Growing Parsley

Growing parsley is up near the top of my top ten best herbs to grow*.  Although parsley is often only seen as ‘plate fluff’ it deserves more appreciation. Growing parsley is simple as it is a low maintenance herb that is easy to grow in GreenSmart pots and has all sorts of attributes.
The bright colour looks great in the garden as well as on the plate. It is high in iron, calcium, vitamins A & C as well as some B’s.  The taste has a unique zestiness and it is a breath freshener too.

There are two types: Curly Parsley and Flat Leafed Parsley or Italian Parsley. In milder parts of New Zealand, parsley is a biennial plant (grows for two years). Curly parsley has a more intense flavour than flat leafed variety. When growing parsley from planted seed, in year one it will form a low clump. In the second year it sends up a tall flowering spike. All the plant’s energy goes into the flowers and seeds.

Suggestion: plant a GreenSmart pot near your kitchen solely for soft leafed herbs like parsley, chervil, chives, coriander, spring onions.

Growing Parsley – Growing Conditions

Growing parsley is best done in semi shade or sun. Avoid full sun in hotter parts of the country. Parsley plants need room for development of the tap root.

As parsley seeds are slow to germinate I recommend growing parsley from small plants. If the plants you buy from the garden centre are too big there is a risk of them being root bound. Avoid planting in May to July. Parsley grows best in free draining, rich soil. They are low maintenance.

growing parsley

Growing parsley in GreenSmart pot

parsley and lettuce

Parsley and lettuce 7 weeks after autumn planting of seeds.


Start the plants off with some general fertilisers like Yates Dynamic Lifter and blood & bone.Add some liquid seaweed to the water reservoir every few weeks.

Parsley responds to regular dressings of nitrogen fertiliser.

Pests and Diseases

Parsley is generally resistant to bugs and diseases. Watch out for slugs when plants are young. If the leaves are starting to turn yellow, this may indicate that the roots are too wet. This can sometimes be a problem during wet times of the year.


Parsley grows well with tomatoes and corn.


Snip the outer leaves at about one cm above ground level. Do not cut out the central stalks as this will reduce harvesting time. Cut back flower stems to prolong leaf growth.

In the Kitchen

I like these recipes for tabbouleh and parsley & mint pesto.–parsley-pesto/238

*Here’s our list of preferences for top herbs to grow in GreenSmart pots

  1. Coriander
  2. Italian Basil
  3. Mint
  4. Parsley
  5. Mint
  6. Spring Onion
  7. Dill
  8. Thai Basil
  9. Rosemary
  10. Lemongrass
  11. Oregano
  12. Thyme
  13. Vietnamese Mint

Happy gardening,