let the plant grow well and always harvest the stems so that the parsley plant continues to produce and grow. Remember to use scissors to pick the parsley and never pull the plant. Learn more about How and When to Harvest Parsley.

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant
How to Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant? Always use sharp, disinfected scissors to harvest parsley without killing the plant.

Why Is My Parsley Bitter

Why Is My Parsley Bitter? If you have some older leaves and stems on your parsley plant that you do not harvest, it could be that these leaves have a bitter taste. The largest leaves are the oldest leaves of the parsley plant and tend to have a bitter taste. Always harvest the youngest leaves to consume parsley.

It may also be the case that your parsley plant is reaching the end of life (remember, they are biennial plants). When the parsley plant starts to flower, all the nutrients go directly to the flowers and the leaves start to lose aroma and flavor.

How to Harvest Parsley Seeds

How to Harvest Parsley Seeds? Parsley will produce flowers and seeds in its second year of growth because it is a biennial plant. When the parsley plant finishes flowering, let the flowers dry on the plant.

Once you observe the dried parsley flowers, cut them off with scissors. Then place the flowers in a paper bag for at least two weeks to dry completely.

After a few weeks, when the flowers are dry, remove the seeds and store them in a cool, dry place. I recommend using those seeds in the next crop of parsley to have a high germination rate. If you store parsley seeds for too long, they may not all germinate properly.

how to harvest parsley seeds
How to Harvest Parsley Seeds? Harvest some parsley flowers when they are dry to obtain the seeds.

How to Store Parsley

How to Store Parsley? Once harvested, parsley should be stored for a few days in the refrigerator. You should also place the parsley in a glass of water, and it will last a few days longer.

Another process to store parsley is to freeze it, you should cut all the parsley and store it in the freezer for a long time, the flavor will be fully preserved. Some people use the dehydrator to preserve parsley, but it is not my preferred method of storing parsley because in the dehydration process it loses a lot of flavors.

We consume fresh parsley at home, but if I need to store parsley, I keep it in the freezer. Some very good herbal storage products can keep parsley fresh for many days.

Prepara Eco Herb Savor Pod, Green 6.2 x 2.9 x 10.7 inches
  • Triple the life of your fresh herbs Our BPA-free containers are designed to prolong the life of your fresh herbs, while being easy to use and fit into any fridge door. The advantage of our design is the clear windowed, hard shell protect leaves from being crushed by other items in the fridge and they let you see what’s inside, while letting them breath at optimum hydration levels. Now that’s better than wrapping them in a damp cloth!
  • It's so simple- rinse and pat dry your basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, chives, rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill or even your asparagus. Place them into the Pod and add some fresh water through the tethered filler cap. Remember to empty the old water and refill every 3 to 5 days and the herbs will be happy for up to 3 weeks!
  • Designed in the USA by a very prolific team, famous for many household ‘must-have’ tools and gadgets. We invented The Herb Savor to maximize the life of your tasty herbs and greens keeping them fresh and crisp. We love food and it’s especially good when you use fresh herbs to enliven your dish.

Does Parsley Come Back Every Year?

Does Parsley Come Back Every Year? If you live in a warm climate zone and do not have very strong winters, parsley will grow as a biennial plant. But if where you live you have very strong winters, I am sorry to tell you that parsley will not survive the winter, unless you have the parsley in pots and have it in a protected place.

Does Parsley Regrow After Cutting?

Does Parsley Regrow After Cutting? Of course, parsley grows back after cutting. If you follow our tips on how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, you will see how the parsley grows back and with much more strength.

potted parsley home kitchen
Potted parsley.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.