Parsley Leaves Turning Yellow – Causes and Prevention

Most people associate parsley with aesthetics and beauty. That’s why it is often used to garnish dishes in the form of a garnish. But not many people know that parsley can be used in cooking as a flavoring agent, as well as a food source. The plant is scientifically called Petroselinum crispum. It is widely used to diversify the flavors of different recipes with its distinctive taste and aroma.

Parsley green leaves turn yellow when exposed to the bright light of the summer season. While it is considered a natural process in some plants, in this case, it can be attributed to indoor lighting or overfilling of water tanks. There are solutions that can be done right at home to prevent these yellow leaves from turning brown and withering.

The reason parsley leaves turn yellow is because of the petrochemical compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage if ingested in large amounts. These compounds are found in almost all species of the genus Petroselinum. This compound is naturally resistant to insect damage but is still unhealthy for consumption. Like other plants that contain this compound, only the parsley roots are edible. Although the plant is not generally grown as a root crop, some people grow parsley in vegetable gardens.


1. Lack of sun exposure

This is the number one cause why parsley leaves turn yellow. The plant is largely grown indoors, and if you do not give it enough sunlight, it will suffer from its lack. To discover more about this problem, place your parsley outdoors under a bright summer sun for a day or two. If the leaves turn yellow, bring them back inside until you find a good spot for them.

2. Parsley leaf yellowing due to overwatering

Another great reason why your parsley leaf turns yellow is overwatering. The parsley leaves turn yellow because they are constantly waterlogged. A simple solution would be to pour enough water into the plant, so it gets enough air circulation and a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This will ensure that your parsley is properly hydrated and not dried out.

3. Overfilling reservoir

The bigger the reservoir you put your parsley in, the more it’ll suffer from drying out since the water will be exposed to the sun longer. This causes the plant to suffer from a lack of sunlight and overfilling. A solution to this problem is to use a smaller reservoir so that the parsley can be watered more frequently and avoid any harm caused by overfilling.

4. Fungal growth

Another reason parsley leaves turn yellow is their growing roots being invaded by fungus. This caused the leaves to turn yellow, usually due to not washing away the water from around them. The answer to this problem is a simple step of washing away the reservoir, pulling out the roots, and placing the parsley in clean water.

Parsley root rot and green tip rot are examples of fungi that will attack the roots of parsley due to the soil’s lack of humidity. This is why proper watering and regular dustings are necessary if you have parsley plants indoors or don’t have time to take them outside. The best way to prevent this problem is to keep your plant’s soil moist as much as possible by watering it once a week.

The two most common forms of root rot are yellowing leaves and white lesions on your parsley. Yellowing leaves are caused by overfilling and overwatering. White lesions on the roots are caused by fungi such as Phytophthora cinnamomi. Root rot grows very fast, and it may cause the leaves to die off if not treated right away completely. To prevent this problem, keep your parsley plant’s reservoir filled with clean water and make sure to wash out all the dirt located around the roots without fail.

5. Greenfly attacks

Another reason why your parsley leaves turn yellow is because of greenfly infestation. This happens due to certain pests that feed on the plant’s sap, causing leaves to wilt and yellow. The smaller the plant, the more susceptible it is to this problem. You can prevent small parsley plants from getting infected by these pests by rotating them so that every part of the plant is exposed to the sun.

6. High temperatures

If your parsley plant is not properly taken care of, you may start noticing that the leaves are curling up, turning yellowish, and eventually dying off. High temperatures mostly cause these problems, and moving the plant to a cooler place is best. High temperatures are especially harmful to young parsley plants since they are still growing.

7. Insect infestation

It is also possible that your parsley is suffering from being attacked by insects, resulting in the leaves turning yellow and dying off. The damage caused by insects is often found on the bottom leaves, infecting the other leaves as well.

8. Non-soil-based potting mixture

Parsley is a plant that can grow well in a wide variety of soil types, but if you’re using soil from your backyard, chances are it contains too much clay, which might be harmful to your parsley’s root system. Therefore, instead of using potting soil, you should use a mixture that is non-soil based. You can easily make your own mixture by applying sand to the bottom of your container and then watering it with garden compost or other organic products.

9. Placing parsley in direct sun

Parsley leaves turn yellow as a result of being exposed to direct sunlight. To prevent this, do not place your parsley in an area that receives more than 6 hours of direct sunlight each day and no shade whatsoever.

10. Lack of light in winter

Light conditions are also critical in determining how fast your parsley leaves turn yellow. If it is not receiving enough light, it can rot and die. To protect it from losing its leaves, place a parsley tree in a north-facing window so that it gets enough light all year round.

