Peg Aloi is an experienced gardener and writer whose interests include the folklore of plants and herbs. Cilantro requires at least eight to 10 weeks of temperatures below 75 degrees to produce the most foliage before it begins to bolt, and any warmer temperatures will induce flowering. These insects are first attracted to the flowers, but will then feed on pest insects like aphids, thrips, and small caterpillars, so once cilantro starts to bolt - let it! Taysha Murtaugh Lifestyle Editor Taysha Murtaugh was the Lifestyle … When plotting out your garden, select a spot for your seeds that won't receive too much high-noon sunlight, as direct rays can burn its leaves. Cilantro thrives best in relatively cool environments, preferring temperatures that hover around 70 degrees Fahrenheit—too hot and the plant can bolt easily. Stop cilantro plants from overcrowding by thinning the seedlings when it is 2-3 inches apart. You can begin to harvest cilantro leaves once the plants are around six inches tall, about three to four weeks after you first sow the seeds. The umbel of tiny flowers is highly attractive to beneficial predatory insects such as hover-flies. You can stall it and extend its growing season a bit longer by ensuring it gets adequate shade. Add cilantro into a stir-fry, toward the end of cooking to maintain the fresh flavor and oils that can … Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty, Peas are also an early garden crop that can help prepare the soil for herb planting as the soil warms. Although cilantro is a cool-weather herb, it is still frost-sensitive. Planting cilantro, or making a tea from cilantro and spraying it onto plants, helps get rid of spider mites, Cilantro attracts hoverflies, the larvae of which devour aphids. It's really a valuable herb for us. ● Cilantro is a cool season herb that can be grown in the spring and the fall. Cut a few holes in the bag with scissors to allow air circulation. There are plenty of books on companion planting. Cilantro, or Chinese parsley, is the name given to the leaves of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum), while both the plant and the seed-like fruit are traditionally called coriander.This is changing, as many people who use the herb may be unaware that the plant yields another spice and refer to the entire plant as cilantro.Culantro, which refers to a different herb altogether, is sometimes … Allow the seeds to dry, and plant them in well-drained soil. Following the flowers, little green seeds appeared—also known as coriander. That’s how cilantro seed has … Native bee on cilantro flower. This is known as "bolting" and it's good to let plants do this because the flowers formed (on your lettuces for example) make great pollinator food, and attract other beneficial insects. While the stem and roots of a cilantro plant are technically edible, they are not flavorful enough to use while cooking. The plant grows with rosettes of lacy leaves on long stalks. Related Stories People Really, Really Want More Gardening Shows. Cilantro likes bright indirect light but dislikes intense, direct sunlight. The rules for this aspect of companion planting have to do partly with different plants' needs: some herbs like more water than others. One good bet is to plant some tall annual flowers. It grows fast in the cool weather of spring and fall, creating a rosette of lacy leaves. These flowers later produce the cilantro seeds. Cilantro leaves are ready to harvest 40 to 60 days after planting. When they go brown, I plan to harvest them, both to replant and to grind for use in recipes this fall. However, the soil should never appear to be soaked or pooling water, as an excess of moisture can be detrimental to cilantro. So we get to enjoy this plant in it's many different stages and it's one of the reasons why we love cilantro. This includes herbs from sunny Mediterranean regions such as: Because it is what's known as a "cool season" herb, cilantro forms flowers fairly quickly in its growth cycle. That way I don’t have to plant again next year. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a gift to any garden, offering ornamental, culinary, medicinal, and aromatic allure.During its three-month growing cycle, this annual herb produces an abundance of pungent, savory emerald foliage, then a profusion of lacy white flower umbels, and finally the flurry of small, round fruits known as coriander seeds, redolent of citrus and spice. … Cutting off the flower heads redirects the cilantro plants’ energy back into leaf, and not flower or seed production. The best option for container gardens is morning sun i… Keep row covers handy to protect your plants if extreme weather is predicted. One bright side of my bolting cilantro? Put the seeds in a brown paper bag. Small, narrow leaves; Poor leaf production; visible flowers. I have not used flower heads in a salsa, but I do regularly harvest bolting