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How does your cilantro grow?

I just tried growing cilantro. I say tried because I only planted it in a pot two weeks ago and its already dead! My parsley is too, but it was holding on by a thread so I'm more concerned with the complete failure of the cilantro. How do you keep your cilantro alive?

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  1. I have the opposite problem -- how to keep cilantro from taking over my garden...
    If you have an area that you can plant seeds -- not plants -- let one plant got to seed and you'll have cilantro for the rest of your life.

    I think it just doesn't transplant well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kizil

      I planted 4 plants from the nursery 3 weeks ago and they thrive, always have. They do like well drained soiled. Not soaked. I disagree with shade and cooler temps. It is mid 80's and mine is in sun. Mostly sun during the day. Shade, they die for me. They just keep growing. They do need to be pinched often and their life span is not long. Plants definitely for FL and not seeds for the most part.

      They can be a bit tempermental, find the right spot. My red basil died 4 times before I found the right spot. Now I can't stop it. Sometimes just around the corner makes all the difference from growing and now.

      They don't like hot sun all day, but shade, my shriveled and died. cool. They don't do well in 90 degrees in July but cool in 80 down here and they do great. I grow them through late June and July and then inside in pots until Sept. One of the easiest herbs that I grow. I have 15 varieties and red basil is my most finicky. Dill of course is not a summer plant down here but otherwise I found that most people over care for them. I don't hardly water, I fertilize when I first plant and then a few weeks later. I don't do too much to them which I think works, at least for me.

      1. re: kizil

        Same here - I bought one seedling a half-dozen years ago and let it go to seed, now every spring it comes up like crabgrass across a 6 x 20 foot area. OK, tasty crabgrass. But it's easy to uproot so I don't worry about it, I just thin it back and for several months a year I have all I could possibly want. This is in Boston, where nothing much is edible yet, but I already had enough last night for a good batch of guac.

        1. re: BobB

          Way to go. The right conditions, good locations. And like I have said a millions times ... all the rules and right and wrong things. When it finds a place it likes and grows good ... it does. I had one earth box in the perfect spot. it hated it. I moved it to the side. more water, more sun and presto. It is like a weed. Before I plant any of my small plants I move them around to see where they do best. Easy enough and they all like something other t the books call for. So for me common sense and just trial and error.

          I love you can grow it so well. It is so good in guac. It is great with oj, lime, ginger, garlic and cilantro to marinate shrimp and scallops which is awesome.

          FYI, Very taste crabgrass!!

      2. Cilantro is an amazingly finicy plant... it's really a wonder it's so cheap at the market... LOL! But IME, it hates to be overwatered... likes shade and cooler temps. It also likes to be DEEP in the ground... but it can spread like crazy... my mother who is my gardening muse just stopped growing it, it became SUCH a pain...


        1. I planted seeds in a row (marked ends w/ sticks so I knew where they were) about 1/4" deep, and kept watered until they emerged in a couple weeks.

          The good news is you can try again because ideally if you want cilantro regularly, you have to re-seed it every 3 weeks or so.

          Did you plant seeds or plants? What climate are you in? I'd like to try to help because it's generally been so easy for me (versus parsley which has a slow germination rate and I always just buy plants, except for the ones that come up from the prior year -- they're biennials)

          1 Reply
          1. re: NYchowcook

            I bought plants and I live near Tampa, Florida. I think I'm Zone 9.

          2. Some great info here. I haven't been able to grow cilantro. It always does amazingly well and then it just dies. I'm in Norfolk, VA, so the summer is miserable here...not to mention my garden has full sun. Maybe I should try it stictly indoors.

            2 Replies
            1. re: krisrishere

              NO, cilantro does not do well just indoors, outdoors should be fine and sun shouldn't be a big problem. Remember, cilantro has a very short life span once it reaches maturity, it pretty much dies off. That is normal
              Not like parsley or oregano or basil
              It may require a little more shade, but mine is in FL with full sun right now. Sometimes, it just doesn't like where it is. I know that sounds funny but it is true. My herbs grow in full sun 8 hours of 85+ degrees with 80+ humidity and soaking rains a lot of afternoons. It is just finding the right spot for it. Honestly. 15+ years of growing cilantro and dill and red basil my three most persnickity plants and yes, I just need to find the right place is all Hang in there.

              1. re: kchurchill5

                Agreed. My cilantro (in RTP area of NC) is thriving in a pot outside my front door. Tons of sun and I water it 2x daily. It is a very good idea, though to plant it again just as it thrives. As the existing plant will die off, new cilantro should be just coming into its own.

            2. I think our Florida sun is too much for cilantro. For many years we struggled with growing it until this year. I recommend partial sun or better yet indirect light. Ours grows outdoors, potted in a loose well draining soil under our patio with no direct sunlight and is the best looking cilantro we have ever grown in soil.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Chanin

                It is funny I agree, mine is almost in full sun and thriving but I moved it to a couple of locations to get the best results. I'm not sure what the difference was, but yeah I always say just move it around until it does well. Sometimes there is no explanation why it does well it one spot vs another.

                I had 5 large pots on my front porch, all five faced the same way, no different sun or shade, or water. But for some reason the one end always did bad.