11. Poor watering practices

Since parsley leaf yellowing occurs due to overwatering, it is important to ensure you are not over-watering it. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure you are always checking the soil moisture by sticking your finger into it. If the soil is moist below the first knuckle, then there is no need to water your plant.


1. Cut outer yellow leaves

In most parsley plants, the damage is localized at the edges of the plant where it meets the soil. When you cut off the affected leaves, you will find that the inner leaves remain healthy and green.

2. Cut off old stems when transplanting

When planting parsley, do not bury it too deep because this may cause problems with roots outgrowing their space or even be damaged or suffocated by surrounding soil as they try to make room for themselves. After you have planted your parsley and the roots are exposed, the leaves can turn yellow.

3. Transplant parsley in early spring or fall

When planting your parsley, make sure that the soil is not too wet when you do so. Do not over-water them right after planting, and do not overwater them at all. It also helps if you keep them out of direct sunlight for 3-4 days to prevent sunburns as they adjust themselves to their new homes and environments.

4. Cut off yellow leaves at their exact base

Choose a healthy-looking parsley leaf that is not damaged and cut it off at the bottom where the main stem meets the soil. This tip works for both parsley roots that have turned yellow and leaves. Simply cut your parsley off where you see damage or burnt areas.

5. Dilute your soil mixture by adding sand or vermiculite

If your parsley loses its color from being overwatered, you should consider diluting the mixture of your potting soil with other products like sand and vermiculite. This will allow air circulation to mix in with oxygen and carbon dioxide for a healthier plant.

6. Increase light exposure for parsley roots

Parsley is a natural sun lover, but if you do not get enough light and air circulation, the leaves will be yellow in color as they struggle to stay hydrated. To avoid this issue, place 1/4 inch of gravel or broken-up charcoal in the base of the plant’s soil and place them on a tray of small pebbles, so they can happily enjoy the sunlight while breathing all the nutrients that the sand and gravel provide.

7. Transplant parsley with the help of garden compost and humus

To ensure that your parsley does not lose any nutrients, you should use compost or hummus as a barrier between the roots and the soil. This will prevent the soil from penetrating into the root system and stealing away any valuable nutrients that may have been left by its dead plants. By using this method, your parsley roots will be able to absorb as much of these nutrients as possible until they are fully grown and ready to be transplanted.

8. Water parsley with a fine spray or soft stream

Be careful not to overwater your parsley plant because it could lead to root damage and eventual death of the plant. Watering parsley in this manner will lead to a healthier and less yellow-leafed plant.

9. Add a 3-4 inch layer of pebbles or gravel to the bottom of your pot

When planting parsley, ensure there are no pebbles or gravel in the bottom half of your pot. This will help protect your roots from being too wet and exposed and ensure they are exposed to sunlight as much as possible. Otherwise, they will not be able to get enough oxygen, and it may cause them to turn yellow.


Parsley can grow almost anywhere and will thrive. Parsley is an herbaceous perennial plant, which means that it has an increased growth rate during the winter season, but a reduced growth rate during the rest of the year. This is because it often goes through a dormant period where it does not need to be watered or fertilized. During dormancy, it only needs 5-6 hours of sunlight a day with no shade.

Because parsley has such high water and nutrient content, it is susceptible to pests, fungi, and damage from too much water. Parsley can also be affected by viruses that can cause discoloration and rotten spots in leaves. Try to avoid all of these problems by giving your parsley more sunlight and a more frequent watering schedule during the winter months.

Parsley is a popular culinary herb whose main purpose is to enhance food taste. It is often associated with Italian cuisine but is also used in French and Greek dishes. It can be eaten fresh or used as a garnish on soups, salads, and pasta. In addition to its culinary uses, parsley has many other benefits that can be easily seen throughout the garden. It is known for reducing the negative effects of certain household chemicals on people’s health, especially children and pregnant women. It is also a known astringent and can be used instead of water as an ingredient for beauty products such as cleansers, creams, and soaps. Because it can clear the skin by drawing out excess moisture, it can even be used to treat fungal infections.

Birds are often attracted to parsley plants because the foliage is white or pale green with pink veins on its stems. It does well in containers because the roots are stored in shallow containers, making it easy to transplant once established. If the weather gets too cold, the leaves will fall off, but they will grow back once warm weather returns to your region. If you want to enjoy your parsley all year long, you can simply store it in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel or in an upright container with moist peat moss.

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