Cilantro (Coriander) Going to Seed
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Maricela Castellano
Posted on: June 01, 2004

I have an herbal garden that I am trying to grow. Herbs are not as easy as regular plants. My cilantro herb has grown seeds and I don’t know what to do with them. My mother-in-law has told me to cut them off but what do I do with them next? I tried drying them out and planting them in the same pot as the cilantro. But I don’t think it’s going to work will it? What can I do to let it produce more? I don’t want it to die. The leaves are light brown and seem to be drying out.

Once cilantro has bolted to seed you can sometimes prolong the life of this short-lived annual by cutting off the seeds as you were advised. If too much strength has already been put into seed production, then the parent plant just dies. To make the seed germinate they have to be quite ripe to be viable, and germination has to be carried out at a chilly temperature. Grow plants at 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) to prolong their life.

If the seed is still green and won’t be viable, you may as well dry it and grind it as a spice -- it is delicious in meat dishes. If you have no clean coffee grinder to use, you could use a rasp to carefully scrape some into a dish.

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