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Petroselinum crispum
Carrot family
Host Plant

Parsley.jpg (89695 bytes)

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Parsley is a biennial, usually grown as an annual.   There are 2 types of parsley - curley leaved and flat leaved (Italian).  The flat-leaf variety is more flavorful and used more often in cooking.  The curly is better for garnishing, it keeps longer when refrigerated.  I use the flat variety in my garden.

Host plant to the Black Swallowtail caterpillar.


Light:  Full sun/filtered shade

Propagation:  Seeds  Seeds are notorious for being slow to germinate.  You could also start with plants.   Boil water in microwave, then add seeds.  Soak seeds 24 hours, then change water (using hot tap water).  Parsley seeds have a chemical that prevents germination.  After changing water, soak another 24 hours.  Germinate in damp paper towels and zip lock baggies.   Transplant seedlings in the garden one week prior to your last frost date, being careful not to injure the taproot.  This could cause the plant to flower and set seed prematurely.

Soil and Fertility:  Well drained, moist soil of high fertility.  Must be well drained, or the roots will rot if wet.

Hardiness:  Zone 5-9

You'll need at least a dozen plants.  Don't put in rows, but instead, plant in a big clump.  Remember:  butterflies fly in sunshine - parsley will grow in part shade, but the butterflies will visit more if its in sun.  Try planting in a spot where it is only shaded in the hottest part of the day.

Flowers on parsley will attract important allies in your garden.  Beneficial insects require a source of pollen or nectar, just like butterflies, during the adult phase of their lives.  Some of these insects include Lady Bugs and Lacewings, who eat aphids for you.


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