Parsley is a herb that’s used in a variety of dishes. It has a bright, slightly bitter flavor that works well with soups and sauces.
Since parsley is a fast-growing herb, it’s important to prune your parsley plants on a regular basis.
Regular pruning will help your plants to thrive.
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How to Prune Parsley
Parsley plants should be pruned every 2-3 weeks. Since parsley is very resilient, the plant can be pruned heavily. Focus on trimming the long stems of the plant so that they won’t block light from shorter stems.
Look for long stems that are along the plant’s outer edges. Cut at the base of the parsley stems, leaving approximately one inch of the stem behind.
In addition to looking for long stems, you should keep an eye out for stems that are wide or have started to yellow.
While you can do lots of pruning, you should avoid pruning all the plant’s stems at the same time.
Why Parsley Needs to Be Pruned
Over time, some leaves on your parsley plant will wilt or die. When you prune, you’ll have a chance to remove these leaves, allowing new, healthy leaves to grow in their place.
Pruning can also ensure that new stems can receive plenty of sunlight.
If a plant has a lot of growth, the larger stems can block out sunlight, keeping the rest of the plant from getting what it needs.
When a plant is pruned on a regular basis, it will see more growth and will be healthier overall.
If you forget to prune your parsley plant, it won’t cause any significant damage, but your plant will be in much better shape if it’s pruned consistently.
Tips for Pruning Parsley
Pruning a parsley plant isn’t difficult, but the right approach will give you better results.
Remember these tips when you’re pruning your plant.
1. Inspect Before You Prune
Before you start pruning, inspect your plant from all angles. Pay close attention to the parsley’s shape and structure, and look for signs of new growth.
Evaluating your plant will help you to see where you should be making cuts.
If you see new growths that are being blocked, you should prioritize pruning in those areas.
2. Make Sure You Use Sharp Pruning Shears
While you can use kitchen shears to prune plants, scissors may not be able to cleanly cut through wider stems.
This could cause the plant to develop tears, which could make it more vulnerable to pests.
That’s why you should use pruning shears that are sharp enough to cut through steps with ease. You should periodically sharpen your shears to make sure they stay sharp.
3. Cut at a 45-Degree Angle
If possible, you should make cuts at a 45-degree angle. The cut should point in the opposite direction of any buds on the plant.
Angled cuts like this can help to direct water away from the buds so that they aren’t damaged when your plant is watering. It’s an easy way to protect new growth on the plant.
4. Remove Dead Flowers
It’s important to remove any dead matter from your parsley plant while pruning, including dead flowers.
Flowers continue to absorb energy even after they’re spent, which is why any dead blooms on the plant should be removed.
While dead flowers can be cut away from pruning sheers, you can also remove them by pinching the flower. Deadheading is the term usually used to describe this process.
5. Try Fertilizing Your Soil After Pruning
Pruning keeps your parsley plant healthy, but it can still be a draining process for your plant.
Plants store nutrients in their foliage, and when you remove stems and leaves from the plant, you’re removing some of those nutrients as well.
That’s why you may want to help your plant to replenish lost nutrients by adding a small amount of fertilizer to the soil after you prune.
Overfertilization can damage a plant, so you shouldn’t add more fertilizer if the plant has been fertilized recently.
6. Keep a Pruning Schedule
Since parsley is a plant that needs to be pruned fairly frequently, it can be helpful to come up with a pruning schedule.
That way, you’ll be able to keep track of the last time you pruned your plant and when it needs to be pruned again.
Following a schedule will also allow you to prune at the right time. For example, you can make a point of pruning at the same time you plan on fertilizing your soil.
What to Do With Parsley Cuttings
Any healthy leaves that you remove from your plant can be used in the kitchen. Any leaves that you plan on cooking with should be washed and dried before they’re stored.
Parsley will usually keep for about three to five days in the refrigerator, so if you won’t be able to use your parsley right away, you may want to store it in your freezer.
Once your washed parsley has dried, place it in a freezer bag and roll it to remove any air before the bag is sealed.
Healthy parsley cuttings can also be propagated. Instead of growing parsley from a seed, it can be grown from the stem of a plant.
If you want to grow parsley from cuttings, the cuttings will need to be at least 7 inches long.
You should transfer the cuttings to a vase of water immediately after they are cut.
As long as you keep the parsley cuttings in direct sunlight, they should start to sprout roots within a few weeks.
At this point, you can transfer the parsley from a vase to the soil.
While there are plenty of ways to use healthy parsley cuttings, cuttings with dead or dying leaves should be disposed of.
For large gardens, you may add those cuttings to your compost pile.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Prune Parsley
Why Do Parsley Leaves Turn Yellow?
Over watering or other factors, like root rot can lead to your parsley’s leaves turning yellow. It’s best to prune away yellow leaves quickly to keep your plant healthy.
Should Parsley Flowers Be Removed?
You should pinch or cut back some flowers when you’re pruning flowers. This will reduce the number of seeds that your plant produces and encourage it to produce more foliage.
Regular pruning is crucial if you want to keep your parsley plant healthy.
Frequent pruning will allow your plant to thrive while allowing you as the owner to experience all the benefits of freshly grown parsley.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.