Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking. It is a member of the mint family and its leaves are eaten fresh or dried for their flavor, color and medicinal properties. Parsley has been cultivated since ancient times. Today, it’s grown commercially all over the world, but there are still many places where it grows wild in some areas.
The leaves of parsley have a distinctive yellowish tinge to them. This is due to two things: 1) the presence of carotenoids, which give parsley its red color; and 2) the presence of flavonols, which cause the yellowing.
Both compounds are present in high concentrations in young leaves, so they’re not usually seen until much later in the plant’s life cycle.
Yellowing of leaves is common in other plants, such as tomatoes and eggplants, but it’s rare in herbs. The reason why parsley turns yellow is unknown.
Some believe that it could be due to a chemical reaction between the carotenoids and the flavonol. Others think that it may be due to damage caused by ultraviolet light during storage or exposure to air pollution. Still others suggest that it might just result from aging of the plant itself.
Most of the time, it’s best to just cut off the leaves at the point where it starts to turn yellow. This will keep the heart of the plant, which is usually green, fresher for longer.
Continue reading to learn more about why does parsley turn yellow.
Can you eat parsley with yellow spots?
Parsley is a healthy, edible herb that is used as a garnish or added flavor in many dishes. It is commonly chopped up and sprinkled over food after it has been cooked. It can also be used as a flavoring in soups, stews, stuffings and sauces.
The most commonly consumed part of the plant is its leaves, although its roots and seeds are edible too. The seeds are often used in herbal medicines for their diuretic, as a breath freshener and to help remove warts.
While it is safe to eat leaves with brown spots on them, it is best to avoid consuming any parts that have turned yellow as this is a sign that the plant has naturally started to decay. It may not necessarily make you sick to consume this, but it probably won’t taste very good and isn’t really worth the risk.
Why do leaves turn yellow prematurely on a plant?
As mentioned in the above section, yellowing leaves can be an indication that something is wrong with the plant that wasn’t there before. If you are noticing a lot of these leaves turning yellow and dropping off the plant, then it is likely an indication that your plant is diseased and dying.
This happens to plants for a variety of reasons. It could be as simple as the plant received too little or too much water (usually too little) or it could be due to the plant being attacked by insects or disease.
If you keep your plant in an area that gets a lot of direct sunlight, then it is also very likely that the sun is burning the leaves. This will cause them to turn a lighter shade of green and eventually yellow before they dry up and die completely.
It’s important to water your plant and provide it with the correct amount of light to keep your plant healthy. Too much or too little of either will cause you some problems.
Too much water can cause root rot, which will kill your plant. Give it just enough water that the soil is kept moist, but don’t make it soggy. Too little water can cause your leaves to wilt and turn yellow before the entire plant dies.
Too much sunlight can also cause this to happen. While plants do need sunlight to survive and thrive, too much of it will burn the leaves and turn them yellow.
You’ll know this is happening if you find that your plant’s foliage is a lighter shade of green and the edges of the leaves appear to be crispy. If you move it out of direct sunlight, the leaves should return to a normal color within a few days. If the problem persists, you’ll need to move your plant to a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight or just get a new plant altogether.
It’s also possible that your plant is affected by a disease that is causing these yellow spots. This is less common for houseplants than outdoor plants since they are typically grown in farms where they are kept free of diseases.
However, the chances are greater if you bought your plant from a discount store or somewhere other than a reputable garden center. These plants are usually grown in Asia or South America and shipped over here, so they can be exposed to all sorts of diseases and insects that they are not resistant to common diseases that occur in the United States.
If you have a healthy plant that suddenly starts to get yellow spots on the leaves, it could just be a natural part of its growth process. Some plants will naturally yellow and drop leaves as they age.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your plant is diseased, but it could also be a sign of root rot or some other disease. Check your plant to see if the stem is still firm. If it is, then your plant just might be going through a natural aging process and nothing is wrong. Keep an eye on it and watch to see if the yellowing progresses or not.
However, if you believe your plant to be diseased or if you just aren’t sure, you can take a sample of the yellowed part of the leaf to your local garden center or nursery for them to take a look at or even take a picture of the problem and ask them what they think is wrong and how to fix it.
There isn’t too much that can actually go wrong with a spider plant as far as diseases and pests are concerned. Spider plants are resistant to all but the most severe diseases and insects.
Spider mites and aphids are about the worst problem you will encounter with this plant, but they are both relatively easy to get rid of. Most of the issues people have with spider plants is keeping them alive in the first place since they can be very fragile if not cared for properly.
Overall the spider plant is a very durable and easy to grow houseplant. It’s a great choice for people who haven’t had much luck with other houseplants in the past since it’s hard to kill this one.
It can even survive some neglect, so if you don’t find yourself missing the beautiful green plants in your home, you could probably easily get away with not giving it much care at all.
Give this plant as a gift and you will be giving a gift that keeps on giving, as long as you stick to the real plant and not the cute little plastic one you find at the dollar store.
Did You Know?
The spider plant is sometimes called the airplane plant because the bottom side of the leaves resemble the plane body and the “wings” of a plane.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Stemphylium Leaf Spot of Parsley in California Caused by Stemphylium vesicarium by ST Koike, N O’Neill, J Wolf, P Van Berkum… – Plant …, 2013 – Am Phytopath Society
Guide to common diseases and disorders of Parsley by E Minchinton, D Auer, H Martin… – State of Victoria …, 2006 – researchgate.net
Rapid Response of Suspension-cultured Parsley Cells to the Elicitor from Phytophthora megasperma var. sojae: INDUCTION OF THE ENZYMES OF GENERAL … by K Hahlbrock, CJ Lamb, C Purwin, J Ebel… – Plant …, 1981 – Am Soc Plant Biol
PETROSELINUM CRISPUM (PARSLEY) by P MILDEW, R ROT – Vegetable Diseases: A Color Handbook, 2007 – books.google.com