Why I Let Cilantro Bolt and You Should Too

Cilantro is one of our favorite herbs to grow. We use it in cooking various dishes and always include it in our guacamole. In the garden it tends to be very short lived in the heat of the summer. At the farmers market people ask me if I have it available to plant and I tell them that I do have it available in the spring but not in the summer because it bolts so quickly. Cilantro is heat sensitive and will flower very fast when the temperatures get warm. I like to let our cilantro bolt rather than remove it for lots of reasons.

Cilantro produces small tiny clusters of white to pink flowers that are very ornamental. While that might be a great reason in itself to let cilantro flower cilantro also attracts small bees and pollinators to the garden. It's also never bothered by deer or rabbits so it makes a great plant to keep next to garden areas that may have issues with those creatures. The scent helps to dissuade garden raiders from nibbling nearby plants. After flowering cilantro will eventually go to seed which then becomes the spice coriander. The seed is very easy to collect either by hand or by pulling up the plant to thrash into a box or paper bag. Once the seed is formed the plant fades away and is done but not before producing hundreds of seeds for your use either as a spice or as a way to make more cilantro.

Cilantro Growing Tip:
To help keep cilantro from bolting a little longer try growing it in a pot outdoors where it can be moved into the shade.
Collect and save the seed and plant outdoors every couple of weeks in the garden to sustain your harvest over the warm season. It will germinate and begin the cycle all over again!

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