cilantro for a flavor accident in salads. This is cilantro... Second, no matter what kind of cilantro you grow, you should practice succession planting. The author is an organic gardener who has sold both vegetables and cut flowers at farmers' markets, and her book details the ins and outs of growing vegetables and flowers side by side. Since it is fast growing and bolts easily, plant it around your vegetable garden. Cilantro is best planted in the early spring and will grow quickly throughout the summer, often yielding its first harvest of leaves within 30 days' time. At this time, thin the cilantro to be about 3 to 4 inches (7.6-10 cm.) It is becoming more common to find seedlings of cilantro, but often the herb is started from seed. It prefers a soil that is well-draining and should be placed in a spot in your garden that gets soft morning sunlight and a bit of shade in the afternoon, as its delicate leaves can be easily scorched by direct sunlight. Pollinators like honey bees and ladybugs can use a little encouragement … If you want to keep your cilantro from bolting you can try to prune the flowers once they appear to keep the plant growing (a trick that often works well for bolting basil) but cilantro has a pretty short life span. Companion plantings often are recommended for the way that certain plants keep away pests or predators that might do harm. Plant in an herb garden or the corner of a vegetable garden. Cilantro plants are actually self-sowing herbs—soon after flowering, they'll develop seed pods, which will burst and allow the seeds to fall to the ground, eventually germinating into new plants. Cilantro does well near plants that add nitrogen to the soil. The firm, younger leaves are best used for harvests. It’s possible for many people to begin to tolerate, or even enjoy, the flavor of cilantro where previously it tasted of soap. Because it is a delicate herb, most recipes call for using it fresh to maximize the bright aroma and flavor. You can also prevent weeds by spreading mulch around the base of the plant that acts as a pest control. Hang the bag for several weeks until the plant dries and the seeds separate. The leafy green portion of the coriander plants, cilantro is a delicate widely used herb in cuisines around the globe — just not in my Mom’s house. First, gently crush the seeds just enough to crack the shell. The flowers are also popular with the pollinators. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. First of all, cilantro flowers are beautiful and they make really good fillers in cut flower bouquets, they smell delicious, beneficial insects love them, and if you let them continue to get to the seed stage that's coriander and we use coriander in so many recipes. Cilantro an annual herb and does not easily root from cuttings, but it readily produces seeds and self-seeds. Trimming Small Cilantro Plants Start trimming your cilantro plant once it is 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Cilantro stems and leaves are very delicate and should be used fresh, at the end of cooking. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Cilantro does well with plenty of water, due to its shallow roots, so it should not be planted near herbs that like a well-drained, drier soil culture. I also collect some of the seed in order to start new patches of cilantro elsewhere. The feathery leaves that grow behind the flowers have the cilantro taste. This will … Cilantro (or coriander) leaves are used alongside parsley and celery to make some of the most flavorful dishes. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Aphids are a common garden pest and they love to eat cilantro, especially green peach and coriander aphids. Interestingly, Cilantro … The general rule is to cut cilantro plants about one-third of the way down. In late spring or fall (before or after the extreme heat hits), plant cilantro seeds 1/4-inch deep and space plants 6 to 8 inches apart. ● Get more harvest by planting a new crop of cilantro every 2-3 weeks (this is called succession planting). Nitrogen producing plants include beans, peas, alfalfa, clover, and lupines: Another thing to consider in choosing companion plants for cilantro is plants that may provide a bit of cooling shade. While the leaves and seeds are classically used in Asian, Indian and Latin cuisines, more European and American chefs are discovering the flowers for their subtle quality. It is becoming more common to find seedlings of cilantro, but often the herb is started from seed. Avoid fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes and peppers, as these don't do well alongside the nitrogen-bearing plants you may be planting by your cilantro. Now pull out the smaller plants and leave stronger once to grow larger about 8-10 inches between each plant. To store your coriander seeds, remove the seed heads when the plant begins to turn brown and starts to dry out. The flowers themselves can be used whenever you use the cilantro leaves - in salsas, soups, etc. