Herbs are a wonderful addition to any meal, and parsley is no exception. This leafy green herb has a mild flavor that can enhance the taste of many different dishes. Best of all, it's easy to grow indoors with just a little bit of effort. Follow these simple tips on how to grow parsley indoors, and you'll be harvesting your own homegrown parsley in no time!
What is Parsley?
Parsley is a biennial herb in the family Apiaceae. Native to the Mediterranean region, parsley is now cultivated all over the world and is one of the most popular herbs in the world. There are two main varieties of parsley – curly parsley and flat-leaf (also called Italian) parsley. Curly parsley is often used as a garnish, while flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor and is commonly used in cooked dishes.
Parsley has long been used as a flavoring agent in both cooked and raw dishes. It can be used to garnish soups, salads, and main courses or added to sauces, marinades, or dressings for an extra boost of flavor. Parsley is also a common ingredient in many traditional dishes from the Mediterranean region, such as tabouli (a Levantine vegetarian dish made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onions, and fresh herbs) and pesto alla Genovese (a sauce originating from Liguria made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil).
In addition to its culinary uses, parsley has also been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Parsley is rich in vitamins A and C as well as minerals like iron and potassium. It has been used to treat digestive problems like indigestion and gas while also being effective as an diuretic. Some folk remedies even suggest using parsley to freshen bad breath!
How to Grow Parsley Indoors
Choose the Right Container
The first step in growing parsley indoors is to choose the right container. Parsley plants have shallow roots, so they don't need a lot of depth to thrive. A wide, shallow pot or planter will work perfectly. Just make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom so that excess water can escape.
Fill the Container with Soil
Next, fill your container with a high-quality potting mix. You can find potting mix at any garden center or home improvement store. Be sure to mix in some organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to help the soil retain moisture.
Plant the Seeds
Once your potting mix is ready, it's time to plant the seeds. Sow them about ¼ inch deep and 2 inches apart. After planting, water the soil gently to moisten it without washing away the seeds. Place the pot in a sunny spot and keep an eye on it; the seeds should germinate within 7-10 days.
Thin out the Plants
Once your parsley plants have sprouted, thin them out so that only the strongest seedlings remain. Simply pinch off the weaker seedlings at the base of their stems. Doing this will ensure that each plant has enough room to grow and produce plenty of leaves.
Harvest the Leaves
Your parsley plants should be ready to harvest within 4-6 weeks after planting. To harvest, simply cut off individual leaves as needed using sharp scissors or gardening shears. You can also cut off entire stems if you need a large quantity of parsley for a recipe. Just be sure to leave at least 2-3 inches of stem on each plant so that it can continue growing.
With just a little bit of effort, you can easily grow your own parsley indoors! All you need is a shallow container, some potting mix, and some parsley seeds. Once your plants have sprouted, thin them out and place them in a sunny spot inside your home. In 4-6 weeks, you'll be able to harvest fresh parsley leaves for all your favorite recipes! So now that you know how to grow parsley indoors, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!