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Thin leaves and white flowers of sea parsley
Sea parsley is the herb or vegetable you never knew you needed. This native bush tucker plant, which tastes like a mix of celery and parsley with mild salty notes, can be used as a substitute in recipes that require celery or parsley. Add it to your vegie patch today!


What you need to know about sea parsley

Name: sea parsley, native parsley (Apium prostratum var. prostratum).

Height: 30–50cm.

Plant type: annual or biennial herb/vegetable.

Climate: warm temperate and sub-tropical.

Soil: well-drained, enriched with organic matter.

Position: full sun to part shade.

Foliage: small, broad or narrow divided leaves, resembling parsley.

Flowering: clusters of small white flowers appear from spring to summer.

Feeding: liquid feed regularly throughout the growing season.

Watering: water regularly.

Appearance and characteristics of sea parsley

Sea parsley is a low-growing ground cover that grows 30–50cm tall and up to 1m wide. It has long, thin stalks with parsley-like leaves. All parts of the plant are edible and are said to have a taste that is a cross between parsley and celery, but with a salty flavour. It is drought-tolerant once established.

A sea parsley plant with white flowers

Uses for sea parsley

Use sea parsley in any dish or garnish that calls for celery or parsley. It’s high in vitamin C and was used by early colonists to help stave off scurvy. Consider adding to fresh fruit juices, but do so in moderation. 

How to grow sea parsley

Choose a spot in full sun to part shade with well-drained soil. Add plenty of organic matter, like compost and aged manure, and dig in well. If growing in a pot, fill with a premium quality potting mix. Dig a hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the existing root ball. Remove the seedling or young plant from its pot, loosen the root ball and position in the centre of the hole. Backfill, firm down and water in well. 

Caring for sea parsley

While drought-tolerant, sea parsley will benefit from regular watering throughout the growing season. Apply an organic mulch, such as pea straw or sugarcane, around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.

How often should you water and feed sea parsley?

Water often to keep the soil moist. This may mean watering once every couple of days, or more in hot, dry conditions. 

Feed regularly in spring with an organic-based liquid fertiliser

How and when to harvest sea parsley

Harvest as needed by picking the outer stems throughout the season. When flowers appear, cut them off for use in cooking or allow them to set seed, and collect the seed for cooking or next season’s plantings.

Diseases and pests that affect sea parsley

Sea parsley may be attacked by sap-sucking insects like aphids, white fly or spider mites. If sighted, treat with a suitable organic insecticide.

How to propagate sea parsley

Grow sea parsley from seed or seedlings. In spring, sow seeds in a tray of seed-raising mix, position in a warm spot and keep the soil moist. Sea parsley germination can take up to 4 weeks.

Safety tip

After applying fertiliser, delay harvesting for a few days and rinse well before cooking and eating. If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

If you like this then try

Red back ginger: a clumping perennial with attractive red-green leaves that have a mild ginger flavour.

Lemon myrtle: a gorgeous small-medium tree with lemon-scented foliage. 

Old man saltbush: an attractive silvery-grey shrub with delectable salty leaves.

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!


Photo credit: tuckerbush.com.au


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