The curly parsley, Parsley crispum var. curlyis one of the two main cultivated parsley, along with flat parsley. Native to southern Europe or western Asia, these two types of parsley are biennial herbs that are often grown as annuals. Curly parsley is about a foot tall. Its green stems are ribbed and branched. It is used in numerous aspects of gastronomy.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about curly parsley, its cultivation and its uses.
The green leaves are shiny, extremely short and curly, forming many dense clusters. We also call curly parsley “double parsley.” Curly parsley is not as fragrant as flat parsleybut its leaves are more decorative. In addition, it is used in most cases to decorate cooked dishes.
Flowering stalks appear in early summer in umbels of small creamy star-shaped flowers. They will then give way to small oval brown seeds that you can harvest for your next planting.
In February, parsley is grown in the south. Elsewhere, wait until March, unless you’re growing it indoors in a pot. Avoid planting in nurseries or barrels as it does not like to transplant.
It is a biennial plant that flowers in the second year of cultivation and dies after flowering. Its stems are straight and measure between 25 and 45 cm. Its roots are thick, similar to a small light bulb. Compared to flat or regular parsley, parsley has curly, more branched leaves that are light green in color and less aromatic than flat parsley. It has a softer and sweeter flavor. Widely used to decorate various dishes. Curly parsley blooms from spring to summer. It grows in long, showy spikes that protrude above the leaves.. Its flowers are small, grouped in greenish-white umbels.
Curly Parsley Uses
Mainly used for decoration of dishes. We can find it in salads, sauces, condiments and as a seasoning for meat and fish. Apart from being used in cooking, coriander is also a very famous medicinal herb.
Curly parsley has similar benefits to flat parsley. Both the seed and its root are used to treat malaria and diseases associated with it due to one of its components called apiol. Curly parsley essential oil stimulates the appetite and increases blood flow to the stomach and uterus. If we eat its root, we activate our kidneys and it is also used to treat inflammation of the prostate. If you eat it raw and fresh, it is excellent for digestion and relieves gas and inflammation. It is a diuretic, stimulant, vasodilator and depurative.
Curly parsley cultivation
Curly parsley requires nutrient-rich soil, good drainage, and a space with partial sun (4 hours of sun). You can plant it directly in your flowerbed, garden or pot (make sure there is room for the roots). It needs regular watering to keep the soil moist, remember that the lower the temperature, the longer the soil will remain wet, so avoid waterlogging to prevent root rot.
To harvest parsley, your plants need to look bushy. We will go directly to the mature stems so that new stems can develop and your plants do not spend unnecessary energy on those that should have already been harvested. Regeneration takes a few weeks and you can trim all of its stems if necessary.
Some essential aspects to take into account are the following:
- Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, but also during the first weeks of plant development.
- Monitor slugs that tend to feed on young shoots to avoid this.
- Cut the pedicels as soon as they appear as young leaves.
- Protect the feet from the harshness of winter with a good leaf mulch until winter harvest (temperatures should not drop too low).
- Let the seed enter the seed so that it is squeezed. So the following year, you can enjoy parsley early in the season.
Plagues and diseases
These are the main pests and diseases that can attack you:
- septoria: One of the most important foliar diseases of parsley. It is caused by a fungus that stains the plant with brown and black spots and dries it up until the leaves rot. Horsetail is the best ecological fungicide. The smartest thing you can do about fungus is to prevent it: keep your plants clean, allow air to circulate, and avoid wetting leaves when you water (fungi like warm, shady, moist places).
- Aphids: Aphids usually appear if irrigation is abused and there is too much nitrogen in the soil. If so, we will use potassium soap dissolved in water or one of the preparations that we offer you at Planeta Huerto. Potassium soap is a natural, ecological, non-toxic product that does not require a safety period and respects auxiliary animals.
- Celery fly: It is usually seen in spring and summer. The female lays eggs on the leaves, and the larvae burrow inside, causing the tissue to dry out. Neem extract is an excellent ecological remedy for parasites.
- Mold: This fungus affects the cotyledons (the main leaves found in the germ of the seeds) and the first leaves, although it can appear later.
Although parsley prefers warm climates, it also resists cold well. We can be sure that it can really be grown in all kinds of climates. Generally prefers moist soil, although it adapts to any type of terrain. In the field, it grows best in deep, loose, cool soils rich in highly decomposed organic matter. Under these conditions and with regular watering very good yields can be obtained.
As for the type of soil, it must be neutral since it does not tolerate pH values below 6,5 or above 8.
Parsley is propagated by seed. It germinates slowly, taking almost a month to develop seedlings, and the soil must be kept constantly moist during this time. The reason for such a long germination period is the fact that we are sowing its fruits (small achenes), each of which contains a small seed.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about curly parsley and its characteristics.