Can I cut my parsley back without killing it?

Asked February 15, 2015, 7:16 PM EST

I have lots of parsley in my garden (the attached photo shows a little of it). It has been volunteering for a few years now, and 2 years ago we had the most wonderful huge parsley "bushes.". My neighbor's spray painting hit the parsley patch last year, so I would like to cut the leaves off the little parsley plants you can see in the picture taken just now and only eat new growth. Can I cut it back without killing it? If so, how? Will these little plants become those big "bushes" again?

District of Columbia pruning parsley lrk

3 Responses

Parsley is a biennial but is usually grown as an annual. After its first winter it flowers and dies. This spring cut out all the damaged parts, harvest what you can, and sow some new seed.

Thanks! If grown as a biennial, does the parsley plant produce a larger "bush" the second year? That's what seemed to happen 2 years ago.

If the plant is not completely winter killed, it may resprout in the spring depending upon winter conditions. Your plant may have been in a good microclimate. If the plant survives, it will send up a seed stalk and die (the second season) completing its biennial lifecycle.