What Hot Weather Does to Cilantro

Last weekend when I was out watering my front garden, I noticed some big changes to my cilantro. What was a green luscious plant barely a foot tall six weeks ago was now reaching two feet tall and sporting delicate clusters of white flowers. It was healthy and pretty and going to seed. But it was also no longer producing flavorful leaves that I could use in my Tex-Mex tacos. So what did I do?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The flowering of my cilantro was simply nature taking its course. Daytime high temperatures had reached 90 degrees in my region. When that happens, cilantro is triggered into sending up a flower stalk, producing seeds, and dying.

This because cilantro is a cool climate herb and I am growing it in a hot climate. This herb will not survive the sustained high heat of a summer in the Southwest. So it does the only thing it can do – set seed for the next generation.

What was a young tender herb six weeks ago is now a full, blooming cilantro plant preparing to set seed. This is what happens when a cool weather herb experiences hot weather.

What was a young tender herb six weeks ago is now a full, blooming cilantro plant preparing to set seed. This is what happens when a cool weather herb experiences hot weather.

 

The fact that my cilantro was dying was not a result of bad gardening. My membership in the Green Thumb Club was still intact. And that’s what I want to pass on to you.

If you’re cilantro is flowering or setting seeds, relax. You’re just observing a natural and normal process. Once the seeds begin to brown, harvest the seed heads and place them in a paper bag. After a few weeks they will finish drying out and can be saved r a second sowing this September once the temperatures begin to drop below 90 degrees.

Here’s the bottom line – when your cilantro goes to seed in hot weather it’s okay. Don’t stress over what is a normal process in nature.

 

After these blooms are fertilized, they will produce round, brown seeds I can sow this fall for a second helping of cilantro.

After these blooms are fertilized, they will produce round, brown seeds I can sow this fall for a second helping of cilantro.

(Visited 67 times, 1 visits today)

3 comments on “What Hot Weather Does to Cilantro

  1. David Stanford

    Also grind some seed for coriander while waiting for fall.

  2. Barb

    Thank you! My cilantro is doing the exact same thing and I was wondering what to do next.

 

Subscribe to the Herb ‘n Cowgirl’s newsletter and receive a FREE copy of “Six Tips For a Bigger Basil Harvest.” This three page tip sheet is guaranteed to give you healthier basil and more fresh leaves to harvest and enjoy.

Yes, I want a copy of "Six Tips For a Bigger Basil Harvest."

* indicates required

Click Here

Oh Adam was a gardener, and God, who made him, sees that half of all good gardening is done upon the knees.Rudyard Kipling
… (next quote)

The Herb ‘n Cowgirl is a member of