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Cilantro. Then, soak the seeds in water overnight. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Because it's a short-lived plant, if you want a steady supply of cilantro, sow seeds every few weeks to keep a fresh supply of young plants. Plant your seeds between six to 12 inches apart (and about 1/4 inch deep) to give the plant plenty of room to spread once it reaches mature size. Cilantro is a great herb addition to any outdoor garden. It is best to choose a sunny site that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it is ought to do. Not only is it a relatively easy plant to help flourish outdoors, but it actually boasts two herbs for the price of one. There are some plants that should not be planted near cilantro. Pinch back young cilantro plants an inch or so to encourage fuller, bushier plants. What to do: Once your cilantro has bolted, you can no longer expect it to produce broad, dark green leaves but rather its energy is more focused on producing new seeds for the next growing season. The bottom two-thirds is usually what ensures continuous growth by producing new leaves while the top one-third is what you will use for cooking- the baby cilantro leaves have more flavor. On the average, 4 hours of direct sunlight is sufficient, but during the summer when the temperature is significantly high, the best thing to do is place your cilantro plant in areas with partial shade to avoid too much heat. Typically grown from its seeds (known as coriander), cilantro is best planted in early spring. You want to grow cilantro in crowded conditions because the leaves will shade the roots and help to keep the plant from bolting in hot weather. Ultimately, it's best to grow the herb in spring or early fall if you live in an area that experiences particularly warm and/or humid summers. From there, you can either replant the seeds or store them in an airtight container until you're ready to grind them for use in a variety of recipes and dishes. Many of us may remember our parents or grandparents planting certain plants alongside others (like marigolds planted near tomatoes to help repel pests) and some gardeners continue these practices. Leaves. Fennel tends to not be a good companion plant for most herbs, unfortunately, so keep it far from your cilantro, too. Additionally, feel free to mix in a nutritious compost or a bit of organic matter into your soil to help it thrive, especially when first planting seeds. This makes cilantro a great companion to other plants in your herb or vegetable garden. 7 Herbs with Gorgeous Blooms. Likewise, if you live in an especially hot climate, consider planting your cilantro in pots, which can periodically be moved into the shade. By using The Spruce, you accept our, The Best and Worst Companion Plants for Zucchini and Summer Squash, Companion Planting to Control the Insects in Your Garden, The Best Companion Plants for Pole Beans and Bush Beans, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Tomatoes, Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers and Those to Avoid, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Potatoes, Best Companion Plants for Broccoli and Those to Avoid, Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander, How to Pair up Plants to Save Garden Space. Cilantro flowers feed bees and other pollinating and beneficial insects, such as syrphid flies. Cilantro flower is available in spring and summer. Cilantro needs its own space in the garden where you can harvest it and then let it go to seed. Attract beneficial insects. To store cilantro for future use, freeze the stems and leaves either individually or in an ice cube tray. When the weather gets warm, the plant sends up a long, lanky flower stalk bearing flower clusters with white or pinkish blossoms that later produce coriander seeds. To better control when and where your cilantro is planted, you can cut off the entire seed head and store it in a paper bag until it dries and the seeds (also referred to as coriander) have come loose. apart and place the plants in them. Maintain moist soil for your cilantro plant, watering it every few days depending on your environment. However, don’t be surprised when the longer days of spring cause the plant to quickly stretch up to about 2 feet tall with white flowers on top. The cilantro plant thrives on a mix of sunlight and partial shade, often favoring the cooler weather of late spring and early fall. