Return to the Herbs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Which herbs change taste when they bolt?

Posted by ajsmama 5b (NW CT) (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 17, 13 at 17:16

I've got overwintered oregano and cilantro that are now flowering, I'm letting the cilantro reseed in hopes of getting more later in the season when I have tomatoes and peppers. But do the leaves taste different (bad) when the plant flowers?

What about oregano (I've been trying to snip off the flowers but they got ahead of me this week and the plants are looking kind of straggly - think I need to chop them quite a bit)?

Basil is just starting to really take off (and either I got 2 kinds of seeds in 1 packet of "sweet basil" or some aren't getting enough sun, leaves are smaller) and the dill is starting to head up too - but my cukes aren't ready yet.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Which herbs change taste when they bolt?

  • Posted by nickl Z7a NJ (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 17, 13 at 17:53

Cilantro/coriander "bolts". That is, it sends up a flower stalk from the crown which is different in character from the rest of the plant. And yes, the flavor of the leaves does "go off" when that happens. Pinching off the flower stalk won't change that. However, the new plants that will spring up in the bed from the self-seeding will be just fine.

Oregano simply starts to bloom. Many people who grow it consider that the flavor is best when the plant just comes into bloom, but you can use it pretty much any time.

Basil is similar to oregano in that it doesn't develop off-flavors. However, being an annual, the plant is going to be mostly done soon after blooming as the seeds start to form. You can delay that by pinching off the flower stems when they are still in bud Some people even use the bud stems in cooking as they do have some basil favor.


 o
RE: Which herbs change taste when they bolt?

Thanks - basil was started later than dill (and of course the oregano and cilantro were already there) so long ways from flowering. I saved some of the oregano sprigs with flowers since they were so pretty but forgot to put them in salad last night.

I was just wondering about the cilantro, don't have anything to use it with just yet since tomatoes are a long ways off. So I'll let these reseed again, hope to have some in Sept? Or should I start new seed now (don't know how long it takes to get from flower to seed to new plant, didn't see any new plants last year after it bolted, in fact never even really saw seed but I'd like to save some this year)?


 o
RE: Which herbs change taste when they bolt?

Cilantro seeds , aka coriander, is an spice by itself. It has totality different ( and IMO better flavor) than cilantro. I buy it from Mexican / Asian / Indo Pakistani stores in large quantities and Plant some of those rather than paying couple of bucks for few grams of seeds.

Regarding the question of : FROM FLOWER TO SEEDS: In my estimation , it can take a few month for the seed become fully ripe and viable. It is better to use those FRESH seeds in the kitchen and buy something else to plant, UNLESS you have a whole lot of them.


 o
RE: Which herbs change taste when they bolt?

Thanks, I was planning on using some of the seeds for cooking but wanted the plant(s) to reseed as well since the original seed is older. I'll plant what I have left now and hope to have it the same time as tomatoes. Hopefully next year I'll have a bigger patch of reseeded cilantro and early tomatoes.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Herbs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here