Do you know how to grow, dry and store your own parsley? In this article, you'll learn how to easily grow, dry and store your own parsley with easy step-by-step guides.
You’ll learn about three different ways to dry your own parsley.
Then you’ll find out how to best store your parsley, to keep it fresh the longest.
You can use these storing tips even if you, instead of growing it yourself, buy your parsley.
At the end of this article, we'll also try to convince you about why you should add parsley to your diet today. All backed by research.
Parsley is easy to grow, either in a pot or in a garden
Parsley is quite easy to grow yourself and if you dry and store the parsley right it can last up to a year.
You can grow parsley in your garden or in a pot. A pot is a nice way to grow some herbs on your balcony. It’s also a perfect herb to put in your kitchen window if it’s a sunny spot. It’s easier to use the herb if you have it nearby while cooking.
Parsley is both tasty and healthy for you.
It’s a versatile herb that you can have in your food, on your food or just eat it as it is.
Simply put, it’s absolutely amazing!
Table of Contents
How-To Grow Parsley Step-by-Step - The Mini Version
- The day before planting, soak the seeds overnight
- Choose a sunny spot in your garden or a window sill
- Plant the seeds in the soil, 2,5 inches (6 cm) apart, and about 1 inch (2 – 3 cm) deep
- Outside planting: mulch around the base of the plant with straw
- Inside planting: cover the pots with a little plastic wrap held in place by a rubber band
- Remember to water properly! With dry soil, the plant withers, while over-watering will cause root rot.
- Enjoy your parsley!
How To Grow Parsley - The In-depth Version
Parsley is quite easy to grow. There are two ways to do it. You can either plant parsley in your garden or you can plant it in a pot.
Growing parsley is best in rich, well-drained soils in a sunny or mostly sunny location.
Parsley seeds germinate slowly. It might take as long as six weeks. You can speed up germination by soaking parsley seeds in water.
Proper watering is vital to keeping parsley happy. With dry soil, the plant withers, while over-watering will cause root rot.
How-to grow parsley in your garden
The day before planting, soak the seeds overnight in water to help the germination process along.
Prepare the parsley bed by digging the soil well, and mixing in a healthy helping of compost or manure. For optimal growing conditions, the soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0.
When growing parsley, plant seeds in your herb garden when the air is warm and the danger of frost has passed. Lightly cover the seeds with soil and keep the soil moist.
Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Don’t let the soil dry out. You can mulch around the base of the plant with straw to keep back weeds and help retain moisture, reducing the need for constant watering during hot summer days.
As with most herbs, parsley does best in a sunny area that receives direct light. It can tolerate some light shade.
Mark the rows. It might take some time before you see the small seedlings and you don't want to forget where you planted them!
Emerging seedlings will appear almost grass-like, with two narrow seed leaves opposite each other. Thin or transplant seedlings when they are two to three inches high.
Final spacing should be about 10-12 inches apart (28 cm).
Grow parsley in a pot
The day before planting, soak the seeds overnight in water to help the germination process along.
Parsley is an easy herb to grow indoors as long as it has a bright location and you make sure that the pot you plant in drains well.
Plant the parsley seeds in small containers about 2.5 inches apart (6 cm) and about 1 inch deep (2 – 3 cm).
Once you've planted the seeds, cover the pots with a little plastic wrap held in place by a rubber band. This helps create a little greenhouse effect which will keep the seeds warm, and the soil moist.
Seeds should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks. Once sprouted, remove the plastic wrap and place the pot in a sunny window.
Turn the pot daily to allow the seedlings to grow straight up, and not reach for the light in one direction.
Plant Your Bought Parsley
There's another alternative if you want to have easy access to parsley.
Buy a parsley plant and replant it yourself!
Here's an easy step-by-step guide on how you can plant a bought parsley plant.
- You need the parsley plant, a bigger pot, and soil.
- Put soil in the pot, not all the way up to the edge. The soil needs to be moist.
- Take off the plastic cup the plant has grown in.
- Place the plant in the pot and fill with soil.
- Add water.
- Place your parsley in a sunny place where you easily can get access whenever you want some parsley.
How To Dry Parsley
To dry parsley leaves, simply pick all the leaves of the stems, wash them, and then pat them dry.
Then you have three different way to go about drying them; Air dry, Dehydrate or Oven dry.