                I glad yours is doing well. Enjoy the rewards. Cilantro has a very short lifespan so eat up. Even in summer you may be able to grow it with the location since it seems to work very well.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  I feel that growing from seed rather than buying from a nursery makes a difference also. Would you agree?
                  One thing you can do to get more life out of your cilantro is to simply use it. Pinching off the tops where the flower is developing will buy you some more time but only a month or so. I let some of my cilantro flower and go to seed every year just so I have some to plant next season. I do the same with my basil varieties and chili's also.

                  The important and overlooked part of the OP is how did your cilantro die? What did it look like? Was there yellowing? Was it tall with disproportionately small leaves?

                  1. re: Chanin

                    I pinch mine constantly. Definitely you get much more life. Never had luck with seed. Too wet even on my lanai, but I may try it next year.

                    Mine died from too much water and then I really don't know. Yellowing, some browning, some just not doing well. Combo of problems. But once moved 6 feet down the bed it was fine. Same sun and shade and same water. Go figure? And the same plant, It was almost dead but came right back. I had 2 in the same spot, left the one and moved the other. The other did great. Mystery

                    1. re: kchurchill5

                      Sounds as though you might have a drainage issue in the bad spot. I know that when I dig in my beds, one spot can be damp and a spot 3' away can be drier. It really depends on the quality of the soil (more compost, which will hold water, had been added in one area), proximity to competing tree or shrub roots (which will suck up the water and yield drier soil), etc.

                      Dig down 8-12" in each spot, feel the soil with your hands, squeeze it, crumble it: I bet you will notice a difference.
                      Good luck, p.j.

                      1. re: p.j.

                        these were actually in pots, but yes, I know what you mean.

                        I had 3 usually 4 beds out back 1 side of one bed would never do well. No clue why. No sprinkler in that area, no water from underground. Just something it got to wet. Never figured it out. Moved the rosemary there which did good and moved the cilantro to the dry side.

                        Growing up I had to grow corn on the back 3 rows, no idea why. They just only grew well on the bag 3. Same sun, no trees, no structure, same water. It isn't just science it is just instinct and trial and error

              2. Can someone help out a newbie? :)
                What is "going to seed" and "re-seeding" when it comes to cilantro? Do you stick the flowers in the dirt when you're ready to get a new plant going? I just know nothing, except that my new plant seems to be wilting already.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Papuli

                  Cilantro has a very short life span. I cut as much off and once it goes to seed it's life span is over. Drying cilantro works and I have frozen to use in soups or in a pesto. But it usually stays fresh in your fridge for a while. It is in the bolting stage, I think that is what they call it. Basically stopping growing leaves and is at the end of it's life cycle and going to flower. Now you have coriander seeds. Re seeding, mine have in past but not very successfully. Out FL weather I am sure contributes to that. I use plants down here with out weather. But I have been lucky with my spot and my cilantro does ok, but usually MID summer NO. It has a very short life and likes a more cooler climate, but can be grown in warm areas. Just more care. Summer for both dill and cilantro are not ideal for the south.

                  Containers are fine for cilantro as you can grow them on a porch or lanai with a screened in area where it doesn't get as much sun. I would have to re seed which is so hard down here with afternoon drenching rains, so I start with plants always, still they only last a few weeks and then go to seed. Plant some late summer when the weather is cool if too warm.

                  You have a different climate, but warm as well.

                  FYI, sticking the flowers in soil. Sorry doesn't work that way, new seeds or new plants, but wait on the temperature change.

                  Hope this helps.

                2. In Texas (zone 9), I've only had luck with cilantro in the cool season. Once the heat gets to it, it bolts pretty quickly. I had great luck just letting it re-seed itself, and noticed that it naturally grew from Sept-Oct to April or so. That's the schedule I keep with my seeds now.

                  1. Interesting is usually jfood has cilantro problems and abundent basil. This yearthe opposite.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jfood

                      I wonder if it's all the rain we've been having--same here. Our cilantro grew like gangbusters this year--I made a double-batch of cilantro pesto with it tonight and there are still TREES of it on the deck, but the basil looks exactly as it did when planted. :( Sad, kinda like the Charlie Brown Christmas trees of the basil world. Maybe time to go back and get more basil plants to see if we have better luck (and less rain!).

                    2. I am convinced cilantro cannot grow without immediately going to seed in maritime Pacific Northwest. I envy you who have it growing like weeds.

                      I can grow horsetail and dandelions like nobody's biz. I am a buttercup maniac!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        Cilantro is hard, it is a very short life trust me. During summer in FL, it is like 3 weeks and to seed. I have some inside my porch and 3 weeks and almost to seed with so much heat. but got tons of cilantro which I am drying.

                        But I know what you means.

                      2. LOL Sounds like you just need to move to Hawaii where to grow anything at all, we toss a seed, then jump out of the way. Everything (well, nearly) seems to thrive here. We have a lovely tropical garden in front (with some pineapple plants, too), and a large greenhouse in back, for the plants that need more sun.
                        Cilantro and parsley both need some moisture, but should not be left wet overnight. So you could mist them in the morning, but please do provide some shade or indirect light, else they'll burn up.
                        Good luck with your next attempt - aloha!