Why Are My Parsley Leaves Turning Red?

Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Stephanie

Parsley is a popular indoor gardener for sweet vitamin greens or aromatic roots. In most cases, youll would like to plant it to enjoy vibrant green leaves.

Sometimes, youll see leaves turning red, losing their vibrant color. I will discuss the reasons of leaves turning red in parsley. Additionally, I will discuss measures to fight and avoid this issue.

Insufficient phosphorus may cause parsley leaves to turn red. Incorrect watering, improper soil pH, disease and insect infestation, as well as environmental stress are some of the causes for disruptions in the supply of phosphorus.

Continue reading and I will discuss the reasons and solutions to the leaves of parsley turning red.

Causes Why Do Parsley Leaves Turning Red?

Parsley requires minimal but it requires regular attention to grow in your home. If your parsley leaves are turning red, its an indication that there is something wrong and you need to act.

Here are a few of the most frequent causes for the leaves of parsley turning red.

Parsley that is overwatered can result in leaves becoming red

The normal function of the roots. Therefore, it is unable to absorb the nutrients needed to support the normal growth of parsley.

The excessive moisture can also cause the root of parsley to decay. Due to this disease, your parsley wont be able to absorb the phosphorus or other nutrients, even though they are present in abundance.

How to fix

If youre sure that youve overwatered your parsley, then you must correct this. Dont worry, this is simple to repair.

To repair the parsley that has been overwatered to get rid of the overwatered parsley, allow the pot to dry for a couple of days. Then , take the plant out and examine it thoroughly.

Take out enough soil to ensure you are able to see the roots. Overwatering may cause root rot. If you notice any signs of root rot, then remove the affected area.

Then clean the root with charcoal by sprinkled on. Then change the soil and plant it in a new container, or reuse the old one following a thorough cleaning using hot water.

single parsley sprig

The lack of phosphorus could cause parsley leaves to turn red

Phosphorus is among the most essential nutrients needed by any plant. Insufficient phosphorus could cause parsley to develop symptoms similar to red leaves. Parsley thrives in organically rich soil.

The absence of phosphorus triggers the plant to create anthocyanin, a pigment. The pigment causes the coloring of parsley leaves.

There could be a myriad of factors that hinder plants ability to absorb the phosphorus in soil. Even if phosphorus is present in soil, the roots of plants arent capable of absorbing it. In this situation, the parsley leaves may change color to red.

How to fix

It is not recommended to apply phosphorus prior to confirming the deficiency. It is necessary to conduct an analysis of the soil, and then think about applying phosphorus when required. A high dose of phosphorus could cause damage to the parsley.

If you notice a deficiency of phosphorus in your soil, then you must provide your parsley with the mineral phosphorus. Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus to the plant. It releases slowly, however it is extremely effective.

It is also possible to consider NPK fertilizers that are available on the market. Heres a useful and short video that explains how to examine soil phosphorus.

Compacted Soil

It is common that soil in your container will become compacted with time. Compact soil decreases air permeability. Additionally, water cannot penetrate through it.

If your parsley is unable to receive enough oxygen and water into its roots. The roots die without getting the oxygen they require.

The roots wont be able to absorb nutrients that are available. Therefore, a deficiency in nutrients can result in symptoms such as leaves turning yellow, red or even brown.

How to fix

The soil should be loosen no more than 1-1.5 cm. Try not to harm the roots near the surface.

The constant loosening of the soil inside the pot causes the compactness of the upper layer the soil. In the end, those layers that are on top of the soil are made air-tight.

The evaporation of water from the layer of soil decreases. The moisture is absorbed to the roots zone. The parsley is capable of absorbing the nutrients.


As with many other plant species, parsley will not like drought. If you dont supply the water required for the normal physiological process , then parsley may exhibit symptoms.

If there isnt any water, the plants root wont be able to absorb the soils nutrients. Since the nutrients found in the soil only exist in water-soluble forms.

How to fix

It is evident that you must supply sufficient water to solve this issue. Be sure there isnt any standing water that is not flowing in your pot. Static water is not ideal for growing parsley. It is recommended to make use of the settled tap water or the filtering water to help with irrigation.

