UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Herbs

Parsley is cold hardy and can be productive year-round. It comes in both curly and flat-leaved (Italian) varieties. It is a biennial, meaning it will send up a flower stalk after its first winter, so it is best to set out fresh transplants every spring.

How to grow

  • Type: Biennial, but usually grown as an annual
  • Light: Full sun; likes afternoon shade in hot areas
  • Soil: Well amended, good drainage
  • Water: Moderate; keep soil moist until well-rooted
  • Size: 12-18" high, 12-18" wide, depending on variety

When to plant/propagate

Parsley needs cool weather to germinate, which can take several weeks.

  • From seed: Start seeds 9 weeks prior to transplant date
  • Transplants: For longest production before bolting, plant seedlings in the spring (Feb-May). Seedlings can be transplanted throughout the year, but as a biennial, parsley is likely to bolt the following spring, no matter when it was planted.

Harvesting: Pick continuously throughout the growing season

Indoors: Parsley can be grown as an indoor plant with 6 hours of bright light from a sunny window, or 12-16 hours of supplemental light provided by cool white fluorescent or LED lamps

More information

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

  • Italian Gigante

Also, see our list of Spring Garden Fair Herbs.

*Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu