How To Harvest Parsley Without Killing The Plant -Exact Steps! [2023]

Do you know how to harvest parsley without killing the plant? 

Parsley is a great staple to have in your home garden. They are one of the easier plants to grow and with the right tactics, you can keep harvesting them again and again! 

One of the best parts of gardening is getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor! I will guide you on how to harvest parsley without killing the plant.

Whether you’ve just started gardening or are interested to learn about how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, I got your back! You will get the hang of it in no time. 

At A Glance: How To Harvest Parsley Without Killing The Plant

Step 1: Identify the outer leaves and stems of the parsley plant. 

Step 2: Measure the height of the plant to determine if it is ready to be harvested. 

Step 3: Cut your parsley without killing the plant.   

How to harvest your parsley without killing the plant

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How To Harvest Parsley Without Killing The Plant 

Your parsley plant is thriving, now you only need to learn how to cut parsley so it grows back. Harvesting parsley is quite simple. 

However, like any plant, there are some do’s and don’t you need to be aware of before you start learning how to cut fresh parsley from the plant and avoid damaging it. 

To harvest parsley, you only need a few simple tools that you may already have in your home. I’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to pick parsley so it keeps growing back. 

Step 1: Identify The Outer Leaves And Stems Of The Parsley

First, you need to identify the outer leaves of the parsley plant. 

The leaves at the center of the parsley plant would be the younger leaves and the outer ones are the matured leaves. 

You can tell the younger leaves and the matured leaves apart by the difference in size, color, and firmness. 

The younger leaves tend to be smaller, and lighter in color and the stems tend to be shorter and softer than the matured leaves. You can also see that there are more leaves per stem on the outer stems compared to the inner stems.

The matured outer leaves and stems are the ones you should be harvesting. Targeting the outer leaves will also help provide more space for the younger shoots in the center of the plant to grow. 

Step 2: Measure The Height Of The Plant To Determine If It Is Ready To Be Harvested

Once you have identified which leaves to harvest, you now need to measure the stems of these leaves. Measure at least 1 inch of the stems from the soil to know where you need to cut. 

It’s always a better idea to harvest parsley from the stems instead of picking each leaf as more often than not you need to use quite a bit in your cooking and it would take way too long to pick each one. 

Step 3: Cut Your Parsley Without Killing The Plant

Finally, a few things to note before you cut the stems is to not harvest too much. You need to leave at least half of the plant still intact.

It is better to take only what you need. Avoid cutting or damaging any of the stems and leaves towards the center of the plant and only cut the outer stems. 

Once you are ready, take a pair of sharp kitchen scissors or garden clippers and make sure it is clean. This is important because the plants can be infected and die if the scissors are rusty and dirty. 

You’ll want to use your fingers to separate the stems that you want to cut so that you don’t unintentionally damage the younger stems. Make your cut at the base of the stem leaving some of the stems still intact. And that’s all there is to it! 

This harvesting technique will not only harvest parsley without killing the plant, but it will also help promote growth for your plant by keeping it happy and healthy. This way, you can continue to harvest parsley anytime you want. How great is that?

How to harvest your parsley without killing the plant

What Is Parsley?  

Parsley is a plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a biennial herb, meaning this plant’s lifecycle is two years. However, it is considered a ‘cut and come again’ herb because you can harvest it multiple times throughout the year and it will continue to grow.

There are two types of parsley available, which are flat-leaf parsley and curly-leaf parsley. However, they are both similar in taste and are also harvested the exact same way. 

Parsley is one of the most used herbs in cuisines from all over the world. It has a slightly peppery taste that incorporates well in soups, stews, salads, and sauces. You will find that the taste is not overpowering and it can also be used fresh or even dried. 

The plant is also known for its powerful disease-fighting nutritional properties. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as iron. 

When To Harvest Parsley?

An important part of learning how do you harvest parsley without killing the plant is knowing when it is ready to be harvested. Parsley usually takes about 70-90 days to mature. However, you can don’t necessarily have to wait for the maturity period to start harvesting. There are other indicators to help you know that it is ready to be harvested. 

1. Multiple Segments On The Main Stem

If you like practical indicators as I do, you’ll appreciate this tip as it gets a bit technical. Observe one of the leafy stems coming from the main stem. You’ll be able to see that there are segments and each segment will have a set of leaves on it. Once you find three segments on a single stem, it is an indication that it is harvestable. 

