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Jul 13, 2009 06:46 AM

problems with cilantro + dill

hey chowhounds,

we decided to do herbs in containers this year ... off of our kitchen patio - pretty good sun all day. basil (regluar + lime basil), oregano, thyme, chives, parsley, cilantro and dill.

FWIW, we're in toronto ... and the weather has not been very hot here this summer.

no problems with any of the herbs EXCEPT for cilantro and dill. both are looking like UTTER CRAP ... to the point where i want to rip them both out and start again. but seeing as it's the middle of july, i don't know if it's worth it.

anyway, what are we doing wrong? and why just these two plants??


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  1. I also live in Toronto and cannot grow dill and ditto for neighbours on both sides of me. I even bought 2 expensive ($3.00) pots of special "fer" dill at Fresh & Wild and they died. I planted seeds and nothing came up. My parsely is just starting to do well and really grow this week. My basil are improved over the past 10 days.
    Yet I see dill in the stores. Don't kow what the problems is:
    1) all the rain
    2) cold weather.
    3) my poor soil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Smachnoho

      smachnoho - i'm not happy that your dill is the pits too ... but it does make me feel somewhat better.

      hubby planted pickling dill by accident last year in our garden ... let it go to seed (argh!) and i can't rip that out fast enough! we were shocked to see it back this year.

      my dill (and cilantro) are practically dead right now ... they're just taking up space in my containers. i might as well rip them out and start something else.

    2. Well cilantro has so short of a season that by the time that got going and it warmed up their life span was probably over. They also love to get water but not too much. That could of had a big impact.

      Dill also doesn't do well in summer as cilantro but cooler climates should be be fine for that. Dill again doesn't like too much water, it can make it yellow and leggy and die. Dill likes a combo of shade and sun but so does cilantro. The cooler the weather obviously more sun it will need.

      I have a friend just north of Toronto. She and her fiance stay at his parents condo during the summer months and she grows herbs that she loves to cook with.

      The soil is critical and drainage is really important with those two plants compared to the others. Also remember Cilantro only lives a few weeks. You can grow both inside but only with good sunlight during the day.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kchurchill5


        kchurchill5 - thanks for shedding a ton of light on my dismal herb situation! my dill has had way too much water -- it is totally yellow and leggy! eureka. it's just been too rainy here lately and not very warm.

        and i think the cilantro (according to your post) has just reached the end of it's life. maybe i can just pop in another plant.


        1. re: lilaki

          Cilantro, I plant 1 new plant (I don't use seeds, too hot down here is fl, plants works better) every couple or 3 weeks. That way I have fresh. They are dill both don't like winter. They do better in summer/spring or fall basically. Too hot for the cilantro is ok, for the dill NO. Fall and spring for both are ideal. Cilantro is winter NO, Dill is ok. For you inside as long as you have lots of daytime light should be ok 4-6 hrs of light works great. Water when dry, but don't over water, I like clay pots always, never plastic, A good fresh well nourished soil. A good miracle grow soil works good and fertilize every two weeks with any herbs. Just miracle grow or anything similar is fine. I trim often using the herbs. Promotes more growth. Basil and parsley again grow ok inside but you again need light and misted now and then. Heat and air can really affect the growth.

          I know sounds like alot. But find the right spot and right combo and they will thrive. I have tons of herbs and live in an apt. But several did well and a few didn't, I moved them back to the other side and presto. Sometimes it is just a matter of moving them to a new location. Now they are thriving. Just move them around a bit, it can't hurt.