Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jack
Posted on: June 7, 1999

I planted cilantro a few months ago and it was doing really well - big leaves - no flowers. I went away on vacation for 10 days and had the garden watered while away. Came back to discover the plant is thriving, but has tons of flowers and now, small leaves. My primary use for the cilantro is in soups, salsas, etc. What do I do to get big leaves again? Please help. Tonight I just cut off a couple of pieces, took the flowers off, and chopped up the tiny leaves for salsa. I miss my big leaves.

Cilantro usually lasts about two weeks before bolting to seed. To lengthen the time spent in the vegetative stage the plants should be kept cool- around 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit). I would suggest that you resow in a cool spot, since germination also needs the above temperatures.

To not have to keep renewing the plants, you might wish to try Vietnamese coriander or Mexican coriander. Both of these species can take warmer temperatures and are a better choice for hot summer days. If you overwinter them indoors, you also don’t have to replace them every year- or every two weeks!

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