Parsley is a versatile and easy-to-grow herb that can enhance many dishes. To ensure a successful parsley harvest, it’s crucial to plant it at the right time. Here’s a guide to the best time and date to plant parsley for optimal growth.

1. Understanding Parsley’s Growing Requirements

  • Cool-Weather Herb: Parsley thrives in cool weather, making it ideal for spring and fall planting.
  • Soil Temperature: The soil temperature should be around 50-70°F for optimal germination and growth.
  • Sunlight: Parsley prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in warmer climates.

2. Planting Dates by Region

Spring Planting

  • Temperate Climates: Plant parsley seeds 2-4 weeks before the last expected frost date. This allows the seeds to germinate in cool weather and the plants to establish before the heat of summer.
  • Cooler Climates: In regions with longer winters, start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date, then transplant seedlings outdoors after the danger of frost has passed.

Fall Planting

  • Temperate Climates: Sow seeds 6-8 weeks before the first expected frost date. This timing ensures the plants mature in the cooler fall weather.
  • Warmer Climates: In areas with mild winters, parsley can be planted in the fall and grown throughout the winter.

3. Specific Planting Dates

  • USDA Hardiness Zones 3-5:
    • Spring: Start seeds indoors in late February to early March. Transplant outdoors in April.
    • Fall: Direct sow seeds in late August to early September.
  • USDA Hardiness Zones 6-8:
    • Spring: Sow seeds directly in the garden in late March to early April.
    • Fall: Plant seeds in late August to early September.
  • USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11:
    • Spring: Plant seeds outdoors in early February to early March.
    • Fall: Sow seeds in early October to early November.

4. Planting Tips

  • Soil Preparation: Choose a well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. Loosen the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches.
  • Sowing Seeds: Plant seeds about 1/4 inch deep. Parsley seeds are slow to germinate, typically taking 2-3 weeks.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period. Once established, water regularly to maintain even moisture.
  • Thinning: Once seedlings are 2-3 inches tall, thin them to 6-8 inches apart to allow sufficient space for growth.

5. Caring for Parsley

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Fertilizing: Feed parsley with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Harvesting: Begin harvesting leaves once the plant is well-established. Regular harvesting encourages new growth.


Planting parsley at the right time ensures a robust and productive herb garden. By understanding your region’s climate and adhering to these planting guidelines, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown parsley throughout the growing season. Happy planting!