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Jun 9, 2009 02:56 PM

How to harvest parsley

Can someone please tell me how to harvest parsley correctly? Do I cut it at the base like chives, or just snip off the leaves? Should I expect the plant to last throughout the summer or do I need to reseed like cilantro?

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Snip it at the base for two reasons. 1) The stems are perfectly edible (provided that they're not flower stalks, which tend to be tough) and are a shame to waste. And 2) if you just snip off the leaves, the stem will dry out and die and it'll be ugly!

    Parsley is a biennial, so whether it will last through the summer depends on how old the plant is. If this is its first year, it should last. And even if it starts to bolt, you can prolong its life by repeatedly cutting the flowering stalks. You'll recognize them -- they emerge from the center of the plant, and are thicker and more upright that the rest of the stems.

    1. I have mine in a 6" pot and all I did was pull all the stems together, like I was making a pony tail, and cut the whole thing about 1" up from the base. Within about a week, there was much new growth - just like chives.