George Ndung’u (R) and William Gitau, harvest parsley in Ndung’u herbal farm located in Kagaa, Lari Sub County in Kiambu County. [Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard]

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a versatile herb extensively utilised in culinary and medicinal contexts. It belongings to the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots, celery, and dill, parsley comes in two main varieties. There are two types - Curly Parsley and Flat-Leaf Parsley (Italian Parsley). Both types are abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, iron, and potassium, according to

Bernard Mwangi, who has been farming herbs for approximately five years on his farm in Kiambu, embarked on this venture after encouragement from a friend who owns a restaurant. Mwangi cultivates various herbs such as parsley, sweet mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, dill, and wild arugula.

According to Mwangi, parsley farming is relatively straightforward and can be done in a garden, a container, or even indoors. He offers a basic guide to help beginners get started:

Selecting seeds or seedlings

You can initiate parsley growth from seeds or purchase seedlings from a nursery. If opting for seeds, start them indoors approximately six to eight weeks before transplanting.

Choosing a location

Parsley thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter.

Parsley grows well in well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. The soil should be rich in organic matter, such as compost, to provide essential nutrients. 


If starting from seeds, sow them directly into the soil about a quarter inch deep. If using seedlings, plant them at the same depth as they were in their nursery containers. Space plants about six to 10 inches apart. Maintain consistent soil moisture, avoiding waterlogging. Water deeply whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.


Parsley requires minimal fertiliser but benefits from a balanced fertiliser applied according to package instructions, typically every four to six weeks.


Applying a layer of mulch around the plants helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the roots cool.


Regularly prune parsley by snipping off outer stems and leaves, leaving the inner growth intact. This practice encourages bushier growth and prolongs the plant's life.

Pest and disease control

Watch out for common pests like aphids, caterpillars, and spider mites. Handpick pests or use insecticidal soap if necessary. Avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.

Parsley is susceptible to fungal diseases, especially in humid conditions. To prevent diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot, avoid overhead watering, provide adequate spacing between plants for air circulation, and maintain good garden hygiene by removing debris and diseased plant material.


You can commence harvesting parsley once the leaves are sufficiently large. Harvest by snipping off the outer leaves, leaving the inner ones to continue growing. You can harvest parsley throughout the growing season.


Mwangi notes that since parsley is widely consumed in Kenya, there is a market for it. He supplies to restaurants and sells at farmers' markets, with a bunch fetching between Sh20 and Sh30.