Parsley is an often-used herb, not only as an attractive garnish, but to add flavor and color to a variety of dishes, including soups, sauces, stew, casseroles and salads. With adequate water and sunlight, parsley thrives in your herb garden or in a container on your patio, balcony or kitchen windowsill.
Watering In-Ground Parsley
Water in-ground parsley deeply once every week, providing enough water to moisten the plant's root system, then allow the soil to dry slightly. To keep the soil from becoming completely dry, parsley may require irrigation twice weekly during periods of hot, dry weather. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch such as dry grass clippings or chopped pine bark keeps the soil moist and conserves water. As an added benefit, mulch enriches the soil and helps keep weeds in check.
Watering Container Parsley
When grown outdoors, container parsley should be checked often, as potted parsley located outdoors dries much faster than parsley grown indoors. Water container parsley whenever the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Indoors, container parsley is watered deeply but less frequently. Water parsley deeply whenever the top of the soil feels dry, then let the excess water run through the drainage hole. Never allow the container to stand in water, as doing so may cause the plant to rot. Allow the soil to dry slightly before you water again, but don't let the soil become bone dry.
Plant parsley in a well-drained garden spot, as parsley may rot in soil that is continually damp. Parsley grows in most types of well-drained soil, but benefits from soil amended with compost or manure. Plant container parsley in a container filled with a good quality, peat- or compost-based potting mixture. Always use a container with bottom drainage.
Feed in-ground parsley every six to eight weeks, using a balanced, dry fertilizer applied according to the directions on the package label. Container parsley requires more frequent feeding, especially when the plant is grown indoors. Using a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer, feed indoor parsley every three to four weeks. Feed container parsley located outdoors every four to six weeks. For container parsley, dilute the liquid or water-soluble fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the label. Always water parsley immediately after planting, as applying fertilizer to dry soil may scorch the roots.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.