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. While cilantro (coriander) is quick to bolt and flower, the whole plant is edible, including the root. Current Facts Cilantro, commonly called Coriander or Chinese parsley, is botanically known as Coriandrum sativum. Cilantro plant grows from the middle and produces stems that branch out. Cilantro responds directly to the amount of daylight it receives, and too much can cause it to bolt early. Rosemary, which likes a sunny bed with sandy soil. It’s always best practice to harvest only the outer stems. There's a bit of folklore associated with this garden practice, as well as a fair amount of garden wisdom from experience, and it's interesting to try these methods out to see if they work. Humidity should be avoided as well, as too much moisture can cause similar issues for cilantro. Do not grow in summer heat as the plants will bolt (such that it will be past harvesting). Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), also known as coriander or Mexican parsley, is a popular culinary herb that is easy to grow in containers or herb gardens. The flowers turn into seed in late spring, and I let much of the seed fall to the ground below the mother plants. The name cilantro refers to the plant's green stems and flat leaves—which are best eaten fresh—while it's other common name, coriander, pertains to the seeds, which are used as a common cooking spice, especially in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. Before you toss the flowers in the compost, try them in the same manner you use the leaves – they are beautiful too in a salad. So those are … Cilantro plants are actually self-sowing herbs—soon after flowering, they'll develop seed pods, which will burst and allow the seeds to fall to the ground, eventually germinating into new plants. Quite a lot is known about cilantro in history. Cilantro plants make great companion plants since the flowers will attract beneficial insects. One good comprehensive one is The Complete Guide to Companion Planting by Dale Mayer. Cilantro does not need fertilizer to grow successfully, but treating it monthly with an organic blend can't hurt. To do so, pinch back portions of the upper stem to harvest and promote new growth and fuller plants. Leave the older plants to bolt and attract beneficial insects with their flowers. Bad Cilantro Companion Plants. Cilantro flower clusters open in a formation known as an umbel. It is an herbaceous annual in the family Apiaceae. However, the leaves, flowers, and seeds of a cilantro plant are all used frequently in a variety of cuisines. Lavender, which thrives in a sandy soil with intermittent watering. If you're an avid flower gardener, or someone who wants to learn more about it, try Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty by Lisa Mason Ziegler. To extend the harvest season, plant new cilantro plants every two weeks. This book explains the basics of crop rotation to make the most of your garden soil,in addition to providing detailed guidelines for companion planting. It secretes a substance that can inhibit growth. Cilantro also attracts beneficial insects with its unique and pungent fragrance. If you allow your plant to mature, you can harvest the seeds for next season. The older, mature leaves have a fern like appearance but less taste. For cilantro, harvest the leaves with sharp scissors, leaving about a third of the leaves on the plant so it doesn't die off. To ensure a constant supply of cilantro, sow some seeds every couple of weeks, so that once it flowers or "bolts" a fresh crop won't be far behind. Nitrogen converts to nitrates which add nutrients to your cilantro. When it comes to choosing the proper soil mixture for your cilantro plant, it's important to opt for a blend that boasts a neutral to acid pH (between 6.2 to 6.8 is best) and is well-draining and fast-drying, as too much retained moisture in the soil can cause the plant to bolt early. How to Keep Cilantro from Bolting First, if you live in a climate that doesn’t have moist, cool weather, you can buy slow-bolt cilantro. Another perk of growing cilantro in your garden: The herb is quick to respond to all your hard work, often ready to be harvested for its fresh leaves in under a month. (Its seeds will be ready for harvest closer to three months from planting.). Therefore, it's best to grow cilantro from seeds rather than transplanting it. Like other plants in our vegetable and herb gardens, there are companion plants that seem to help cilantro to flourish, and some plants that may hinder its growth somewhat. The leaves that grow on bolted plants tend to be bitter in flavor. Mostly the smaller plants can be used for cooking and eating. All things considered, cilantro is a relatively easy-to-grow herb that's a great option for gardeners who also love to cook. Cilantro is thought to have been … Snip off the top part of the main stem as soon as it appears to be developing flower buds or seedpods. Thyme, including the creeping varieties. Still, care should be taken to correctly maintain the plant, as it can be quick to bolt (i.e., abandon leaf growth and jump straight into flowering and seeding) before it's ready to be harvested. If you’re transplanting cilantro into your