by Jennifer Poindexter
Do you love the idea of growing herbs indoors? It’s not only handy to have for cooking, but it makes your home seem more welcoming when you grow fresh plants.
If you’d like to have a tasty piece of home décor, consider raising parsley indoors. It produces beautiful green foliage and a nice flavor. Growing parsley indoors is an easy process and would be great for even the newest gardener. If you’re interested, here’s what you must know.
What You Might Need to Grow Parsley Indoors
Growing herbs in the house doesn’t require as large of a set-up as hosting an indoor vegetable garden.
However, there are a few things you can invest in to make growing herbs indoors a little easier on yourself.
The first thing you should invest in is an appropriate container. Herbs can be grown in planters, window boxes, or even smaller buckets.
It’s important to make sure what you’re planting in will drain properly. You should also ensure your plants have a secure place to sit.
If you have a bright enough window for parsley, it should do fine on your windowsill. If you don’t have a bright enough area in your home, with natural lighting, you should invest in artificial lighting.
When you do this, you might need a table, shelf, or other flat surface for the parsley to sit on under the light.
You can invest in typical grow lights, if you choose. If you’re working on a budget, get creative with your lighting.
Shop lights work well for growing plants beneath them. You may also be able to find other LED lighting systems which would provide the light your plants need. Look around and see what will function while still sticking to your budget.
If you invest in the right container, proper lighting, and a safe place for your plant to sit while it’s growing, you should have a much easier indoor gardening experience.
Growing Conditions for Indoor Parsley
Parsley is a light-loving plant. Therefore, it must have a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight per day.
It’s best to grow it near a window, in your home, which can provide this amount of lighting. If you don’t have a space in your home which can provide all, or any, of the sunlight, consider growing your parsley under grow lights.
They can be used full time or to supplement the light the plant can’t receive naturally.
Once you have the lighting worked out, it’s time to consider the growing container. Choose a planter which has a large drainage hole.
Fill the pot with well-draining soil. If in doubt, about your soil, add sand to the mixture to make it drain even better.
After you have the growing container, soil, and lighting in place you need to check the temperature of your home.
Parsley seeds will only germinate in temperatures that are 50- to 85-degrees Fahrenheit. Choose your placement wisely.
If you put your plants near a heater or wood stove, the area may become too hot. If you place them near an air conditioner unit, they may become too cold.
Take all of this into consideration when choosing an adequate growing area, in your home, for your parsley plants.
How to Plant Parsley Indoors
Planting parsley is a cakewalk. You can grow the plant from a purchased seedling or from seed. A word of warning about starting parsley from seed: the seeds take a while to germinate.
Don’t grow impatient with them because, if treated properly, they will sprout in due time.
If you lack patience in this department, skip the frustration and plant a purchased seedling. Whatever your choice may be, I’m going to walk you through growing parsley in both forms.
When growing parsley from seed, direct sow the seeds in the planter where they’ll remain in your home. There’s no reason to plant and then transplant at a later date.
Place the seeds ¼ inch deep in the soil. Lightly cover the seeds and keep the soil watered over the coming weeks.
It’s best to water with a spray bottle to keep the soil moist without overdoing it. The seeds will take approximately three weeks to germinate.
Be sure to keep them in an area where the temperatures are between 50- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. Once the seeds have sprouted, thin them to where there’s six inches between each plant.
If you choose to skip the germination process, you can purchase parsley seedlings. Put one or two seedlings in a pot, depending upon the pot size.
There should be six inches of space between each plant. Dig a hole in your pot which can support the seedling’s root system.
Fill the hole in with dirt and gently press around the base of the plant to keep air from reaching the roots. Water the plants, once in place, and you’re ready to begin learning how to care for them until harvest.
Caring for Parsley Indoors
Parsley is the epitome of a low-maintenance plant. If you can keep the plant from leaning, water it properly, provide humidity, and fertilize it, you’ll have a happy and productive herb on your hands.
To begin, consider the humidity in the area where your parsley is growing. Lighting takes precedence over humidity because you can recreate humidity wherever your plant is thriving.
If you have good lighting in a kitchen or bathroom window, these are naturally humid areas in your home which should provide what the plant needs.
However, if your plant is in another room, or under grow lights, it may need some help in receiving proper humidity.
You can accomplish this by spritzing the plant with a spray bottle a few times per day, or you can place the herb inside a pot that has rocks in the bottom.
Pour water over the rocks until it’s almost to the top of them. The water shouldn’t reach the bottom of the pot where the parsley is planted. You don’t want the roots constantly sitting in water.
However, the water beneath the plant should increase the humidity surrounding your herb. The next thing to consider is proper watering.
Parsley should be watered using the deep watering method. This looks different when growing plants indoors.
Place the parsley planter in your kitchen sink, and if you have a spray nozzle on your faucet, use it to water the plant deeply.
When water is running out of the bottom of the planter, stop applying water. Allow the plant to sit in your sink and drain completely because you don’t want the roots to become waterlogged if sitting in a dish to catch the water.
Every time you water, it might be a good time to rotate the plant when placed back under grow lights or in a window.
If you leave the plant facing one direction, it will begin to lean because it’s stretching to reach the light. By rotating, you’re allowing all sides of the plant to receive equal amounts of lighting.
The final thing you must do, to care for parsley, is fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer. It should be diluted by 50%. Apply the fertilizer once every two weeks.
Give your parsley the few things it needs, and it should grow beautifully in your window or indoor gardening space.
Pests and Diseases Which Can Impact Parsley Indoors
The great thing about growing plants indoors is that it frequently eliminates many of the diseases and pests which impact plants outdoors.
Parsley is no exception. The biggest concern for parsley is fungal diseases, specifically powdery mildew. This disease impacts the herb when the humidity is high, but the moisture is low.
Therefore, if you’re providing proper humidity, ensure you stay on task with your deep watering sessions.
You won’t need to water the plant daily, but it will potentially need to be watered two to three times per week.
When in doubt, stick your finger into the soil and if it’s dry, to the first knuckle, it’s time to water. If not, wait a day or two and test it again.
There are other fungal diseases which can impact parsley. The best way to avoid such diseases is to ensure you have well-draining soil, don’t overwater the plant, and provide proper spacing between multiple plants in a single planter.
You can also heat your soil prior to planting to kill off any diseases which might be hiding in your dirt, or you can choose to grow your parsley in a soilless planting mix.
Damping off is another threat which might impact parsley growing from seeds. It’s a fungal disease as well, but there’s no cure once it sets in.
The best way to avoid damping off is to not overwater your seedlings and ensure they receive proper spacing while sprouting. If you plant them too close together and overwater, you’re providing moisture and a lack of airflow which is the perfect breeding ground for fungus.
You can also sprinkle cinnamon across the top of your soil. It naturally has antifungal properties which can help protect your plants.
Stay alert to these potential threats, and your parsley stands a greater chance of thriving and producing a wonderful harvest.
How to Harvest Parsley
Harvesting parsley is as simple as the rest of the growing process. Once the foliage has reached an appropriate length, usually six inches or longer, trim it using scissors.
This will avoid damage to the plant and allow it to continue producing past the first harvest. Once the herb is harvested, you may use it fresh, or dry it for later use.
Growing parsley indoors isn’t a complicated process. It’s a wonderful way to incorporate more fresh, homegrown products in your meals prepared at home.
If you’d like to have a lovely plant growing in your windowsill that also provides delicious flavors for your foods, consider raising parsley indoors.