I love the stuff but cant get it to grow. I buy it all ready started about 5" tall , plant it , and 2 weeks later it starts to turn "lacy" and seed. The happens about 95% of the time
Start from seed, and plan for it to go to seed in short order.
So to keep a supply coming, plant a small area, then seed another area 2 weeks later. Repeat as needed.
So far I've found cilantro to be the most difficult plant to grow, by far. It is extremely finicky and temperature sensitive. Maybe because I'm in pots I dunno. But it is very very challenging, especially now that it is summer and a single day in the high 80s and above can easily kill the entire plant.
Aside from really hating being transplanted, coriander's one of those annoying cool-season plants that I'd rather be eating in summer. I don't generally hanker for a big leafy salad on a cold, rainy day either...
It doesn't love soils high in organic matter, it seems to better in some native or lightly amended soil here in LA.
When it bolts, the flowers are still good fried or sauteed in dishes, although the leaves become bitter. Then the seeds become coriander and one plant will give a few hundred seeds. I say let them bolt.
I have had good results with cilantro- in the winter here in S TX. Summer forget it. I tried one in a pot indoors this spring and still no go. It just up and died on me. Maybe because we don't keep our house cold enough with the A.C. I want cilantro in the summer too to go with tomatoes for salsa. I think I will try getting one going good in a pot in late winter next year then move it inside when it warms up.
Adding to dicot's post, tiny parasitic wasps and other useful insects seem to love coriander flowers above all others.
Here's what works for me, all through the hot summer.
Sow seed, thickly, so that your starts are crowded. It hasn't mattered whether this is in highly amended soil or not. Use the whole plant as soon as it has yield to thin. By the time the rest get to flower & seed, my next sowing is yielding. Repeat. Honey bees LOVE those flowers.
I have a bed that gets maybe two hours of sun that I use in deepest summer.
Your own seed will have the greatest viability, but I have used grocery store coriander as well.
I had that problem my first time with cilantro so I bought slow bolt seeds now and that seems to have helped although I've been planting more every few weeks.
I also forgot to mention that I've been pinching mine back in an effort to get it nice and bushy without seeding.
Culantro (Eryngium foetidum) is said to be similar in taste and slower to bolt than cilantro, it's widely used in the tropics, less so in N America. But I've never tried it.
my cilantro goes from seed to seedling to bolting in a matter of hours or so it seems.
It continues to grow and self sow but will not allow me to harvest. I look at it and it bolts.
So I just save a lot of time and aggravation and pay the 69 cents to a buck fifty a bunch at the store when I need some.
pepper71 I often see the Cilantro sold in nurseries already bolting when it is barely 6 inches tall, with the leaves that look more like dill than cilantro. :) I wonder if it's from excess amount of nutrients/fertilizer?
Another thing I read is that when the cilantro roots feel the heat/warmth, it is the signal for the plant to start bolting.
So that got me wondering about some sort of a cover that will not only be used as a mulch for the top of my pot but will also screen the pot itself from direct sun so that it stays as cool as can possibly be.
dicot thanks for that photo, really inspiring seeing a fully grown cilantro right here in my state. :) :D And also "Way to Go!"
Cilantro is strictly a cool-season crop. plant often, like every 3 weeks. Use the seeds for baking cookies, etc.
I've often wondered if cilantro is day length sensitive and temperature sensitive. It seems to do much better after the beginning of July than it does in the spring and it's still plenty hot in Texas in July and August.
From what i read it is temp sensitive, but I dont know for sure how the amount of light time effects it.
I read also that it does not do well in containers,indoors, or with good store bought soil. BUT, I think I am going to give it a try indoors anyways to see what I can do.