Temperature is a crucial factor in plant life. As soon as the spring season starts, plants develop tender new shoots. Under the plenty of sunlight in summer, shoots develop, and there is peak flowering and fruiting. At the onset of the winter season, the growth of plants stops.
The Winter season brings death to the annual plants. Using all the resources and energies, perennials start preparing for the dormant season. As far as the biennials are concerned, they go dormant once their life cycle is completed.
Parsley is a beautifully lush plant that grows up in a rosette of green foliage. Parsley can either be curved or flat-leafed. It complements the flower beds pretty well. It is rich in nutrients and contains more vitamin C than an orange does.
There is always a debate on the nature of parsley as an annual or perennial plant. In this article, we will discuss the same thing and see which category best suits this plant.
What Are Annuals?
The plants that take one growing season to complete their life cycle are called annuals. The germination, growth, production of seeds and death of annuals take place within the duration of a year. Homeowners who wish to grow annuals again need to replant them in the coming year.
Types Of Annual Plants
There are three categories of annual plants divided on the basis of their ability to withstand temperature.
The first category of annual plants is tender annuals that cannot tolerate low temperatures. Only warm weather suits them best. Plants like basil and marigolds are included in this category.
Talking about the second category of annuals, they are called hardy annuals. As the name suggests, they can tolerate cold weather very well. Some examples of hardy annuals are broccoli, peas, spinach and radish.
Some of the annuals come under the category of half-hardy annuals that do have the tolerance for the freezing temperatures but comparatively less than that hardy annuals. Cauliflower, baby’s breath and lettuce are half-hardy annuals.
What Are Perennials?
Perennials are plants that can grow year after year. They keep growing for longer periods of time. Therefore, you don’t need to replant them at the end of the growing season. There are a lot of flowers and herbs that constitute the class of perennials.
Types Of Perennial Plants
Perennials are classified into three major categories, tender, hardy and half-hardy.
Tender perennials can grow potentially well outdoors. However, it is best to bring them inside in freezing weather conditions. When the climate is warm, tender perennials can grow all year long.
There are a lot of plants that are tender perennials. Some of them include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, dahlias, etc.
Perennials that can handle cold temperatures and frost in the best manner are hardy perennials. For example, asparagus, potatoes, sage, etc.
As far as the half-hardy perennials are concerned, there is a certain limit to the freezing temperatures that they can withstand. Their growth is stunted in the sustained cold. Some of the examples are daylily, mint and hosta.
What Are Biennials?
Plants that take a time duration of two years to complete their life cycle are called Biennials. The germination of these plants takes place in the autumn and spring months. The first year is all about producing leaves, stems and roots until they go dormant.
It’s the next year when they bear flowers, fruits and seeds. Some of the common Biennials are hollyhocks, carrots, kale and celery. The classification of Biennials into tender, hardy, and half-hardy categories is the same as annuals and perennials.
Parsley is Annual or Perennial
Parsley – A Biennial Plant
While the question is always about whether parsley is annual or a perennial, the answer is that parsley is a biennial; it is not a common classification; therefore, people are usually confused about the right type of this plant.
Parsley takes two gardening seasons to come back. In the meantime, it produces leaves, seeds and a substantial taproot. Just like every other biennial plant, the first year of parsley is about its delicious leaves. In the second year, parsley goes to seed.
The final year of parsley comes with a bonus that is usually overlooked, an edible taproot. As a matter of fact, the root of the parsley plant carries the most flavour.
Plantation Of Parsley
Just like a bunch of other herbs, the performance of parsley is quite well in a container. Homeowners who intend to plant parsley indoors need to know that there must be a sunny window along with which you can keep the parsley pot.
If your garden has roses, the best place for parsley to be is around the rose bushes. Planting parsley in the company of tomatoes is not bad either. This combination is rather excellent.
Although parsley takes an easy start from the seed, it germinates slower than the rest of the herbs. Having an estimate on the last frost, notice when four weeks are left.
That’s when you need to sow the parsley seeds. If you want the germination process to be speedy, sow the seeds that have been soaked overnight.
Cultivation Of Parsley
Parsley requires the soil to be loamy and moist. When the growing season is starting, add rich compost to the soul. Whether it’s a full-sun environment or a part-sun one, parsley shows tremendous growth in both.
The plantation of parsley indoors comes with the condition of keeping it by the sunny window.
The best growth of parsley is observed when the soil is moist. However, the adaptable nature of parsley makes it drought-tolerant. The aroma and health of roses are known to significantly improve if parsley is planted around them.
How To Harvest Parsley
The biennial nature of parsley is the reason behind its different harvesting cycles. Leaves are the parts that need to be harvested in the first year. Make sure the stalks you choose are located furthest from the centre of the plant.
For the continuous growth of the plant, do not harvest the inner stalk and leaves. The sparse and less flavour intense features of leaves in the second year keep them for harvest and enable them to be used.
An important thing to remember here is that your harvesting should not affect the blooming of parsley. The seeds need to be collected so that you can sow them the next spring.
The root of parsley gets its harvest in the fall of the second year. The flavorful fruit of Hamburg parsley is quite famous. The intensity of flavour and crunch in the raw parsley root is clear when you use it for salads.
Another thing to remember is that the harvest of parsley need not be done all at once. For as long as the growing season continues, you can cut the stems.
Some recipes need fresh parsley. You just have to walk out to your garden and get the required amount of parsley.
You can use the sprigs and leaves of newly harvested parsley right away. You also have the option of keeping them in a refrigerator.
Parsley is neither annual or perennial. It is actually a biennial plant because it lives for two years. The first year gives a lot of green leaves on parsley, but the second year is tough with the formation of flowers and seeds.
Therefore, parsley needs to be pulled in the second year. You need to plant a new plant as if it was annual.