The Q&A Archives: Maintenance of Cilantro

Question: I have recently planted a couple cilantro plants in my garden. The plants have taken off upward in all stems with white flowers. My question is do I have to prune these stems to promote the growth of the leafy cilantro? It seems before these stems appeared the cilantro was more leafy.

Answer: To keep your cilantro growing lush and green you should remove the flowers and their stems as soon as they appear. As with most annual plants, flowering and seed development usually signals the end of the season (the last thing a plant does before it dies is set seed to ensure the next generation). Cilantro will self-sow, meaning that if you allow the seeds that are developing now to fall from the plant, they will germinate in the soil and provide new little plants next season. If the plant has been developing seed heads for a long time, you may not be able to rehabilitate it, but should allow it to go to seed and provide you with new plants. If it has only just begun to flower and set seeds, cut the flowers and stems off to promote additional leafy growth.

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