Parsley is an herb that has been used for centuries to add flavor to food. It’s also known to help boost energy levels and aid digestion. However, parsley isn’t only useful for cooking; it can also be grown in your garden. In fact, it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow in an AeroGarden.
AeroGardens are an amazing way to bring fresh herbs into your home without having to buy expensive pots and soil. They are also a great way to get kids interested in gardening and learning about plants.
Once you start growing parsley in an AeroGarden, you’ll need to know when and how to prune parsley AeroGarden for you to start using in your food.
In this article, I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to prune parsley from your AeroGarden.
When to Prune Your Parsley
It grows from seed every year, but even though it’s a biennial, we treat it like an annual when growing it for consumption. When we look at the plant’s growth cycle, we learn a great deal about when to harvest and cut it back.
With annual plants, harvesting and cut backs are done at the same time, so you don’t need to go back two times. That means as you harvest, you’re also cutting it back at the same time.
It’s one of the most fast-growing herbs, so you’ll probably need to cut parsley several times each growing season. After each pruning session, stems will start growing again and you’ll be harvesting again within 2–3 weeks.
The first time to prune newly grown parsley is when it has grown to about 6 inches tall. Each stem should have 3 or more leaves by then.
After germination, your parsley will be fully grown in after four weeks.
Pruning and harvesting at least one time each month will help keep the parsley fresh, and avoid long and leggy stems.
If you happen to be away and unable to prune on-time, the parsley leaves will turn yellow. Remove the yellow leaves and any long and overgrown stems when you are able to.
How to Prune Parsley in the AeroGarden
Here are 4 tips when pruning parsley in your AeroGarden.
1. Remove Damage and Dying Leaves
You want to remove all damaged leaves as soon as possible. Don’t let diseased, damage, or dead sit around on the plant and possibly spread something to weak leaves and stems.
The damaged leaves will also take up space in your AeroGarden, as well as take water and nutrients away from the healthy stems and leaves.
Remove the leaves with pruning scissors or by gently pulling them off. If you pull them off, make sure to save them for composting later.
When deadheading, remove any newly emerging flower heads immediately so that no new blooms form.
Remove the flower buds from the plant when they first appear so that no pollen gets onto them. They won’t be able to produce seeds and grow more flowers compared to parsley.
You can either cut off the flower’s branches at their base, so they won’t grow back, or prune them away entirely if you want to get rid of them completely.
Removing the flower buds from parsley plants redirects energy into leaf formation instead of producing seeds.
When you remove the flowers from the parsley plant, you will see that the leaves will start growing more aggressively.
Parsley is a biennial herb. Once you’ve noticed bitterness of the parsley leaves in its second year, allowing them to grow a full cycle to get back their natural flavors.
3. Prune Outside to Inside
Start pruning the stems and leaves that are on the outside, furthest away from the center of the plant. Those outside leaves and stems are the oldest ones, so they should be more ready to harvest.
Pruning will also help the younger leaves and stems get access to lights for health and growth.
When pruning, remember not to prune more than a third of the stems at one time. Doing so can result in stunted growth.
4. Prune at the Stem Joint
Cutting off the stems is better than pinching them off. Pinching is a common mistake made by gardeners when trimming their parsley plants.
Pinching and pulling leaves off can dry the stems out, which can potentially stop regrowth. It’s better to get a clean cut using pruning scissors.
The best place to prune is where the leaves join the stem. This can help the parsely plant grow back leaves and stems more quickly.
As you prune, be careful not to accidentally cut other stems and leaves, potentially damaging them.
Watch this video to see proper pruning techniques in action:
Reasons to Prune Parsley in AeroGarden
There are many reasons why you would need to prune parsley in your AeroGarden. Here are some examples:
- To encourage new growth
- To keep it tidy
- To prevent overcrowding
- To prevent flowering
- To reduce pest infestation
- To increase yields
- To prevent fungus
- To improve flavor
- To promote healthy growth
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons more in-depth.
1. Increase Parsley Yield
Pruning your parsley helps keep it healthy and encourages new leaf production. In order for it to continue growing, it needs to be pruned so that new shoots develop.
You might think cutting back on the size of the parsley plant would be detrimental, but in fact, doing so could help keep the plant healthy, strong and productive for longer. If you’re looking to grow fresh herbs, you’ll want to harvest them at least once every month so they don’t go bad before you use them.
2. Prevent It from Flowering
Once enough parsley has been grown for several harvests, the leaves will start developing flowers, so you’ll want to remove the flower buds. That will help to prevent seed production. When you allow a plant to produce seeds, it stops growing new shoots and produces fewer leaves. Furthermore, the leaves will begin to lose their flavor and turn bitter.
Pruning will allow for parsley to keep its sweetness longer and last longer.
3. Access to Light for New Growth
In order for plants to grow properly, they need light for photosynthesis. Because the stems keep growing longer and the leaves keep growing larger, they often end up overlapping one another and blocking light from reaching them.
If there are any long stems or leaves, trim them so they don’t get in the way of the LEDs illuminating the rest of the plants.
4. Prevent Fungus
If the parsley gets too crowded, there’s not enough air circulation for moisture to dissipate from within the plants. That results in higher humidity in the immediate area of the plant.
In moist environments like these, fungus grows easily and quickly.
Prune regularly so that fungi and disease don’t take hold. You won’t need to spray for diseases like powdery mildew if you’ve been keeping up with regular pruning.
How to Prune Parsley AeroGarden Final Thoughts
Pruning parsley in the AeroGarden isn’t difficult. If you follow our tips above, you should have no trouble getting started.
Remember to always use sharp tools and make sure to only cut away what you intend to remove. Don’t just pull off the entire stem.
Also, remember to never use chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides near your AeroGarden. They can damage the LED lights used inside.
After each pruning session, you can also add some plant food, liquid fertilizer, to help the younger leaves and stems grow.
Here are other AeroGarden care and grow guides for other plants:
Find various seed pod options for growing parsley and herbs on the AeroGarden website, including your ability to customize your own package of 6, 9, and more seed pods.
Pruning Parsley AeroGarden FAQs
Should you use an AeroGarden to grow parsley?
Yes! If you want to grow parsley indoors, the AeroGarden is perfect for that. It is designed specifically to grow plants indoors, which means you can enjoy fresh parsley and other herbs all year round. The garden unit is more expensive than just a pot and soil, but the AeroGarden provides advantages like less maintenance, less pests, easier to grow, and faster growth.
Should you clean the AeroGarden after pruning parsley?
You do not need to clean your AeroGarden after pruning parsley, but it’s a good idea to clear any dirt, dead leaves and stems away from the grow deck and even possibly in the water. Take a look at the water levels to see if you need to add water and liquid plant food.
Should you lower the AeroGarden lights after pruning parsley?
Yes, you should lower the AeroGarden lights after pruning, because you’ve most likely pruned the highest parsley. Move the grow lights down to about 4 to 6 inches above the highest part of the parsley plant. This will allow for best light exposure to the plant for optimal growth.