Flat Italian Parsley(Petroselinum crispum)
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade.
Planting: Space 12 to 20 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)
Soil requirements: Plants grow best in rich, moist soil.
Water requirements: Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Plants grow best with adequate moisture. In containers, irrigate whenever soil is dry.
Frost-fighting plan: Established plants can survive a few hard frosts (under 28º F). Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season.
Common issues: Curled parsley is less heat tolerant than flat Italian parsley. It’s not unusual for curled parsley plants to experience slow growth in the heat of summer, while flat Italian parsley thrives. White flowers appear during the second year of growth, causing leaf flavor to become bitter; pull plants and start over. Plants can rot if mulch is piled too deeply against stems. Keep an eye out for whiteflies. Parsleyworm caterpillars can quickly wipe out a stand of parsley, but they turn into black swallowtail butterflies. Plant extra parsley to host them if desired.
Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Snip individual leaves, cutting stems back to the base of the plant.
Storage: To store in the refrigerator, wrap unwashed stems in a paper towel. Slip the bundle into a tightly closed plastic bag. Use within 7 to 10 days. For longer storage, freeze leaves individually on a parchment-lined tray, in a single layer in a freezer bag, or in ice cubes (chop leaves first).
For more information, visit the Parsley page in our How to Grow section.
- Calories: 11
- Carbohydrates: 2g
- Dietary fiber: 1g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 1g
- Vitamin A: 51% DV
- Vitamin C: 67%
- Vitamin K: 615%
- Vitamin B6: 2%
- Folate: 12%
- Potassium: 5%
- Manganese: 3%
Surpassing any ordinary garnish, parsley, a member of the carrot family, provides a good source of protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. With more than half the daily requirement of Vitamin C, which serves as an anti-inflammatory agent, parsley combats osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The high presence of Vitamin C means that parsley not only accelerates the body’s ability to repair wounds, but also helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. With a whopping dose of Vitamin K, parsley prevents calcium build-up that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. And chocked full of Vitamin A, parsley is a powerhouse when it comes to helping the body metabolize proteins and sugar.