If you compare your home dried parsley to that of some purchased at the store, you’ll find that the home dried parsley has a more vibrant color, not the more "tired looking green" that the store bought usually are.
Lets go through all of the three ways you can dry parsley!
1. Air Dry Parsley
Spread parsley leaves out on a baking sheet, and place them in a dry shaded area, until fully dry.
Or, my favorite method, you can create small bunches of parsley and tie with a jute rope, natural yarn or bread tie.
Hang them in a cool dry place to allow to air dry.
2. Dehydrate Parsley
If you have an electric dehydrator, you can dry the parsley leaves easily and preserve their color. Always preheat your dehydrator before you begin the drying process.
Place the parsley on a dehydrator sheet. Set your dehydrator to 35°C or 95°F. You should expect the process to take between eight hours to twelve hours. Then let the parsley cool.
3. Oven Dry Parsley
Dry the parsley on a baking sheet in your oven set to the lowest temperature.
Set your parsley on a rack over a tray. Set your oven as low as it can possibly go. With this method, you need to check frequently as you don’t want to cook or burn the parsley.
Use whichever method works best for you, and you’ll be enjoying your homegrown parsley year round!
I recommend the air dry method for drying parsley
It requires less work and there's no need for appliances/machinery.
It takes a bit longer for the parsley to dry but I usually just tie them up, hang them in the pantry and let them be. Works wonders!
Yellow Parsley: Why Does It Happen?
Yellow fresh parsley
If you have your parsley in a pot there's three main reasons why the leaves turn yellow.
- Needs more water
- Needs less water (yes, actually that might happen as well)
- The yellowed leaves are old and it's time for you to prune them to make space for new ones
If you have your parsley in one of those storebought "pots" or containers it's almost certain that the parsley is at its end of life.
If there's some leaves left that seem fresh I recommend you cut off the yellow ones and plant it in a medium sized pot with fresh soil. Remember to water well when you plant it.
You won't be able to save many of the storebought varieties but you can always reuse the soil a few times until you have one that starts growing.
Yellow dried parsley
In my experience there are mainly two reasons why you get yellow parsley when air-drying it.
It’s either too much sun or the drying process took too long.
Too much sun
Be careful when selecting a window for your drying project so that you don’t select one that receives a lot of sun all day long.
The herbs will turn yellow if they get too much sun.
Drying took too long
The other more common reason is that the herbs took to long to dry. If it doesn't dry fast enough, the nutrients are destroyed and the leaves turn yellow.
To avoid this I recommend you try out places in your home until you find one that has the best airflow, sunlight etc. for it to dry fast enough.
I recommend you try out windows that receive just a few hours of sun per day.
Yellow Parsley: Can You Still Eat It?
Yes, it's safe to eat but both its taste and nutrients have been greatly reduced.
In my opinion yellowed parsley is quite useless for both of its main uses; as a spice/herb that adds some flavor to your food and as a herb that’s jam packed with healthy nutrients.
I recommend you dry or plant a new batch instead of consuming the yellowed one.
Don’t give up, the benefits and flavors parsley can provide is worth it!
How To Store Parsley
Fresh parsley is superior in flavor over the dried form of the herb. So if you're able I recommend to have a pot of parsley growing in your kitchen. You'll have easy access to the fresh herb and if you take care of it properly you'll have fresh parsley for about two years before it's time to invest in another plant.
You can harvest the ripe stems and bunch them together into a little bouquet.
Keep the bouquet in a small glass of water in your kitchen window to keep the parsley fresh for up to one week. When you see it starting to wilt, it’s time to use it up or dry the leaves for longer term storage.
You could also store fresh parsley in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. If the parsley is slightly wilted, sprinkle it with some water before putting it in the refrigerator.
Gather up your little bits and store them in an airtight container. Store for as long as it smells like parsley. Once it begins losing the readily identifiable smell of parsley, it’s time to dry up a new batch.
You can also store in a canning jar using a vacuum sealer and sealing attachment to seal it, or in a vacuum bag for long-term storage.
Dried herbs stored in this manner will last up to three years.
Why Parsley? Because Of The Benefits It Can Provide!
You should use parsley because it's a tasty, versatile herb that has several health benefits. And the fact that it goes well with almost every dish is makes it even more valuable! No kitchen should be without a good supply of this amazing herb.