2. When The Plant Is Bushy

This one is simple and straightforward but might require more time. Once you observe that your plant has a lot of leafy stems branching out and looks bushy, it is an indicator that you should harvest it. 

Generally, even if you don’t want to consume the herb yet, it is always good to prune or trim it once in a while to prevent overgrowth and yellow leaves. Remember that the more often you harvest it, the healthier the plant will be. 

How to harvest your parsley without killing the plant

Tools You Will Need To Harvest Parsley

Parsley grows quite quickly compared to other plants. Therefore, depending on the condition of your plant, you might need to harvest it more often. Having a set of harvesting tools on standby is always a good idea when you have parsley. 

1. Garden Trimmer

The garden trimmer is one of the most common tools you will find in one’s gardening tool kit. This tool is very convenient because it has a narrow tip so that it is easy to maneuver in tight spaces and avoid nicking or damaging other stems.

You should always opt for a heavy-duty one so it will last longer. All you have to do is make sure you clean your garden trimmer before and after using it to avoid bacteria buildup and rust that is harmful to plants.

If you don’t already own one or wish to upgrade, you can check out my recommendations below.  

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

The Gonicc 8” Garden Clippers

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Gerossi Premium Bypass Pruning Shears

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Vivosun 6.5” Gardening Scissors   

2. A Pair Of Kitchen Scissors

Alternatively, you can use your trusty kitchen scissors to do your harvesting. Not only is this practical especially if only have a small number of herbs but it is probably a tool you already have at home.

However, the only downside to this is you will most likely have to clean your scissors more often if you are using them both for kitchen use and harvesting.

Here are my recommendations for high-quality kitchen scissors that are also multi-purpose:

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears by iBayam

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Kitchen Shears by Gidli 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

All Purpose Shears by KitchenAid

3. Gloves 

Another tool that is commonly found in the gardening toolbox is a pair of gardening gloves. This is a must-have tool to protect your hands from injuries and keep them clean all at the same time. 

Whether you’re a gardening amateur or novice, you’ll find that this handy glove is essential, especially when using sharp tools and prickly plants. You do not want to accidentally cut yourself when cutting the stems. 

If you are looking for some high-quality gardening gloves, I have included my top picks  below: 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Ladies Gardening Gloves by COOLJOB 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

2 Pair Garden Gloves Women and Men Set by Amazing Stuff For You!

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Leather Gardening Gloves by Bamllum

Benefits Of Harvesting Parsley

One of the best advantages of harvesting parsley is that it will promote more growth. They are ‘cut and come again’ herb plants, which means that no matter how often you harvest them, they will continue to grow back and even in higher quantities.  

Another benefit of harvesting parsley is that it can be harvested throughout the growing season.  This means that you can harvest them dozens of times a year.    

They also grow very quickly, so you don’t have to wait a long time between harvests.               

Storing Tips For Parsley 

Parsley, like many herbs, tastes better when they are fresh. It adds a lot of flavor to the dishes be they soupy dishes or fresh salads. 

1. Storing Fresh Parsley

Freshly cut parsley can be wrapped in a damp towel and placed in the vegetable section of the refrigerator will help maintain its freshness. 

Alternatively, you can put the fresh parsley in a jar of water, inside the fridge. Make sure that you fill the jar up only halfway and submerge the cut end of the parsley in the water.

This can help the parsley stay fresh for around 7-10 days. If you leave the jar of parsley on the counter, it can stay fresh for about three days.

Either way, you should change the water daily to maintain its freshness and discard the parsley once the leaves start turning brown. 

2. Drying Parsley

Another way to store parsley for a longer period of time is to dry it. Dried parsley can last for six months to a year if it is stored in an airtight container, in a cool and dark environment. 

If you have never dried parsley before or do not know how to dry parsley, it is quite simple. To dry parsley, you can just take a bunch of parsley and hang it upside down.

When drying parsley, make sure to dry them in a dry and well-ventilated area.  Leave some space in between the bunches so that the air is well circulated around the parsley. Once it is dry, you can store the dried parsley in an air-tight container. 

However, it’s important to note that parsley will lose some of its flavors over time. 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Tips For A Better Harvest Yield 

1. Harvest Regularly And Often

Harvesting parsley regularly and often will promote vigorous growth of the plant. You only need to wait for about a week before you can harvest your parsley plant again. 

If you know how to harvest parsley the correct way, it will encourage growth and keeps the plants happy. 

2. Cool Environment

Parsley thrives in a cool and sunny environment. If the weather gets too warm, it is best to put some shade on your plant. When harvesting, it is best to harvest before the weather or day gets hot out. 