Let the soil dry for a little before watering again. In the summer, parsley requires greater frequency of watering than at other times. Reduce the frequency of watering in winter. Parsley is in a state of rest.

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Soil pH

Parsley prefers soil that is slightly acidic. The ideal pH for the growth of parsley is ranging between the pH 6.0 to 7.0 This range permits it to absorb nutrients in a proper way.

If parsley isnt fed, its leaves will change color.

How to fix

Different plants have different pH ranges. Therefore, you must ensure the pH listed for parsley.

To correct the pH of soil you must test the soils pH. It is easy to carry out using the pH test kit.

If your soil is to be too acidic (pH lower than 5.5) this means you must remove the oxidation (increase the pH). To accomplish this, you could use the ashes of a wood fire on the top of the soil.

It is also known as the process of liming soil. Dolomite (limestone) flour has become the most well-known method for deoxidizing soil.

If youre looking to boost soil acidity (decrease the pH level) then water containing citric acid (lemon juice) is ideal for indoor plants in containers.

Lights that are too bright

Like all plants, parsley requires sunlight to photosynthesis. However, when it is exposed to direct sunlight causes parsley leaves change color from yellow to red. This is evident in spring on the older leaves.

How to Fix

In this situation it is recommended to place the parsley pot in a shaded area. In hot, sunny days, you should you should water your parsley more often.

Check that the soil doesnt become dried (not slow-moving water). Also, make sure to fertilize it with nutrients. In time your parsley will grow back.

Parsley Diseases

There are a variety of fungal and bacterial diseases that can impact your parsley and can cause severe damage. A stunted growth that turns leaves either yellow, red, and brown, is the main frequent result.

These are two illnesses that cause the leaves of parsley to change color to red. Learn more about them and how to combat these diseases.

  1. Stolbur phytoplasma

The cause for this virus can be traced to that parasite Phytoplasma. It causes chlorosis mostly around the edges of leaflets of the lower levels.

The leaves that grow from the edges start to change color to red. This can hinder growing of the parsley and its quality as well as roots will decrease.

  1. Root Rot

It is a fungal soil-borne disease that is transmitted through soil. It causes damage to the root system as well as the crown. The root system is unable to provide the essential nutrients, and then slowly , the leaves of the plant turn either yellow or red.

How to fix

Take out the affected plant parts or the entire plant if the infection is serious. Insufficient watering, or a lack of treatment, are the main causes of disease outbreaks.

The best option is to stop these from happening. There are also the fungicides that are available to fight these issues.

How to prevent Parsley leaves turning yellow

To prevent appearing pests as well as the change in color of your parsley, you must follow these steps:

  • Use the tips above to make sure you are taking proper care of your garden, such as the application of water, top dressing and making sure that the plant is properly drained of water.
  • Check the plant regularly and take the damaged plants out to ensure that they do not infect other plants.
  • If the parsley plant is growing in climates that are prone to greenhouses it is essential to ensure that the temperature of the air is not less than 20 degrees Celsius at night. And during the day 24-26 degS/75.2degF-78.8degF.
  • Make sure your parsley is kept in an area that is well-ventilated.
  • It is recommended to practice rotation of crops to prevent pests and diseases.
  • Be sure that the containers and soil are cleaned prior to planting the parsley.
  • Cleanse seeds prior to planting. To do this, prior to planting the seeds, they are placed for 30 to 40 minutes in the solution of potassium permanganate, and after that, they are dried.
  • Select varieties of parsley that are disease-resistant to plant. To do foliar.
  • Fertilize the soil using Potash and phosphorus.
  • Try to thin your plants. This can reduce the risk of mildew that is powdery.
  • Make sure you treat your parsley with soapy water. This will kill aphids as well as other insects that harm plants.


If youre well-groomed and getting all the nutrients needed Parsley is almost never sick. The reddened leaves are not an indication to panic. Follow the steps carefully and follow the suggestions in the article.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)