Stop going to seed!!

vieja_gw(z7NM)July 15, 2005

I love using cilantro in salsa and the store-bought stuff really doesn't keep well in a glass of water in the frig. When I try to grow the plant in my herb garden the plant goes to flower/seed right away and dies no matter how much I try and clip off the flowers. How can I get some cilantro plants to survive the summer? Also is it my imagination or does the plant have two kinds of leaves: the ones found in the grocery and at the bottom of the plant and some very fine (dill-like) leaves farther up the stem?

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Heathen1(10a)

Old lady... :o)... Cilantro in the Northerners version of Popeloquelite, as I found out in here... not meant to be grown in the southern regions, in fact it can only be grown where I live in winter. I am trying papeloquelito or papelo to see how it does... it sure likes the heat! :o) but it isn't supposed to be used dried, just fresh... hmmmm.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 1:04PM
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breezyb(z6/7VA)

Cilantro bolts to seed fairly quickly in the summer & becomes unusable. While the fern-like leaves have some flavor, they are inferior & are a sign that the plant is past its prime.

The only way I manage to keep Cilantro going for me during the summer is to sow a new crop every 2-3 weeks.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 5:24PM
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HanArt(8b)

I find it easier to buy cilantro at the grocery when I need it than try to keep it growing in my garden. It's usually only 50 cents a bunch.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:29PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

It's definitely a cool-weather crop. My climate is too hot even in winter for it, so I gave up on it! Breezy has the idea - frequent succession growing. After a while, the self-seeding will take care of that for you.

You could try hunting for a slow-bolting variety. But these aren't all THAT much slower!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:31PM
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HanArt(8b)

Daisy, actually there is one ... I think it's called Vietnamese cilantro. It has a sort of funky bite. I grew it one year and yanked it the next.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 10:26PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

I was referring to cultivars of Coriandrum sativum which have been developed to bolt to seed less quickly than the original.

The so-called Vietnamese Coriander, also known as Mexican Coriander, Culantro, Recao, Long Coriander, Perennial Coriander, False Coriander, Ngo gai, Spirit Weed, or Fitweed, (Eryngium foetidum) is not related to coriander (Cilantro), and doesn't even look similar, though it has a robust coriander-like flavour. It can be a bit of a weed, and it is also rather unpleasantly spiky! But if you want the flavour, go for it.

Note that the name 'Cilantro' is a regional thing, referring to the leaves only of the Coriander plant. I call the whole plant Coriander, and the seeds are simply Coriander Seeds.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 11:34PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

In addition to papalo/papaloquelite (the Mexican shrub with succulent, disk-like leaves that Heathen1 mentions) and culantro (Eryngium foetidum, the spiky plant Daisy describes), there's another tender perennial plant that's also sometimes called Vietnamese coriander, Polygonum odoratum. It has a prostrate habit and grows very quickly in bright, moist conditions.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 3:15AM
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vieja_gw(z7NM)

Hanart:

Yes, Walmart has the fresh cilantro now four bunches for a dollar! I guess from the other responses here I can give up on growing it here and buy it instead ... though when I want to use any of my herbs it is SO convenient to just step outside the door and clip some from my herb bed.

Thanks for all the advise, y'all!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 2:24PM
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velinda(9 Houston, Tx)

If cilantro bolts so quicly inthe south out doors.....is there a way to grow it indoors out of the heat? I enjoy using it in a number of dishes. I have found the best way to keep it after purchasing a bunch....is to cut off the ends and place it in a glass of water in the frig with a plactic bag over it. If it is so popular in Mexican dishes....how do they grow it?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 7:15PM
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HanArt(8b)

Velinda, someone on the Cooking forum came up with a great way to store cilantro for a longer period of time. Wash and dry well, then wrap in paper towels and place in plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Surprisingly, it doesn't turn to slimy mush in a few days, but keeps for a couple weeks.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 8:30PM
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