Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stymied by My Cilantro

This is the first year I've tried to grow cilantro (coriander) in my garden . . . and it's not looking at all like I thought it would.

I bought two started plants from my local nursery (they were in small 3" pots) and planted them in my herb bed. They are both a good two feet tall now and from the time they seemed to take hold and start to grow, they put out these lovely little white flowers all over each plant.

The green leaves (pictured above) are very fine, small and delicate. I remember the cilantro I've purchased in the store as having more of a broad, flat leaf. Like Italian parsley. Know what I mean?

Also, I had expected the cilantro plants to look/grow more like parsley (shown above). More of a low, bushy type plant.

My cilantro plants are actually very, very attractive, covered with an abundance of the delicate white flowers. But there's more blossom than foliage . . . and I was growing the cilantro for its leaves! (Geesh, some people are never satisfied. Most of the time, we grump about all foliage and no flower!)

So I guess my question is are there different types of cilantro like there are different types (and leaf configurations) of parsley? Come on all you Green Thumbers out there that have grown cilantro/coriander in your herb gardens . . . fill me in here, please?

Signed, Clueless in Cilantro


Mama JJ said...

Could it be that it has already gone to seed? My cilantro has a very short picking season and then it shoots up flowers, the leaves shrink, and it's done. If you find a long-season cilantro, let me know!

Chicken Mama said...

Mom, I wonder if you got something mis-labeled? Take a peek at this site:

Mama Pea said...

Mama JJ - The link on Cilantro that Chicken Mama gave me is very informative. And you called it right on . . . sounds like it has a very short picking season all right. You have to get it when it's only about 6" tall. And I didn't do that. Also, apparently "started" cilantro plants go to seed (bolt) much quicker than those started from seed in the garden.

Well, now I know. I'm trying again next year by planting seeds. In the meantime, guess I'll just enjoy the lovely flowers this year.

Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Nope, I don't believe my plants were mislabeled. (Although I wondered about that for a while.) Some other research I did showed a picture of a cilantro plant that had gone to seed that looked just like mine do.

BUT the link you gave me had oodles of great info about cilantro so I now know what to do and what NOT to do next time around. Thanks for steering me to that helpful information.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
My cilantro looks just like yours and I was hoping to use the leaves in my homemade salsa. Do you think I could cut it was back now that it's gone to seed and it would grow back in leaves again?

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - Boy, it looks like we have a potential experiement with cilantro available here.

The link that Chicken Mama listed in her comment gave lots of good info and you might want to check that out.

It said if you cut your cilantro down when it was about 6" tall, it would grow back. But would ours if we cut it down now? One way to find out!