Why Your Cilantro Croaks
You’ve been to the garden center or market. You have come home with some pretty herbs to plant. You have everything nicely situated in pots and the garden. For a few days or a week it all seems to be going well…and then you notice the cilantro looks a little sad. Maybe yellowing, possibly a little wilting going on.
What the heck is going on with the stuff?
This question gets asked a lot. We just had a few friends on Facebook ask, and like a twit I rambled off the usual herb death possibilities.
My apologies to those that asked this question and I neglected to mention this VITAL bit of Cilantro growing information. All I’ve got to say is I’d make a lousy detective. You gave me the clues-and I completely missed them!
So why does the stuff die shortly after you buy it?
- Cilantro has a short lifespan.
- It’s usually harvested less than two months after starting from seed.
- It bolts and goes to seed when temperatures rise.
- Growers start plants early enough in the season to look great when you buy them (sheesh, you’d think being a grower I would have remembered to tell you this!)
- This does not mean they are at the optimal growth stage for you to plant them. Just the opposite. They may be getting old by the time you get them home.
- Refer back to item #1.
Cilantro should probably not be bought as a started plant because of these reasons!
Fortunately it is super easy to start from seed.
It will give you yummy leaves over a longer period of time, and a packet of seeds is much cheaper and way less frustrating than fighting with your purchased plants and believing yourself to be a dismal failure.
Buck up! You aren’t a dismal failure. It’s just the nature of the plant.
Oh, and if you let it bolt and go to seed, you won’t even have to buy seeds next year!