Parsley-Flat Italian

  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Sun: Full sun/part shade
  • Plant Size: 1 foot tall
  • Culinary Use: Leaves for garnish, seasoning, salads

Flat Italian parsley looks a lot like cilantro, but after one taste you’ll know it’s definitely parsley. The leaves have intense flavor that holds up well in cooking, perhaps better than curled parsley, making it a favorite of cooks. Italian parsley also holds up well in hot summer weather. Parsley leaves are loaded with a surprising amount of vitamins and minerals, and they offer an abundance of fresh flavor and color. Like curly parsley, it's a favorite food of the beautiful black swallowtail caterpillar. They can strip a plant of all its leaves, so many gardeners plant extra to share.

Parsley is notoriously hard to grow from seed, so these transplants are definitely your best bet. Plant in spring and fall in full sun, or part shade in areas with hot, sunny summers. In zones 7 and warmer, frost-proof parsley will last through winter; it’s a great choice for a winter garden with other cool-season herbs, veggies, and flowers. It will bloom and go to seed the second spring, though; pull up and replace plants when they flower.

Plant Spacing: 15-18 inches. Plants Per Person: 1 to 2 for seasoning; 2 to 4 for parsley salad.

Secrets to Success »

Make sure parsley doesn’t wilt or yellow by giving the plants rich, moist soil, and keeping the roots cool with mulch. Fertilize regularly with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, especially after harvests. In fall, cut back spring-planted parsley and supply another dose of fertilizer.

Harvest and Use »

Cut the leafy stems from the plant at the base of the stem, taking larger outer leaves first. Use chopped Italian parsley leaves in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and E, and iron. Another bonus is its natural breath-freshening power.

Try these garden companions »

  • Genovese basil, for a fresh take on pesto with part basil, part parsley.
  • Thyme, sage, oregano, kale, collards, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, spinach for winter herb and vegetable gardens.
  • Pansies and violas in winter landscapes and containers.

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