What to do when cilantro flowers

publickmanFebruary 19, 2014

The cilantro plants that we planted back in October are now making tall stems and are flowering, and so I have been cutting the tall stalks, trim and save the leaves at the bottom 4", and then put the stems in a plastic water glass that I keep in the kitchen near a window, although lately I have been putting it in the living room in the evening next to one of the orchids for some extra green. I think it makes a nice floral arrangement, and it is convenient to have the stalks at hand when I want to use them, and so I do not have to go outside (often in the dark) to harvest leaves when I want them. I used to let the plants go to seed so that I could harvest the seeds, but I already have two jars full of seeds and do not need any more coriander.

Anyway, I thought this is a nice way to keep cilantro close at hand when the plants are flowering, and it encourages growth of the lower leaves. I've already frozen large quantities of cilantro this winter, and I dried quite a bit also, to see how that will work. If it doesn't work, I have more in the freezer than I can use in a while anyway. If I try to grow cilantro in the summer, I have to keep it in a shady spot, and bromeliads and orchids have taken up the best shady spots already, and I really don't have time in the summer to take care of it - plus it takes a lot of water. It doesn't dry out as fast in the winter because I get a bit of coastal fog in the early morning, although less this year than most.

This isn't the best photo, but I took it this morning and was rushed for time. It's next to a meat slicer and in front of a food processor - not the prettiest spot, but it got light from the window.

Lars

This post was edited by publickman on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 1:18

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carol_in_california

I let it go to seed and plant more cilantro.
Or let it reseed itself.
Our climate is very good all year long for growing things, however.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:54PM
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sally2_gw

That's what I do. I let mine go to seed and it'll sprout up the next fall. It's always fun to see where it might sprout next time. Of course, if you have a more formal yard, then you can plant the seeds when the weather is conducive.

I'll continue to harvest the cilantro leaves as long as I can, but after a point they get pretty bitter tasting, and are more stems than leaves. Then it's adios if I'm not letting it flower and seed out.

Sally

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:35AM
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publickman

I grow cilantro in pots, and so it does not have a chance to reseed itself, as I need the pots for something else, once the cilantro is finished. The plants I have now were from a six-pack I bought for cheap, although I have also grown it from seed, and I can pretty much plant any time of year I want, as we do not have seasons here, other than the amount of light we get. I have way more seeds than I need now and am enjoying the flowers that I bring in. When the plants stop growing, I will try using some of the cilantro that I have frozen. If I do not like defrosted cilantro, I may plant some seeds.

Lars

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:48AM
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caliloo

I don't care for frozen cilantro, but YMMV. Even though I am Z6b/7a I do let my cilantro go to seed and a lot of it will germinate in the spring. Unfortunately, the first hot day and it bolts.

Good luck and I will be interested to hear your thoughts

Alexa

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:29PM
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sleevendog

That must smell amazing. We just don't have the weather for cilantro. I can keep it going by planting seeds almost once a week when good weather hits but here it goes from cold to very hot quickly. Even the slow bolt varieties bolt fast.
I just started using some that i froze in ice cube trays last fall with lemon juice. Completely forgot about it. I must have used the baby cuisinart as it is ground fine like a pesto. And i always use the stems. Nice and zippy, better than i expected.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:02PM
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publickman

If you are growing cilantro in the summer, you can prevent it from bolting so much by keeping it in a shady spot - it is the sun and not the heat that causes it to bolt. Now that the days are getting longer, mine is beginning to try to bolt, but if I move it to a shadier spot, that process will happen more slowly. January 2014 here was warmer than August 2013.

Lars

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:25AM
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