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Parsley (bot. Petroselinum crispum) is one of the most popular kitchen herbs in all variations and should not be missing in any garden - after all, nothing beats an aromatic herb kitchen. In this article you will find out how and when you can best harvest the versatile herb and what needs to be considered when cutting. With our tips, parsley planted in the bed as well as potted parsley will grow even better afterwards - for a lush harvest and more taste.

When to harvest parsley?

Basically, there is no specific date or period when you can best harvest parsley. You can use knives or scissors all year round if you need a few papers in the kitchen. The cabbage tastes best freshly cut, and it cannot be stored for a particularly long time - after just a few days in the refrigerator, the stalks lose their characteristic aroma.

However, you should not only cut off as much as you are currently using. With a regular, vigorous pruning, you stimulate the growth of the plant and thus ensure a rich harvest. Excess parsley can be frozen very well and thus retains its aroma. The pruned plant then sprout vigorously and develops a bushy appearance with numerous leaves.

Tip: In contrast to leaf parsley, root parsley is harvested from October at the earliest. The long, parsnip-like turnips can remain in the ground until February and can simply be pulled out when needed. The leafy green tastes very similar to leaf parsley and is also used. However, you can only harvest this in summer.

Can you use parsley after flowering?

However, there is one restriction when it comes to harvesting time: as soon as parsley starts to flower, you can no longer use it. From this moment on, the herb produces more poisonous apiol, which has unpleasant consequences in the digestive tract. The consequences are cramps and diarrhea, excessive consumption can also cause cardiac arrhythmia. Furthermore, parsley herb loses its taste from this point on.


The correct harvest time at a glance:

  • possible all year round
  • also in the winter
  • as soon as a stem has at least 3 pairs of leaves
  • no longer after the beginning of flowering

Tip: If you dig up the herb from the garden bed in winter and put it in a pot, you can use it until spring. However, planting out in the spring is no longer worthwhile because the parsley then begins to bloom. Such specimens are also unsuitable for seed production because they have not hibernated and are therefore unlikely to develop seeds suitable for sowing.

Cut right

So that the parsley plant benefits from the cut and does not die afterwards, the right approach is very important. Therefore, please note these tips when cutting:

  • Use stems with at least three pairs of leaves
  • cut just above the ground
  • not just pluck off individual leaves
  • these no longer grow back, the stalk remains bare
  • Always cut the stems from the outside in
  • Definitely leave the heart of the plant standing!
    • recognizable by thicker stems in the middle of the plant
    • Otherwise the parsley will die

Use sharp and previously disinfected pruning shears or a similar knife for the cut so that no germs (e.g. from other previously cut plants) are transmitted. Remove and discard yellow leaves immediately.

Tip: Parsley does not need to be cut back before winter, you can just leave it in the bed and continue harvesting when needed. Only when it gets really frosty do you cut back the plants and freeze them - finely chopped - for further use. It sprout in spring and can still be used until flowering between June and July - just before the leaves are particularly aromatic.

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