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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

Common parsley

Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum

Plant Family: Apiaceae

Close Relatives: Carrot, celery, dill, cilantro and coriander, anise, fennel, angelica, lovage

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g.  seasoning, garnish, leafy green)                                             

Italian flat leaf parsleyCurled-leaf parsleyItalian flat leaf parsley in the field
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Two main types are grown – curled-leaf and Italian flat-leaf, and these may have different markets. This profile does not discuss root parsley. For more information on parsley production refer to the OMAFRA Vegetable Guides.

Propagation method

Most commonly by direct seeding; less commonly by transplants from seeds.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates

March to April

Field Seeding Dates

April to May

Field Transplanting Dates

April to June

In-row spacing

0.5-2 cm (direct seeding); 10-15 cm (transplanting).

Between row spacing

30-40 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. In Indiana and Oregon 90-120 kg/ha nitrogen is recommended applied divided over several application. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained soils, all soil types

Soil pH

6.1-6.5 (mineral soils); 5.5 (muck)

Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost tolerant

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions

Days to harvest

60-80 days (direct seeding); 40-60 days (transplanting)

Specialized equipment


Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting; continuous harvest from successive plantings

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest parsley by cutting and bunching all of the leaves about 3-4 cm above the crown, allowing the crown to re-grow for additional harvests. Continuous harvests can also be achieved by staggering harvest times across the field. Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Cracked ice used in or around packages will help maintain quality during transportation.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 95-100%

Temperature: 0°C

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 2-3 weeks

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates:
Carrot weevil, parsley worm, leafhoppers, aphids, cabbage looper, cutworms

Diseases: Leaf spots and blights (e.g. Septoria, Alternaria), damping-off, root rot, aster yellows, nematodes

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Corn earworm, flea beetles, tarnished plant bug

Diseases: Leaf blights (e.g. Cercospora, Phoma), powdery mildew, crown and root rots (e.g. Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Pythium), viruses, bacterial leaf spot

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions. 


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: four-lined plant bug, septoria leaf spot. Disease pressures can be reduced through proper site selection and by promoting good air movement through the canopy. Only pest control products registered specifically on "lavender", "Crop Group 19: Herbs and Spices Group" and "Crop Subgroup 19A: Herb Subgroup" can be applied to this crop. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section. Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product. For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. For pest control products registered on this crop refer to OMAFRA Publication 838.

Septoria leaf spot on flat leaf parsleySeptoria leaf spot on curled-leaf parsleyParsleyworm on parsleyLeafhopper damage on parsley
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. McKeown, A.W., C.J. Bakker and J. Schooley. 1998-2002. Herb Demonstration Garden, University of Guelph Simcoe Research Station, unpublished.
  2. Westerveld, S., Elford, E., Filotas, M. and J. Todd. 2010-present. OMAFRA herb demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  3. Harris, A., Filotas, M., Elford, E., Westerveld, S., McDonald, M.R., and M. Tesfaendrias.2011. A survey of pests in Ontario Hop Yards, 2011. Undergraduate Student Experiential Learning Program/University of Guelph/OMAFRA, unpublished.
  1. Jasinski, J. et al. 2008. Parsley pest management strategic plan for Ohio. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
  2. Oregon State University. 2004 Parsley. Commercial Vegetable Production Guides.
  3. Simon, J.E., J. Rabin and L. Clavio. 1988. Parsley: A production guide. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.
  4. Small, E. 2006. Culinary herbs, 2nd Edition. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.