Parsley is not the type of herb that needs a lot of nutrients in the soil, but if you want to improve the quality of the aromatic leaves and increase your harvest, fertilizing parsley should be one of your priorities. The type and frequency of fertilizing can be decisive factors in the success of this herb.
How often should you fertilize parsley? When it comes to fertilizing parsley, less is more. The herb thrives with a liquid fertilizer administered at half strength. You should apply the fertilizer about once every 3 to 4 weeks. For parsley growing indoors, feed the herb once every 5 to 6 weeks.
The quality of the fertilizer can impact the quality of the leaves you harvest. Read more to find out which commercial fertilizers are best for your parsley and which homemade fertilizers you can use as alternatives to feed the herb.
Guide To Fertilizing Parsley
One of the prerequisites of growing herbs at home is to provide them with the right nutrients. Even if you’re growing parsley as an ornamental plant, you still need to make sure that it’s getting enough fertilizer at the right frequency. This guide walks you through the different fertilizers to feed your parsley and when to use them.
When To Fertilize Parsley
In general, parsley doesn’t require a lot of feeding. Too much fertilizer in the soil can backfire and cause the plant to wilt instead of flourish. If you’re growing parsley outdoors, apply the liquid fertilizer once every 3 to 4 weeks. Make sure the fertilizer is at half-strength. For indoor parsley, you should fertilize it once every 5 to 6 weeks. Start applying the fertilizer once the seedling is 3 inches tall, and keep feeding it until bloom time.
Best Fertilizer for Parsley
Not all fertilizers on the market are good for parsley. The herb has sensitive roots, and a strong fertilizer could burn it. The following are the best fertilizers to use with parsley.
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles
Designed specifically for edible herbs and veggies, this fertilizer contains organic materials that nourish parsley. It comes in granular form, so you’ll need to distribute it evenly on the soil and gently work it into the top few inches. Use at half the recommended strength on the package to avoid burning the sensitive herb. Apply it once every 4 to 6 weeks right before watering the plant.
Espoma Organic Garden-Tone
Espoma offers the right combination of natural and organic ingredients with a patented Bio-tone formula that contains both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. In addition to a 4-3-3 nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio, the fertilizer also contains calcium. Apply the fertilizer when transplanting parsley. It’s mild enough not to damage the roots of the herb even if it comes in direct contact with the root ball.
Dr. Earth Home Grown Liquid Fertilizer
The main ingredients of this organic fertilizer are recycled vegetables, meat, and fish. It doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and is suitable for organic plants as well as sensitive herbs like parsley. It comes in liquid form, but it’s still concentrated and needs to be diluted before applying it. It has the right nutrient ratio for parsley with more nitrogen content than phosphorus or potassium.
Jobe’s Organic Herb Plant Food Spikes
This is another organic fertilizer that sources its ingredients from natural materials and does away with toxins and chemicals altogether. One benefit of Jobe’s fertilizer is that it promotes the development of the root system of parsley to encourage faster growth and help it fight off diseases.
EcoScraps for Organic Gardening
EcoScraps is a fertilizer for leafy, green herbs and vegetables. It’s made of recycled plant parts but does not contain any manure. That makes the fertilizer odorless and suitable to use for indoor parsley.
How Often To Fertilizer Parsley
Parsley doesn’t need a lot of fertilizing. Apply the fertilizer once every 3 to 4 weeks for plants growing in the garden. If you’re growing the herb indoors, use an odorless fertilizer once every 5 to 6 weeks. Make sure the fertilizer is mild and at half-strength before applying it. It’s recommended that you water the plant immediately after each application to further dilute the fertilizer.
Does Parsley Like Coffee Grounds?
Coffee grounds are a popular homemade alternative to commercial fertilizers. What makes them especially appealing to gardeners is the high content of nitrogen. Most leafy vegetables and herbs, including parsley, benefit from a high dose of nitrogen in the soil. It promotes greener and more aromatic leaves. So, mix coffee grounds in the soil as a plant food supplement to feed parsley.
Does Parsley Like Manure?
Manure is a natural fertilizer that contains high levels of nitrogen. It’s a slow-release fertilizer that enriches the soil and keeps parsley fed for many weeks. Mix well-aged manure with the soil before planting or transplanting parsley to give the herb a good start. Apply it again when the herb is 6 inches tall and you start harvesting the leaves. Manure is only suitable for outdoor parsley due to the offensive odors.
Are Eggshells Good for Parsley?
Eggshells are good for herbs in general and for parsley in particular. It takes longer to break down than other fertilizers, which makes it safe to use around the plant. Eggshells are rich in calcium which promotes better plant cell division and triggers fast growth.
Homemade Fertilizer for Parsley: Compost Tea
Compost tea extracts all the beneficial ingredients in compost. Since parsley prefers liquid fertilizers, compost tea is ideal for the herb. You’ll need:
How To Make Compost Tea
To make compost tea, you need 1 cup of compost, 1 cup of soil, 2 cups of straw, 3 leaves, 1 cup of seaweed extract, and 1 cup of pulverized fish. Then follow these steps:
- Fill the bucket with tap water, and let it sit for 24 hours for the chlorine to evaporate.
- Add the compost, soil, straw, and leaves into the mesh bag and mix them well.
- Tie the bag, and lower it into the bucket.
- Add the pulverized fish and seaweed extract to the water, and stir.
- Turn on the aerator to oxygenate the water.
- Check the water temperature regularly, and make sure it’s between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After 36 hours, the compost tea is ready.
- Before applying, add 1 part of water to 3 parts of compost tea, and then spray the parsley once every 4 weeks.
How Much Water Does Parsley Need?
Parsley needs about 1 inch of water per week. In the peak of summer, you might need to increase the water amount as the soil dries out fast. Factor in any rainfall as part of that water quota.
How Much Sun Does Parsley Need?
Parsley is a sun-loving herb that needs between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight every day. Partial shade is recommended in the summer afternoons to protect the leaves.
Parsley needs a nitrogen-high fertilizer once every 4 weeks if you’re growing it outdoors. Indoor parsley needs feeding once every 5 to 6 weeks. A mild liquid fertilizer for herbs is the right fertilizer to use with parsley. Always water the plant immediately after every application.