Parsley Leaves Turning Red? Here’s What You Need to Know!

If you have a passion for gardening, you also probably love growing plants indoors. Parsley is one such delicious herb that is super easy to grow.

However, you still may face problems like Parsley leaves turning red. 

So If you’re facing a similar problem, don’t worry. In this post, we’ll show you reasons why this may be happening and what you can do to solve this annoying problem.

So without further ado, get out your notepad, and let’s begin!

Parsley Leaves Turning Red

Possible CausesSymptomsRecommended Actions
Cold stressLeaves turning red due to exposure to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) for extended periods.Move the parsley plant to a warmer location, preferably indoors or a sheltered area. Avoid exposing the plant to cold drafts or frosty conditions.
Nutrient deficiencyLeaves turning red due to lack of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium.Fertilize the parsley plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer according to package instructions. Avoid over-fertilization, as it can cause leaf burn.
DiseaseLeaves turning red due to fungal or bacterial infections, such as leaf spot or blight.Remove and discard affected leaves. Treat the plant with a suitable fungicide or bactericide, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid overhead watering to prevent water splashing and spreading of the disease.
Insect infestationLeaves turning red due to pests such as aphids, mites, or whiteflies feeding on the leaves.Inspect the plant for signs of insect activity. Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or another appropriate insecticide to control the pests.
SunburnLeaves turning red due to excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially during hot, dry weather.Move the parsley plant to a shaded area during the hottest part of the day. Provide protection from intense sunlight with a shade cloth or by relocating the plant to a partially shaded spot.
Genetic variationLeaves naturally turning red as a characteristic of certain parsley cultivars.This is not a cause for concern as it is a natural characteristic of the cultivar. No action needed.

One of our articles –Parsley Plant Turning White.

What does red parsley leaves mean?

Parsley is a wonderful herb that goes well with just about any dish. Not only is it delicious, did you know that parsley leaves reduce uric acid? You can add a dash of freshness to heavy dishes by just sprinkling some parsley leaves on top.

But this only works if you use fresh green leaves. 

Now you might have noticed your Italian parsley leaves turning red. But is it something you should be alarmed about?

In general, leaves turning red indicates an underlying problem in the plant that you have ignored for a while. This could be a variety of reasons.  

So if you notice this sudden color change, it’s best that you try to identify the root cause of this problem and try fixing it asap. 

Or else, you would be compromising on the health of your green friend.

Why your parsley may be turning red?

Parsley Leaves Turning Red

Now anything from over watering your plant to not taking enough care of it could be the cause behind your plants suddenly turning red.

Although it may seem like the reason is simple, any experienced gardener would tell you that there is more to it. So let’s take a look at the various causes one by one. 

That way, you will hopefully be able to identify what you may be doing wrong and correct it right away!

Reason 1: Direct harsh sunlight

One of the most common reasons for parsley leaves turning red is too much exposure to sunlight.

Now although all plants need a healthy dose of sunshine, some herbs are too delicate to receive direct harsh afternoon sun.

So if you’ve kept your potted plant super close to the window, it may be exposed to direct afternoon sun. This may be why the parsley leaves are turning red.

How to combat it?

You can prevent your parsley plant from burning under sunlight by relocating it to a cooler corner of the home.

We’re not asking you to find the darkest spot. A place where the plant can receive indirect sunlight but stay protected from the afternoon sun is perfect!

If that’s not possible, or you keep your potted plants in the balcony, then just shift the plant during the afternoon.

One of our articles –Parsley Plant Turning Brown.

Reason 2: Overwatering/ under watering 

It’s said that too much love or too little love can ruin just about anything, and your little parsley plant is no exception. Other than red, this could also prevent your parsley leaves from turning yellow .

If you are watering your plants too much, there may be water logging or the soil will always be super damp. This may cause parsley plant leaves turning red .

