When you start out with cilantro, buying little packets of seed from a nursery can be quite expensive. Cilantro is a quick-bolting plant that can bolt or flower as quick as 3 weeks. You can harvest the green seed and keep it in the fridge to add to meals, as at this stage it is slightly more aromatic than when the husk has completely dried out. Slow-bolt cultivars have been bred, although when cilantro decides to go to seed, it goes to seed (bolts) whether you've harvested enough fresh leaves or not. Cilantro has a short lifespan, so cutting the leaves will encourage bushier growth and prolong your harvest by stopping it from flowering too soon, but eventually the plant will die off. When the plant starts flowering the leaves will change in shape becoming more feathery, as you can see in the photo below of a bee on a flowering cilantro plant. This famous herb is usually served alongside lemon, eggs, beans, etc. What to Look For in Cilantro. To harvest just the cilantro leaves, you clip them off near the stem of the plant with gardening shears, then put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them to cook. An easy way is to soak the seed in lukewarm water for a day or so, leaving the container on a sunny windowsill, before planting in order to encourage the husks to soften. To solve this water the plants less and try to increase air circulation by either thinning plants out, or using a fan if the plants are in pots indoors. Organic Slow Bolt Cilantro Seeds. Since most gardeners want to maximize the amount of harvest they should look for “slow-bolt” varieties. These are two popular varieties available that get good results: Although they like a sunny position if cilantro plants get some shade during the hottest part of the day it will help to keep them from flowering and setting seed. If not, they begin to bolt just when you need them the most. The leaves at this stage are also not as tasty. Cilantro is ready to harvest within 45 days. A neutral potting mix works fine as long as it’s loose and drains water well. ANNUAL Spring/summer/fall harvest Can handle light frosts EASIEST TO START OUTDOORS In early spring, sow Cilantro seed directly into well-drained fertile soil 1 to 2 inches apart in rows 8 inches apart in full sun. Early spring, late summer, and early fall are the best times to plant cilantro. It's best to plant bolt-prone plants in the early spring (after the last frost date) or late summer (just before fall). If indoors give some water and set a fan going near them for a while. In today’s guide, we will be looking at how to harvest cilantro without killing the plant for a continuous harvest. This plant likes well-drained soil and full sun or part shade. Sometimes it’s usually not the heating from the air that causes cilantro to bolt, rather than from the soil. The green leaves called cilantro are used as a herb, while the seeds, known as coriander are ground up and used as a spice. Give it regular, steady water, and mulch the soil to keep the surface cool. Cilantro will be happy with a general potting mix and if you put in 3 to 5 seeds per 6-8 inch pot you will be able to cut cilantro leaves for kitchen use within 3 to 4 weeks of planting when the plants are around 6 inches high. This will give the cilantro enough nutrients to grow. Please seek professional help when needed. Third, plant cilantro to grow during cool weather. Some people who have the time will pop the husks with their fingers. When the cilantro grows its stalk, cut off the plant after the seeds drop and let it self-seed. This guide teaches you the best practices for harvesting cilantro without killing the plant, the best replanting techniques, and tips and tricks. I have read that you can take a cutting of cilantro, place it in water and it will make roots and can then be planted out. Prepare planting beds in advance with a blend of compost, perlite, and marsh evenly. Plant new seed every two weeks so you always have fresh cilantro to add to soups, salads, guacamole, and to brighten up various dishes. When buying cilantro in trays from a nursery, get ready to plant them out quickly, as cilantro’s lifespan is quite short, and by the time you buy them they are probably already half way through their prime time for producing leaves. It has a pungent, spicy flavour that some people love and some people hate. Cilantro leaves are ready to harvest 50-55 days after planting from seed. After your initial planting you then have enough seeds to collect for the next crop. To prevent bolting, harvest leaves often, and keep the plant shaded and watered. Best location: Cilantro is a full sun-loving plant, and it tolerates light shade (8 to 10 hours) per day is standard. The longer you can maintain succulent growth, the longer it takes to bolt. Mulching helps cilantro plants to extend their harvest period. Cost saving. You can shake the bag to make sure all the seeds have fallen off. Essential for preparing Mexican, Caribbean, and Asian cuisines, harvest fresh leaves when plants are 4-6” tall. "Use kitchen shears to snip off pieces of cilantro for use as soon as the plants are at least 3 inches tall, and harvest frequently," says Tammi Hartung, author of Homegrown Herbs and co-owner of Desert Canyon Farm. There are claims that if you just keep cutting cilantro it will grow indefinitely. From the time of sowing seed, cilantro leaves can begin to be harvested in about 3 to 4 weeks. Planting. Seeds usually germinate in 10 to 14 days. If you want to reap the coriander seed, you have to wait for 100 or more days, but it does not matter if you damage the plant, because it is already at the end of its cycle. Fourth, harvest your cilantro leaves … The Homesteading Hippy is a participant in the Amazon Services L.L.C. Gardeningbank.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Powdery mildew – this can occur during hot dry periods when there isn’t enough air circulation and plants are overcrowded. Germination is slow, it can be two or more weeks when the soil is cold. If any readers have tried this let us know. Trimming cilantro back often will slow its desire to flower and go to seed. Pinch back the tips of each upright stem when the plant grows to a 4- to 6-inch height. Cilantro thrives best in soil Ph of 6.0 to 6.7. Soil preparation: Cilantro grows best in a well-drained large pot filled with the right potting soil mix of rich organic manure and moisture-retentive. So when you water the cilantro, the soil and water will not flow out. "The more you harvest cilantro, the more it comes back." Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I know this constant harvesting requirement frightens you, and you are asking, How do you know when and how to harvest them without killing the plant? Once your cilantro is ready to harvest, you’ll need to do it carefully. © 2020 Gardening Bank | All rights reserved. Many people believe they are ‘unsuccessful’ with growing cilantro when it’s just the fact that they haven’t understood the plant’s lifespan. When completely dry store them in jars and add to food whole or grind just before using. • Direct sow plants every 2 to 3 weeks, starting about 2 weeks before the last frost date. Cilantro plants bolts quickly during the heat of summer, but by harvesting the seeds on time, you can plant a second phase crop for the fall for a continuous harvest. Cut off the outer leaves when the leafy stems are 4 inches long. Pluck the leaves from the stem and chop off to add to your recipe. Cilantros are fast-growing greens that are relatively easy to maintain and harvest at your convenience. It’s not so much the air temperature but the soil temperature that affects them. Sometimes it’s usually not the heating from the air that causes cilantro to bolt, rather than from the soil. You don’t want to smash the seeds inside, but break open the outer husks. • Dedicate a small patch of garden to cilantro. I did try her method and it seemed to result in better germination. For indoor planting start rooting seeds at about the same time as the last spring frost, so they can be ready to transplant in about four weeks. Harvesting cilantro is as simple as cutting the leaves off plants as you need them. Then water them according to their watering requirement to keep them from drying and ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent leaf spots, use a soil moisture meter for best watering practices. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer every other time you water the plant. Plant seed ¼ inch deep in a well-drained soil; whether it is sandy or loamy cilantro are not too fussy as long as the soil is alkaline and they get plenty of water at planting time, and in the early stages of growth. It really is a matter of taste. You can even buy slow-bolt varieties, which produce leaves for a longer period of time. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The best way to ensure seeds are shared evenly is to shake them off an old spice container. Ensure not to disrupt the growing taproot.