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Parsley Caterpillars On Your Parsley Plant

Parsley Caterpillar on the parsley plant
Parsley Caterpillar

I Love Parsley!

There is one plant in the herb family that I love. Parsley! I think having the big lush leaves as a garnish when I make my Thanksgiving turkey always makes that platter look complete. Walking outside and picking what I need to chop up in whatever recipe I am making is also another added plus to growing it.

What To Do With Parsley

This year I decided to freeze some of my leaves in small batches. I washed it, and because you want the leaves to be thoroughly dried before placing them in freezer bags, my husband tied the bunch up to hang over my sink. It was so pretty and smelled so good I thought about leaving the leaves to completely dry instead of freezing. Either way works fine. I did end up cutting it down after a few hours and cutting the stalks off. Then all you have to do is place it in some ziplock freezer bags, and there you have it!! Done!

Parsley In Containers

Years ago, when I used to pot up porch pots to sell, I always loved adding a parsley plant to the mix. Typically I would have it towards the front of the pot. Sometimes having the texture of parsley or other herbs gives it that extra something. I have always felt that having different textures and colors was what made container gardening so much fun.

Parsley Caterpillars To Black Swallowtail Butterflies

Besides the look and using the parsley leaves when cooking, there is something else to consider when planting parsley in your garden. Butterflies!
Black Swallowtail caterpillars will feed on members of the parsley family like carrots, fennel, dill, and even Queen Anne’s Lace. I found this little fellow, along with many of his friends, munching away the other day on my plant when I went to cut a bunch of the leaves to freeze for Winter cooking. They were everywhere and were stripping my parsley right down to the stem. Lucky for me, I had a huge plant and within a few days the caterpillars were all gone. I was not sure at first what type of caterpillar this was, so I did what anyone would do and pulled out my handy dandy Caterpillars of Eastern North America field guide. And there it was! Sort of. The picture was missing something.

My caterpillars had these bright orange/yellow horn-like things. But only when I was using the stick to take the photo. So I went to Google and found an interesting article from Hobby Farms that wrote, “When agitated, the parsley caterpillar reveals one of its more interesting physical features; a forked orange horn-like projection that extends out from behind the head of the caterpillar to intimidate potential predators and release a repulsive scent.” So for anyone considering having a butterfly garden, having some parsley is a must.


Drying Parsley In Kitchen Window
Drying Parsley In Kitchen Window

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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