This may cause the roots to start rotting. Also, the plant won’t be able to absorb all the necessary ingredients from the soil, which will cause the plant to die off slowly.

In the case of underwatering, things are a little different. The roots will start dying off when the leaves no longer have moisture in them. Extra dry soil will also make it impossible for the roots to absorb nutrients from the soil.

How to combat it?

If you notice that your watering habits have been a little off lately, don’t worry. This is something that can easily be fixed. Here’s what you’ll need to do in both situations.


In case you’re overwatering your parsley plant, leave it alone for a few days. This will give a break to your plant and it will be able to absorb all the excess water.

To aid this process, keep it under the early morning sunlight. This is gentle yet a powerful aid to help your plants grow. 

After the soil has dried a bit, scoop the top layer of the soil and check for any rotted roots. If you find them, then clip off these roots and throw them away.

Afterward, you can shift the plant to a new pot with new soil for a fresh start.


But if underwatering is the case, then fix a schedule to water your plant every day. You can set an alarm on your phone to remind you.

Just make sure that you give enough time for the soil to dry in between the sessions.

One of our articles –Parsley Plant Turning Yellow.

Reason 3: Too small pot

Last but not the least, your plant may be dying off because it doesn’t have room to grow.

If there isn’t much depth to the pot, there isn’t going to be enough soil when the plant grows beyond a certain limit. 

This will not allow the roots to grow any further and your plant won’t be able to grow to its full potential. So this is a problem you must fix asap if you don’t want your plant to die off.

How to combat it?

If the pot is too small for your parsley plant, the only solution is to repot it into a bigger pot. But be careful!

If you mess up and break the roots while repotting, you could potentially kill off your plant.

Just carefully remove the top layer of soil and turn the pot to one side. Then slowly pull the pot away from the plant while supporting the stems.

Remember to never pull the stem from the pot. Always pull the pot. You could also water the plants beforehand to make the soil loose and this process easier.

One of our articles –Parsley Seedlings Turning Yellow.

Related Questions

Why are my parsley leaves turning red?

Possible causes of parsley leaves turning red include cold stress, nutrient deficiency, diseases, pests, sunburn, or genetic variation.

What could be causing the red coloration on my parsley leaves?

The red coloration on parsley leaves may be due to cold stress, nutrient deficiency, diseases, pests, sunburn, or genetic variation.

Is it normal for parsley leaves to turn red?

It can be normal for some parsley cultivars to naturally develop red coloration in their leaves.

How can I prevent parsley leaves from turning red?

To prevent parsley leaves from turning red, ensure proper care practices including avoiding cold stress, providing adequate nutrients, managing diseases and pests, protecting from sunburn, and choosing suitable parsley cultivars.

Are there any diseases or pests that can cause parsley leaves to turn red?

Yes, diseases such as leaf spot or pests like aphids, mites, or whiteflies can cause parsley leaves to turn red.

Can cold weather or frost cause parsley leaves to turn red?

Yes, exposure to cold weather or frost can cause parsley leaves to turn red.

What are the possible nutrient deficiencies that can result in parsley leaves turning red?

Nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium can result in parsley leaves turning red.

How can I identify and treat diseases or pests that may cause parsley leaves to turn red?

Identify and treat diseases or pests using appropriate fungicides, bactericides, or insecticides following recommended instructions.

Are there any specific care practices or environmental factors that may affect the color of parsley leaves?

Factors like environmental conditions, care practices, and parsley cultivar selection can affect the color of parsley leaves.

Should I be concerned if my parsley leaves are turning red, or is it a natural occurrence?

If parsley leaves are turning red, it may be a natural occurrence or indicative of underlying issues, and further evaluation or expert advice may be necessary.

Bottom line

So that is a wrap to this article. We hope you found it enjoyable to read.

Still, have some questions on parsley leaves turning red?

Then leave a comment down below and we’d love to answer it. Also, don’t forget to tell us your favorite gardening hack. Until then, stay healthy friend!

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