75% of my Parsley look very miserable.

  • Some stems have thinned out and the leaves have shriveled up
  • Fungi on the soil that creates fumes when watering

Watering them proved to be a challenge. I sprinkle them with around 200ml of water once the soil has dried up around 3cm. However it takes 1-2 weeks until it dries. If I add more water I immediately get fungus. The better growing plants are slightly closer to the windows, however according to my camera the difference in light is not too big (around 2-3x).

Earth specs:

  • Ph 7.2
  • 200mg/l Nitrogen
  • 170mg/l Phosphate
  • 950mg/l Potassium
  • Pot Volume: 4.5 liters
  • Plant age: 2.5 months

This is what the miserable plants look like:

enter image description here

The best pot looks like this:

enter image description here

  • are there drainage holes in those containers and is water able to freely drain away, not left trapped at the bottom in a tray or something? And where were you intending to put all these seedlings (they really need separating and potting up or planting out)?
    – Bamboo
    May 16, 2018 at 9:16
  • As for the difference in light: Imagine you are getting just about enough light to scrape by. Then try to thrive on 1/2 or 1/3 of that.
    – Stephie
    May 16, 2018 at 11:20
  • Yes water is able to drain away. No I am not intending on replanting the seedlings. Stephie, would you say the (healthy) plant on the last picture receives enough sunlight?
    – AzulShiva
    May 16, 2018 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


You have two problems that are at play here, actually aggravating each other.

First, etiolation - lack of light and the side effects. We discussed this before in your other question.

Second, those seedlings are too many, too close together. This means that they will complete for the resources like water, light and especially space. A factor that puts stress on them and which will ultimately kill many of them.

And both factors are creating a vicious cycle: The closeness encourages etiolation (seedlings trying to get “over” the others to get light), etiolated plants are weaker in comparison.

So what now?

Tackle problem 2 first:
You need to drastically thin your seedlings. You may try to take a lump out of the tray, gently separate and pot up individually or with a lot more distance. Unfortunately, the seedlings look very fragile and might not deal with that procedure too well - and if they do, you have a lot of parsley at your hands. I personally would just pull or cut about two thirds or even more of the seedlings.

Then address problem 1:
Now that you have removed the competition, give the remaining plants a fair chance. Supply enough light, ideally outside. But don’t put them straight into full sunlight or they are literally toast. Grow lights are another option.

And finally, the watering part: Never let the seedlings get “wet feet”. Make sure that all excess water can drain freely. That’s why good pots have holes at the bottom. This plus removing the dead material should keep the fungus in check as well.

  • The water can drain freely, but the soil remains damp for a week after only 200ml of water. Should I just further reduce the amount of water?
    – AzulShiva
    May 16, 2018 at 16:31
  • @AzulShiva probably yes. Just try it and see what happens.
    – Stephie
    May 16, 2018 at 17:17

I am not expert but I just wanted to write. Don't you need like 4-5 hours sunlight for parsley? I would water more often. I wouldn't wait until it dries. Keep the soil lightly moist and be sure to grow it near a sunny window. Maybe once a month feed the plants.

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