Judith B
by Judith B
When Home Depot had its 5/$10 vegs and herbs last week I bought a variety. I like cilantro
and wanted to grow my own. When I got home the cilantro was aready wilting. I gave it the sun and watering like the other plants but it continues to deteriorate. I was back at HD today looking at more herbs and the 3 remaining cilantro looked about as bad as mine. I dont have any hopes of reviving it nor do I plan to buy it again unless I can find out what went wrong. I'm along the gulf coast and wondered if it is a cool season plant and was already on the way out when I bought it.
  11 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 13, 2013
    Is it still in the wimpy little plastic "pot" you bought it in.? those things are so small that they almost need watering twice a day.

  • Ouina Ouina on Apr 13, 2013
    Did you leave it in full sun after watering? and KMS is right about the little plastic pot - it needs lots of watering if in full sun. Also, the plastic heats up and can "cook" the roots. You need to keep it out of direct sunlight until you can plant in a bigger pot or in the ground. It has a tap root so once established in soil, don't move. Cilantro likes rich, loose, well-drained soil, full sun, and adequate water-but it will grow in some shade. It also does not tolerate temperatures above 75 degrees as it will bolt, thus in your zone you should probably only try to grow in autumn when the day temperatures are cooler. Or...sow seeds every few weeks in early spring and harvest small leaves before it bolts - you can then extend the harvesting season in your zone. If in a pot, give it afternoon shade to extend the growing season. Hope this helps...

  • Judith B Judith B on Apr 13, 2013
    It was a Bonnie plant which means you plant the whole thing, no plastic pot I'll wait until fall to buy it again. I do not know why places like Home Depot and Lowes get plants that do not do well here, or the wrong season

  • Joanne Powell Joanne Powell on Apr 13, 2013
    I think they most often suffer from neglect and shock associated with being root bound and under and/or over watered while still waiting to be bought up from the large scale nurseries. The people caring for them generally don't know which should be watered more or less often (or care) and there are usually more than a few plants that slip through the cracks. They also have a habit of putting solid bottom plastic pots over the ones with drainage (probably for cleaner in-store displays) so if [when] they are over-watered and not properly drained off, the plant literally drowns from lack of oxygen to the roots. Buy from smaller, more conscientious nurseries, OR grow them from seed yourself (shameless plug: our store stocks cilantro seed $2.79 for a 50 ct. pkt.) If you're going to buy from a larger store, always check (before you buy) to see they aren't overly root bound and that the soil isn't pulling from the sides of the pot (a sign they have not been watered for a length of time). Cilantro does actually prefer warm climates which is what causes it to 'bolt' or produce flowers. If you are growing it to use the crushed seed for coriander, you would probably prefer that some plants did bolt for faster seed production.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 14, 2013
    Judith, cilantro is definitely a cool-season plant. It's very hard to keep it going here in Florida, but I plant it and just let it bolt because the small white flowers are actually quite pretty, I think. Also, in my experience, you shouldn't count on those Bonnie pots decomposing. I would definitely at least rough them up a bit before planting.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Apr 14, 2013
    @Douglas Hunt is spot on about the cilantro. For us in the southeast it goes to seed pretty quickly in our warm springs. You can keep it cooler for longer if you plant it on the the north side of your home and give it as cool a root zone as possible. It is really easy to do from seed as well

  • Jeanie C Jeanie C on Apr 14, 2013
    I too, love Cilantro. Have always had issues trying to grow Cilantro. I guess it has to be the extreme heat in the Southeast. One more reason I do not like hot weather! Trying Cilantro again this year in a spot where it will get sun but only until midday. Wish me luck! I am growing lavender like crazy and very pleased.

  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on Apr 14, 2013
    If you plant it it the fall, it will often grow all winter. I will write a blog today about cilantro, just for you. Heat will cause it to go to seed quickly, finish it's life cycle and die, but you would know that was happening if you saw a stalk and flowers. Probably wasn't root-bound in the pot either because it is in the carrot family and has a tap root. Plants are like people: they don't all make it. Just throw that one away (don't compost it) and start again in the fall. You can find it this afternoon at:

  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on Apr 14, 2013
    Here it is Judith B: I'll have pictures too in a couple hours!!

  • The French Gardener The French Gardener on Apr 14, 2013
    Cilantro bolts (process of going to seed) when temperatures climb above 75°F for a few consecutive days, and you will obtain a fruit called coriander seed. Cilantro grow in temperate zones; in your area, it is best to sow cilantro seeds from September through February. Renounce to have fresh cilantro from your garden in summertime. I disagree with Caley's Culinary about (don't compost it), surely dead plant can be composted.

  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on Apr 14, 2013
    It may have died from a disease. I didn't want to scare her by pointing that out. Unless the compost pile is very hot, you risk contaminating your soil if you compost it. Full disclosure: Bonnie is my competitor and they also are my follower on Twitter. They are an awesome grower. Plant germs are around all the time, just like people germs.