Growing and Saving the Seed Of Parsley

Latin name Petroselinum crispum is a biennial member of the Apiaceae family. This leafy culinary herb can be found in flat leaf and curly leaf varieties as well as types that are grown for their thick edible taproot. Hardy from USDA zones 4-9, parsley is easily integrated into a range of garden designs. It can be grown as a row crop, in the herb garden, containers and in edible landscapes like the cottage garden.



Native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region. Parsley has been cultivated and used for medicinal and culinary purposes for over 2,000 years.


  • Culinary
  • Edible landscaping
  • Container gardening




  • Direct seed outdoors in fall or very early spring; otherwise place the seeds in the fridge for several weeks, then remove from fridge and germinate at 65-70 F.
  • Seeds germinate in 14-35 days.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 65-70 F.




  • Crown root rot is an issue when parsley is planted in boggy or poorly drained soil.
  • To prevent this issue, just ensure well-drained soil.


  • Parsley is a biennial that will grow vegetatively (leaves) in the first year, and flowers and seeds in the second year.
  • In order to flower and set seed, parsley will need to be vernalized, meaning it will need exposure to temperatures lower than 50 F for 10 weeks. Parsley is cold hardy to USDA zones 4. In colder zones, gardeners can carefully lift the plants and overwinter in a root cellar or unheated shed.
  • Plants are insect pollinated and different varieties should be isolated by at least 800 feet.
  • Save seeds from at least 5 plants to ensure strong genetic diversity.
  • Seeds are mature and ready to harvest when dry and brown.
  • You can cut the entire brown umbels and place in a paper bag in a dry location for 5-14 days.
  • Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place. Be aware that parsley seeds, like most apiaceae family members, only remain viable for about 2 years.