cilantro help

charliepantsMay 23, 2009

Help! My cilantro does not look like the regular flat leaf kind! It has long prickly leaves all over. I've lost the tag that has the name and grow tips on it and I have no idea what to do with this thing! Can anyone help me?

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leira(6 MA)

I was recently visiting a friend who had a 6-pack of cilantro, and hers, too, had long skinny leaves, and not the flat kind that I was expecting. I re-confirmed the tag, and the picture on the tag, and my friend seemed to think it was quite normal.

So, my new theory is that there are multiple varieties of the stuff. I'd bet you use them just the same way, though.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:31PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Your cilantro has now bolted. Soon there will be tiny flower sprays at the tips and these turn into coriander seeds. The flat leaves are only on the plants at the beginning of the growing cycle. Once the flat leavs die out, the thinner leaves show up, nothing will bring them back to the parsley shaped flat leaves. Suggest that you plant more seeds. Also avoid heat and direct sun. T have a continous supply, plant a bunch of seeds every two weeks.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Ditto Ksrogers. Once the leaves begin to turn lacy, and flowers appear, you know your coriander is soon to die. It is a very short lived annual. Let the seeds drop, and eventually you'll have a continual supply. Meantime, get a new plant, and keep doing this about every 2 weeks until your patch is established.

BTW, you can still eat the leaves, though they'll be more coarse and bitter in flavour than you might like; and the flowers are edible, too.

Leira, there are no multiple varieties of coriander (though horticulturists have experimented with slow-growing types which aren't all that slow-bolting!); however there is one perennial alternative. This is Asian Coriander (Eryngium foetidum) also known by many other names including Mexican Coriander, Culantro, Recao, Long Coriander, Perennial Coriander, False Coriander, Ngo gai, Spirit Weed, Fitweed.

The 2 plants are not related, and look nothing alike, but both have a very similar flavour in the leaves. Some people opt for this one because coriander is so notorious for bolting, especially in warmer climates.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Yes, Just about the time the celantro starts looking good it begins to flower. I tried slow bolting celantro from Seeds of Change, and was quite pleased with the added harvest time and am now saving the seeds for future planting.
You can also stager plantings at two week intervals...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 7:58PM
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My cilantro bolted couple of weeks ago. I harvested as much as I wanted (uprooted them) and left a few to go for seeds.
Right not they are over 3 ft tall and in full bloom. But I have not noticed any change in the shape of leave. I will look closely tomorrow. Definitely, they have not turned yello yet. Of course we have had a lot of rain, temps in 50 to 75F range and they are partially shaded.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 8:14PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Another mystery solved. You guys rock. I love cilantro, although I know a lot of people that don't. I like it so much, I'm willing to reseed it to get a continuous supply, even though I have a lot of other herbs to take care of, and I can get it at the grocery for about a dollar. Is it worth the payoff? don't know. When it starts to get hot and humid here-usually now-but the weathers been unusual- i'll give up on growing it and focus on fresh basil, sage, tarragon, rosemary, and others.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Hey 'Daisy' you nailed it! When I read your msg to Leria, I remembered what the tag said...Culantro! It also had Mexican Coriander on it. So, I'm wondering if you think mine has bolted? The leaves are very prickly and hurt my fingers, but smell wonderful. I have not seen any flowers yet. If I do I shall try them in a salad!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 11:06PM
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Violet_Skies_(5b S.Central WI)

I think it's worth the payoff. Cilantro grows so easily and the flavor from fresh cut is more intense and fresh than you will get from the grocery store. Anything you grow yourself has a much lower environmental footprint, so throw down those seeds every couple of weeks and you should have an unending supply of cilantro.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:05AM
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