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Parsley is one of the classics in the kitchen due to its characteristic aroma and the numerous possible uses. The herb is offered either in pots or as seeds for your own cultivation in the garden or in tubs. As an alternative to propagating parsley, you can use your own seeds. The harvest of the seeds is unproblematic and enables the cultivation of a large number of parsley plants.
Gain Parsley SeedsProf. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé, Illustration Petroselinum crispum0, edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0
Of course, if you have decided to propagate from seeds, you must first obtain the necessary seeds. For this you have to overwinter your Petroselinum crispum, because parsley seeds are only available from the second season. The reason: It is a biennial plant that develops a lot of green in the first year and then flowers and seeds. Over winter, the aboveground greenery retreats into the outlasting buds to conserve energy. In spring, the parsley will sprout again and form flowers. After the flowering period, which lasts from June to July, the harvest is due. The seeds are recognizable because they sit on the umbels and completely replace the flowers.
This makes harvesting easier. Once you spot the dark brown seed, you can get it in the following way:
- locate mature seeds
- collect from the umbels
- hands are enough
- place in a small jar
After harvesting the parsley seeds, the plants are removed from the bed and disposed of. A compost is very good for this. Parsley is inedible after flowering and should therefore no longer be used in the kitchen. Only the seeds can be used for propagation, consumption is not recommended. Because the seeds don't need a stimulus to germinate, you don't need to stratify them over the winter. But it is necessary to dry them. To do this, they are stored in a place with sufficient fresh air until they are dry. Since this only takes a few days, you will need to store the parsley seeds afterward:
- Put the seeds in the bag
- Material: paper, parchment paper
- close well
- store dry
- do not store warm
Since a parsley forms quite a lot of seeds depending on its size, in most cases you have enough seeds available for the coming season. Shelf life after drying is about three years.
Notice: Do not eat parsley seeds. The contained apiol is inedible in large quantities and toxic for humans, especially for pregnant and weakened people.
After the harvest comes the sowing in the spring. Due to the long germination period, Petroselinum crispum is grown in pots as early as February or sown in the bed from March at a soil temperature of 8°C to propagate. Potting soil is sufficient for the potted plants. Alternatively, you can sow parsley in August. Follow these steps:
- Soak seeds in water
- Duration: 6 to 8 hours
- loosen the bed
- draw rows
- Row spacing: 15 cm
- Planting depth: 2 to 3 cm
- sow in plant rows
- cover with earth
Outdoor specimens will then germinate and can be pricked out once they are large enough. Potted plants are preferred at a temperature of 20°C to 25°C in a bright but not sunny spot. The substrate also needs to be kept moist, which can be done with cling film or a mini greenhouse.
Tip: Parsley plants can be grown particularly well in a row together with radishes, as they germinate and can be harvested much faster. This way you don't have to sacrifice space while waiting for your parsley seeds.
Cuttings offer an alternative to classic sowing that is just as easy to carry out. If you already have a healthy specimen in the garden, it is advisable to use the top cuttings, as a complete plant will grow from them after a short time. For this type of propagation, only select head cuttings from healthy parsley that have lush growth. These must be five to ten centimeters long and should not have formed any flower buds. The bottom pairs of leaves must also be removed. Then proceed as follows:
- Prepare seed pots
- Substrate: compost and sand
- Put the top cuttings in the substrate
- moisten well
- place under a plastic hood or foil
- Location: 20°C to 25°C
- always keep moist
As soon as the head cuttings have formed more pairs of leaves, you can select them and move them to new pots for propagation. After that, they have to endure another winter before they can be planted outdoors.
Tip: Many gardeners are wondering whether propagation from offshoots is also possible, since the shoots of the umbelliferae are quite flexible. However, since there are no eyes on these, offshoots are not suitable for propagating the plant.