Garden snapshot: Parsley.


When asked about “seriously hardy and reliable” herbs for our climate, parsley is always a ready answer. I grew both Italian (flat leaf, seen here) and French (curly leaf) this year – I love them both and can never decide which one is my favourite. I harvested the leaves from all of my plants in late September and we’ve had two snowstorms and a couple of weeks of hard overnight frosts since then, and they are still merrily growing away. If the weather holds, I will get another handful of fresh leaves yet before winter settles in.  Sweet!  I won’t dig these up to overwinter as I have no room indoors (and they won’t last five minutes with our cat)…but I’ve had parsley overwinter inground in the past so perhaps it will be a gift that keeps on giving next year.

Another type of parsley I’ve grown in the past is root (Hamburg) parsley – our growing season is so short in Calgary that I don’t get really large roots from the plants, but I’ve had decent success with them each year I’ve put them in.  And, as a bonus, you can eat the tops as well.  A hugely versatile plant!

Is parsley a favourite of yours, as well?


  1. It may help your plants to with stand your harsh cold winter if you cover your plants with 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of mulch. Remover mulch after your last spring freeze.
    Happy Gardening

  2. Absolutely a favourite Sheryl. Mine usually overwinters but I always sow a new lot anyway as the mice love the roots and we eat so much anyway. Hope yours survives the winter this year. Parsley roots are common in the markets here, as an alternative to parsnips which look almost identical. I have to be careful as they sometimes get mixed up in some shops.

  3. Not too keen on parsley but it is meant for this climate. Thyme and oregano also come back in this climate. Last year French Tarragon came back also. It is not supposed to be winter hardy up here.


    • We had tarragon at the community garden I was a member of previous to the one I’m at now…it was perennial here, and the plants grew to a massive size. We actually had to rip some of them out because they were encroaching on other plants in the herb bed. Oregano and thyme are both reliable perennials in Calgary – glad to hear they are there, as well! I used to grow several types of thyme at our old place. Such pretty (and fragrant) plants!

  4. I’ve had flat leaf parsley overwinter many times. The deal seems to be that it produces seeds biennially, so it overwinters then goes to seed after the next summer.

    • Yes, you’re right about that – it will produce seeds in the second year, and I’ve had this happen before. In our cold climate, it won’t always overwinter, however, so it’s really pleasant when it does!

    • Yes, that is what mine does. I just sow new seed to replace it because it does not replace itself with pups. I never looked for more perennial types with stronger pups.

  5. Root parsley is a new one for me. Our winters here are generally wet and cold, not so much snow. Some plants that overwintered in New England didn’t do so well here, but I think I will give parsley a try.

  6. It has not problem with winter here, and survives right through it with only a bit of protection for the worst frost. I just bury it with maple leaves. However, it bolts and dies the following year. I figure that it should regenerate from pups, but it is easier to just sow new seed.

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