There are two main varieties of parsley: flat leaf parsley and curly leaf parsley. Both can be used for the same purposes and both types are cultivated the same way. The difference between them is that the flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor.
If you, like me, have children that aren't as fond of parsley, I recommend you go with the curly leaf parsley. It blends well with what ever food you cook and will still provide all of the benefits below.
Curly leaf parsley has a mild flavor and a crinkly texture that’s great in salads. Flat leaf parsley has flat serrated leaves and a flavor that is preferred by many.
Eating parsley gives you lots of benefits. Parsley have a very high vitamin K and C content. It also contains vitamin A, B1, B2, Calcium, Iron, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
Here’s five good reasons why you should start to eat parsley today!
1. Parsley contains anti-cancer compounds
Parsley leaves are packed with antioxidants, like a flavonol called myricetin, that has been linked to cancer prevention.
2. Beneficial for diabetics
Parsley might also be beneficial for diabetics. The flavonol myricetin may improve insulin resistance and have a blood sugar reducing effect.
3. Parsley can promote bone health
Parsley provides high levels of vitamin K, which is essential to maintaining bone density and bone strength. Intake of dietary Vitamin K seems to be associated with reduced risk of fractures.
4. Parsley can strengthen your immune system
Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, K, folate, and niacin, all of which boost your immune system. Parsley in dry, paste, and fresh form contains significant high levels of antioxidant capacity.
5. Treats bad breath
Parsley can treat bad breath. At least temporarily. Parsley has unusually high levels of the green plant pigment chlorophyll, which is commonly used as the active ingredient in many breath fresheners.
Conclusion: Parsley Is Well Worth The Effort!
If you follow the above steps for growing, drying and storing your parsley you can look forward to an endless supply of parsley and all the benefits it provides. All from the comfort of your kitchen or garden!
You don't have to grow the parsley yourself from seeds if you don't want to. You can always buy fresh parsley in your store and either plant it or dry it.
Parsley has some amazing health benefits. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Parsley is not hard to grow. It’s a plant that lives for about two years. During that time, in the right conditions, it will give you lots of parsley.
You can plant parsley in your garden, but it’s just as easy to grow in pots. If you put it in a pot, you have the choice of keeping the parsley indoors or outdoors. Or why not move the pot whenever the weather is right?
A sunny location and proper watering is a must for it to thrive.
If you want to dry parsley there are three good ways to go about it. Air dry, dehydrate or oven dry. There is a distinct difference in color between home dried parsley and the dried parsley you buy in the store.
Parsley is a favorite herb of mine. I often use it in my cooking. Not everyone in my family is as happy as I am about parsley, so sometimes I have to restrain myself and only use it as a garnish.
I wholeheartedly recommend you add parsley to yours and your loved ones diet today.
It’s versatile, beautiful, tasty and healthy!
Frequently asked questions about Parsley
Is it easy to grow parsley?
Yes, it’s quite easy to grow parsley. You can do it either in your garden or in a pot. If you have a kitchen window with sun during the day, it’s nice to put a pot of parsley in it. That way you gain easy access to the delicious herb while you are cooking. Parsley thrives best in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny location. Proper watering is vital to keep your parsley happy. Don’t let it dry out, but don’t over-water it either. If you take good care of your parsley it’ll provide you its amazing nutrients and taste for up to 2 years.
Can you dry parsley yourself?
Yes, here’s four simple ways to dry parsley yourself. 1. You can air-dry it, by hanging a small bunch upside down in a cool, dark place. 2. You can also hang it upside down in a window that doesn’t receive any sun. 3. You can dehydrate the parsley, by using a dehydrator. 4. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can dry the parsley in your kitchen oven. This needs to be done in low temperature and takes quite a long time.
How to store parsley?
For long term storage you need to dry your parsley. You can then store the dried parsley in an air-tight container. Store it for as long as it smells parsley. You can also store your parsley in a canning jar with vacuum sealer or a vacuum bag for long-term storage. This way your parsley can last up to three years.
How to keep parsley fresh?
Harvest the ripe stems and put them together like little bouquets. Put them in a glass of water in your sunny kitchen window. This way you’ll be able to keep it fresh for about a week. You can also store fresh parsley in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. You’ll have to dry your parsley for longer term storage.
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