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Does Parsley Grow Back Every Year? (Explained)

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Perennial herbs return every year for at least 3-5 years. Annual herbs, on the other hand, die after one year.

Parsley is neither of the two. It is a biennial, which means that parsley does not die after one year, but it does not return year after year either.

So, does parsley grow back every year? Parsley does not grow back every year. It only comes back once, after its first year. Afterward, it goes to seed, withers, and dies. Parsley does not return after the second year.

Will Parsley Reseed Itself?

The parsley only grows for one gardening season before it starts to flower. The faster it flowers, the quicker it will complete its cycle and die.

However, you can prolong the lifespan of the parsley by carefully pinching away the flowering on top of the parsley plant.

On the other hand, though you can let the parsley flower, in which case, it will reseed. In addition, the plant reseeds more easily in temperate climates.

The parsley is mainly grown as an annual herb. Its leaves grow tougher and become bitter as it regrows, which makes them unfit for consumption.

Additionally, the parsley does not reseed after winter. After the cold winter temperatures, it blooms, seeds, and dies.

Can Parsley Survive Winter?

Although parsley is a biennial, it lives through winter. It can also continue to produce healthy leaves as long as it is receiving enough sunlight.

Parsley can survive the winter but will not remain alive long afterward. However, soon after the winter, the plant will regrow to its standard size.

After which, it will begin to make flower buds, set seeds, and die. As soon as the plant begins to seed, the leaves will have less flavor than they did during the first year.

Considering that you may still want to harvest your parsley herbs after their second year.

You can take these simple steps to preserve your parsley over the winter.
1. You can move your parsley indoors at the end of summer.
2. Place it in a sunny window, where it can continue to produce edible leaves for most of the summer.
3. If you don’t have a sunny window, you can use fluorescent or LED lights.
4. You can also grow parsley in a cool greenhouse during the winter.

Can Parsley Survive A Freeze?

Although parsley is not a perennial herb, it is as cold-hardy as other perennials like oregano, thyme, mint, and sage.

Thus, parsley can survive extremely low temperatures. It can grow in cold winter temperatures while maintaining flavorful foliage.

The parsley is hardy only to about 10-20°F. Once the temperatures become lower, the parsley will bolt faster.

Even without the influence of winter, the parsley should be grown as an annual herb.

Because it usually grows beautifully during its first year. But once it grows through winter, the resulting plant usually bolts, resulting in tough, bitter leaves.

Although parsley prefers temperatures about 50-70°F, it can survive temperatures as low as 20°F. As such, the plant is winter hardy.

Parsley tolerates mild frosts and will continue to grow in winter, as long as it is provided with some protection or grown indoors.

So how can you protect your parsley or grow parsley in the winter?

Remember, instead of overwintering, you can plant parsley and groom it so you can keep harvesting even during the winter.

1. Cut already grown plants back before winter and apply at least 2-3 inches of mulch around them. The mulch will keep the ground from freezing and killing the plant over the winter.

2. You can also try keeping your parsley in a cold frame or cloche. Doing that will not only protect your plant from the cold.

But the heat from the ground will be trapped, warming up the plant’s temperature by several degrees.

3. You can also add a layer or two of coarse mulch over the parsley. Like many herbs, it can survive the winter because of the insulation provided by straw, strong bark, or mulch.

4. With mulch, the herbs can even produce new growth. If you desire to cut some leaves from the plant, simply do so carefully and cover up the plant again.

5. You can also grow your herbs in front of a sunny window. Ensure that the temperatures range from 60-70°F, and the plants get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.

6. It is pretty easy to grow parsley on a sunny windowsill, in a pot, or even by putting a few stems in a glass of water for some weeks.

7. For potted plants, use a well-draining planting mix in your pot or container. And make sure to water deeply when the top inch of the soil goes dry.

How Much Sun And Water Does Parsley Need?

Water and moisture preferences for herbs vary widely. The only constant variable is that the plants need sunlight and water to grow.

But what quantities of sunlight and water is ideal for the parsley.

Most times, parsley does best with some shade to protect it from the scorching sun.  Although parsley is a summer plant, you can grow it in a partially shaded position.

However, if the parsley is being grown during winter, it will need to be grown in full sunlight and must be well protected.

Plant parsley in a place with full sunlight. However, if the parsley is growing in a warm climate, remember to provide partial shade.

When the sun is high, remember always to keep the soil moist because the heat will dry up the water giving the parsley a drooping appearance.

Water is as crucial as sunlight for keeping parsley alive and happy. If you let the soil go too dry, the plants wither and die.

But you have to watch the water as well. Too much water and the plant will rot from the roots to the stems.

Water the parsley frequently before it takes root to ensure that you firmly establish the plant. But, once it reaches full size, 1-2 inches of rainwater is enough for outdoor herbs.

If there aren’t enough rain, water outdoor herbs as well.

For indoor herbs, 1-2 inches of supplemental water per week is ideal for the parsley to keep growing well.

Conclusion

Parsley is a biennial warm-weather herb, and unlike perennial herbs, it does not grow back every year. Although it survives the winter, it dies away soon afterward.

It is also a resilient herb that does well in freezing winter temperatures. However, the parsley needs a lot of sunlight to thrive.

It may seem like a demanding herb. However, it’s a great plant to have in your garden.

References

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