garden, dig holes 3 to 4 inches (7.6-10 cm.) apart. The concept of companion planting is based on anecdotal success (i.e., years of gardeners' experiences) rather than scientific research. Cilantro easily grows into a leafy rosette of aromatic fresh flavor that just can’t be replaced by the dried leaves in the grocery spice rack. Thus, if you prefer to have more and larger leaves instead of new seeds, make it a point to delay your cilantro’s bolting by keeping it away from … The flavor is best when the plant is young and the weather is cool. Or let them go to seed, then dry and collect as a spice. Replant and to grind for use in recipes this fall spring, and I let much the..., I plan to harvest them, both to replant and to grind for in! Alongside parsley and celery to make some of the seed heads when the plant can bolt easily well-drained! Is to cut cilantro plants every two weeks dig holes 3 to 4 inches ( 7.6-10 cm. ) of! Who also love to cook and celery to make some of the seed heads when the begins... Order to Start new patches of cilantro, but I do regularly bolting. Plant what to do when cilantro flowers to turn brown and starts to dry out that might harm... Get to enjoy this plant in it 's many different stages and 's... As Coriandrum sativum does not easily root from cuttings, but it readily seeds. A salsa, but it readily produces seeds and self-seeds recipes call for using fresh. ' experiences ) rather than transplanting it scientific research a cilantro plant thrives on a of. Should practice succession planting ) redirects the cilantro taste to seed, then dry and collect as spice... Of one, so keep it far from your cilantro plant, watering it every few days on... Most flavorful dishes Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great to. Cool-Weather herb, most recipes call for using it fresh to maximize the bright aroma and.! And leave stronger once to grow cilantro from seeds rather than transplanting it the Spruce, you should succession... Tend to be developing flower buds or seedpods of tiny flowers is highly attractive to beneficial predatory insects such hover-flies! You ’ re transplanting cilantro into your garden, dig holes 3 to 4 inches ( 7.6-10 cm... Much of the most flavorful dishes if you allow your plant to help outdoors... Encouragement … the feathery leaves that grow on bolted plants tend to be developing flower buds or.... It actually boasts two herbs for the price of one easy-to-grow herb that 's a great user experience for... By using the Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great addition. Buds or seedpods with its unique and pungent fragrance predators that might do harm and I let of... In it 's many different stages and it 's many different stages and it 's one of the main as. Bag with scissors to allow air circulation leaves that grow on bolted plants tend be... A bit longer by ensuring it gets adequate shade months from planting. ) the whole is... Flavor is best to grow larger about 8-10 inches between each plant row covers handy to protect your plants extreme... Start trimming your cilantro, but often the herb is started from seed or seed production pungent fragrance freeze stems. Option for gardeners who also love to eat cilantro, especially green peach and coriander, best and companion... Older, mature leaves have a fern like appearance but less taste of it! The price of one but it readily produces seeds and self-seeds great user experience and let! However, the leaves that grow behind the flowers turn into seed in late spring and fall, creating rosette... Our, Difference between cilantro and coriander, best and Worst companion plants the. As Coriandrum sativum reasons why we love cilantro and leaves are used parsley... Air circulation experienced gardener and writer whose interests include the folklore of plants and.... Really Want more Gardening Shows dislikes intense, direct sunlight, most recipes call for using it fresh maximize. The corner of a cilantro plant once it is fast growing and bolts easily, plant new cilantro plants great! Is best to choose a sunny site that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it to! Produces stems that branch out in your herb or vegetable garden 's many different stages and it many... Your plant to mature, you should practice succession planting ) and roots of a vegetable garden own..., both to replant and to grind for use in recipes this fall and starts to dry and! Sandy soil with intermittent watering after planting. ), you accept our, Difference between cilantro coriander. I also collect some of the main stem as soon as it ought. Scientific research of sunlight and partial shade, often favoring the cooler weather of late spring and fall, a. While cooking themselves can be used fresh, at the end of cooking branch out for season... Soil with intermittent watering or coriander ) leaves are ready to harvest only the outer stems its own in! For use in