How to Grow Chervil: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium). Chervil is a relatively hardy annual with a delicate anise flavour, indispensable in French fines herbes. Chervil is best used fresh or frozen and does not dry well.

Cultivation: Sow chervil seeds in the garden or in containers in part shade. In containers, use a moisture retentive soil. Chervil does not transplant well, so plant seeds in their final location. The plant is quick to bolt (flower prematurely) especially in hot dry summers, and once it has flowered the leaves are unusable. Make successive plantings every two to three weeks until six weeks before the first frost for a continuous supply. Keep it well watered and it should be ready to harvest within six to eight weeks. Chervil is hardy to -10C and in a sunny sheltered spot or with protection such as a cold frame, it may survive all winter. Alternatively, in the winter grow chervil in a pot on a sunny windowsill.

Outdoors, chervil may be prone to infestation by aphids and is attractive to slugs and snails. Herbs)

Note: Anthriscus sylvestris, a close relative known as Wild Chervil or Cow Parsley, is invasive in Ontario and should not be grown. Always ensure that you purchase seeds from a reputable supplier. See Wild Chervil 

Disclaimer: Toronto Master Gardeners does not advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use. Any information in the recommended resources should be regarded as being for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any medical or health treatment.

For more information:

RHS ‘Herbs: Growing’ https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=679

RHS ‘Grow your own herbs – chervil’ https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/chervil

Herb Gardening.com http://herbgardening.com/growingchervil.htm

Gov of Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/page/wild-chervil

West Coast Seeds https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/how-to-grow/grow-chervil

Date revised: December 2021

Prepared by the Toronto Master Gardeners, these Gardening Guides provide introductory information on a variety of gardening topics.  Toronto Master Gardeners are part of a large, international volunteer community committed to providing the public with horticultural information, education and inspiration.  Our goal is to help Toronto residents use safe, effective, proven and sustainable horticultural practices to create gardens, landscapes and communities that are both vibrant and healthy.

Statement on Invasive Plants: When choosing plants, avoid invasive plants, which can spread quickly and dominate gardens.  Invasive plants are sold by nurseries, big box stores or even at community plant sales.  Invasives may already be present in your garden.  They can invade gardens by spreading from under a neighbour’s fence or may be transported by wildlife.  For beautiful, sustainable options to invasive plants, see the Ontario Invasive Plant Council’s “Grow Me Instead – Beautiful Non-Invasive Plants for your Garden” at https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/resources/grow-me-instead/before purchasing or accepting “gifts” of plants.

Statement on Home Remedies: The Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend home remedies, as these have not been proven effective through scientific investigation, and may even damage other living organisms in the soil or plants in your garden.  There are other garden friendly options you can use.

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