3. Replanting Yearly

Although parsley is a biennial plant, most gardeners plant parsley yearly. This is because parsley loses its flavor over time and tends to become bitter. To avoid this, it is best to plant the herb yearly, especially because they tend to grow quickly.  

4. Pruning Your Plant

Pruning your plant is important because it removes parts of the plants that are dead, dying, diseased or damaged. This is because the damaged or older stems may hinder the growth of new shoots. 

If you don’t know how to prune parsley or how to trim parsley, you can simply follow the same method as you would when you are harvesting parsley. 

Target more mature stems and cut them at the base of the plant. Make sure that you cut the parsley close to the soil leaving about an inch of the stem intact. 

5. Potted Herbs

The growing season of parsley can be extended if they are planted in a pot. This is because you can control the environment of the parsley by bringing it indoors during the winter months. Simply place your plant near a sunny window.

This way, you can continue harvesting your parsley in any season all throughout the year. 

Common Pests And Diseases For Parsley

Although parsley is not typically a herb that attracts pests and diseases, it is still possible to experience some infestation to your crops. 

Here are the types of pests and diseases that you should look out for in your plants and how to manage them:

1. Aphids

Aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that usually sit on the underside of the leaves or stems of plants. Aphids are usually green or yellow in color. 

Depending on the infestation, it may cause the leaves to turn yellow, distorted, and have spots. They secrete a sticky substance that encourages the growth of mold. 

To manage aphid infestations, you should:

1. Prune out the infested area. 

2. Reflective mulches can be used to deter aphids from feeding on plants.

3. If there is a heavy infestation, you can opt for natural insecticides such as neem oil and canola oil. 

4. Regularly check under the leaves and stems to look out for infestation. 

2. Alternaria leaf blight

Alternaria leaf blight is a type of fungus infestation. It shows up in a form of brown-black necrotic lesions on the leaves among other things. This disease develops and spreads by planting infected seeds. 

To manage fungus infestations, you should:

1. Plant only pathogen-free seeds

2. Apply fungicide sprays 

I would recommend you get a natural fungicide like neem oil or you may opt for a more conventional fungicide spray and solutions. My favorites are: 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Plantonix Pure Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Neemorganics Solution

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Spectracide Immunox

You can apply your fungicide solution with a spray bottle, or if you have a bigger garden, a garden sprayer will be more efficient and will not hurt your wrist. These are my recommended garden sprayers for you to check out: 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

VIVOSUN Handheld Garden Pump Sprayer

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Itisll Manual Garden Sprayer

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Ortho Dial N Spray Hose-End Sprayer

3. Discard the seed and soil debris and replace them with fresh soil. 

FAQs on How To Harvest Parsley Without Killing The Plant

How Do You Pick Parsley So It Keeps Growing?

How do you pick parsley so it keeps growing? To pick parsley so that it keeps growing, all you need to do is bunch the stems and leaves together and snip them off at the ground level with kitchen shears or garden trimmers. This should be done from the outer stems and slowly move towards cutting the inner stems once they are matured. 

Does Parsley Grow Back After Cutting?

Does parsley grow back after cutting? Yes, parsley grows back after cutting. The new leaves grow back quickly if it is harvested correctly. Target the outer and older stems. You can identify them easily because the leaves are bigger and the stems are stronger. Parsley not only grows back, but it will also increase in quantity and quality as well.

How Do You Harvest And Store Fresh Parsley?

How do you harvest and store fresh parsley? To harvest and store fresh parsley, cut the parsley stem close to the soil. You can then store it in a jar that is half filled with water, with the stem side submerged in water, and stored inside the refrigerator. This will help maintain the freshness of the parsley for up to 10 days or more. 

How Do You Harvest Parsley To Dry? 

How do you harvest parsley to dry? To harvest parsley to dry, you can cut your parsley with several inches of the stem. Bundle them and tie them together with twine. Hang upside down in a dark, cool place with plenty of air movement. The bunch of parsley should be sparse so that air can be well circulated between the parsley for an effective drying process. 

how to harvest parsley without killing the plant

Parsley is one of the most versatile herbs you can plant in your home garden.

Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest! 

Now that you know how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, you can harvest it as much as you like! 

These plants are perfect for your garden because you can harvest them throughout the entire season. 

Share in the comments below what your favorite plants are to grow and harvest. I would love it if you could also share any useful tips. I would love to hear from you and grow our community!

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