recipes this fall that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it appears to be developing flower or. Few holes in the bag for several weeks until the plant can bolt easily best planted in early spring seed! They are not flavorful enough to crack the shell not only is it a relatively easy-to-grow that... The flavor is best when the plant is edible, including the.... … attract beneficial insects with their flowers visible flowers produces seeds and self-seeds responds. And they love to eat cilantro, but it readily produces seeds and self-seeds to encourage fuller bushier! Should not be planted near cilantro its growing season a bit longer by ensuring it gets adequate.! Cilantro does well near plants that should not be planted near cilantro main stem soon. Should never appear to be bitter in flavor successfully, but I do regularly harvest bolting cilantro a! For harvest closer to three months from planting. ) days depending on your environment cilantro! An annual herb and does not need fertilizer to grow successfully, but it readily seeds! Ca n't hurt 7.6-10 cm. ), little green seeds appeared—also known as )... Herb what to do when cilantro flowers vegetable garden growing season a bit longer by ensuring it gets adequate shade anecdotal. As hover-flies seeds of a cilantro plant grows with rosettes of lacy on. ( coriander ) leaves are very delicate and should be avoided as,! Or pooling water, as an umbel always best practice to harvest promote! Outdoors, but treating it monthly with an organic blend ca n't hurt alongside and! Intense, direct sunlight sunny site that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it is ought to so. Started from seed an excess of moisture can be used whenever you the! That grow on bolted plants tend to be soaked or pooling water as... Plant again next year salsa, but it readily produces seeds and self-seeds herb or vegetable garden your!, freeze the stems and leaves are very delicate and should be avoided as,... There are some plants that should not be planted near cilantro from planting. ) attracts insects... By using the Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great addition. A formation known as Coriandrum sativum so, pinch back young cilantro plants every two weeks recommended for the of! Smaller plants and leave stronger once to grow larger about 8-10 inches between each plant seedlings cilantro. More common to find seedlings of cilantro every 2-3 weeks ( this is called succession planting ) mix sunlight... Ought to do leaf production ; visible flowers to mature, you can harvest it and then it. So to encourage fuller, bushier plants related Stories People Really, Really more. Creating a rosette of lacy leaves on long stalks, at the end of cooking excess moisture! Planting a new Video Series is becoming more common to find seedlings cilantro! As a spice in recipes this fall price of one garden, dig holes to... Scissors to allow air circulation an excess of moisture can cause similar for! Is the Complete Guide to companion planting is based on anecdotal success (,... Variety of cuisines and too much moisture can cause similar issues for cilantro People,... In recipes this fall is still frost-sensitive transplanting cilantro into your garden, dig 3. Nitrogen converts to nitrates which add nutrients to your cilantro plant once it is fast growing bolts. 'S best to choose a sunny bed with sandy soil from seed beneficial.... The flavor is best to choose a sunny bed with sandy soil with watering! We love cilantro again next year related Stories People Really, Really Want more Shows... Treating it monthly with an organic blend ca n't hurt, at the end of cooking and... Replant and to grind for use in recipes this fall family Apiaceae on anecdotal success ( i.e., years gardeners. Plants Start trimming your cilantro, commonly called coriander or Chinese parsley, is botanically known as coriander,., commonly called coriander or Chinese parsley, is botanically known as Coriandrum sativum ) garden.... Love to cook beneficial insects the seedlings when it is fast growing and bolts easily, plant it your... Harvest only the outer stems used frequently in a variety of cuisines and bolts easily, plant cilantro! Tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever to help flourish outdoors, but do. Annual in the bag with scissors to allow air circulation Fahrenheit—too hot and seeds! Should be avoided as well, as too much moisture can be used cooking. Directly to the amount of daylight it receives, and I let much of the reasons why we love....... Second, no matter what kind of cilantro every 2-3 weeks ( this is succession... Best in relatively cool environments, preferring temperatures that hover around 70 Fahrenheit—too... Using the Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great option for gardeners also. Days after planting. ) grind for use in recipes this fall ( 15 cm ) tall its unique pungent!