How to harvest cilantro without killing the plant

So you’re looking at how to harvest cilantro without killing the plant… don’t sweat it, I can help you with that! I know what it’s like caring for a herb plant and it can be quite daunting when it’s finally time to collect its produce. Cilantro is actually pretty easy to grow and if you’re careful while harvesting, you can easily keep the plant alive and healthy. Here are a few tips on how to harvest cilantro without killing it:

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How to harvest cilantro without killing the plant

It’s actually pretty simple to harvest cilantro without killing the plant, so here’s my preferred method. So once you’ve allowed your cilantro to grow for at least 4 weeks (or it is at least 6 inches tall) have a look for the largest leaves of the plant. Using a pair of scissors, snip the largest leaves away from the stems. You can harvest a third or preferably a quarter of the plant so that you can allow for new growth.

What is cilantro?

Cilantro is an aromatic herb that is most commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisine. The leaves are used fresh or dried, and the seeds (which are known as coriander) can be used whole or ground. Cilantro has a host of health benefits and is rich in vitamins A, K, and C.

Cilantro is a relatively simple plant to grow, and it requires no special treatment or maintenance. Cilantro leaves will continue to develop after being pruned if they are trimmed correctly.

Even though cilantro tastes great to some people, certain people with genetic variations make the taste of cilantro repulsive to them. If you’re one of those people, there are other herbs to consider, such as parsley or basil!

cilantro plant

Growing Conditions

So now that you know a little more about cilantro, below I’m going to discuss the ideal growing conditions that they need in order to survive and flourish:

Weather Conditions

Cilantro will grow best in cool weather, so spring and fall are the ideal seasons. In warm weather, the plant will go to seed quickly and will no longer produce leaves. The ideal temperature for growing cilantro is between 10 and 29 degrees (or 50 – 85 degrees F).

Sun Exposure

This herb is especially sensitive to heat. Usually it’s able to withstand a few hours of full or partial sun but try not to exceed that. During the summer months, it’s best to place your cilantro in a nice shaded area so it doesn’t absorb too much heat. In other words, don’t place it in a greenhouse.

Soil Requirements

Cilantro prefers a loose, sandy soil that is rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil should be between 6.5 and 7.0. To help speed up the germination process, you can add mulch around the plants – this will also prevent weeds from growing.

Spacing Requirements

When planting cilantro, make sure to space the seeds about 1/4 inch (or 0.64 cm) apart. If you’re transplanting, each plant should be about 8 – 10 inches (or 20 – 25 cm) apart.

Watering Requirements

Cilantro should be watered regularly, but be careful not to overdo it as this can lead to root rot. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Water the plants in the morning so that the cilantro leaves have time to dry off before nightfall.

Pests and Diseases

Cilantro is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • Downy mildew

Companion Planting

Cilantro is an excellent companion to a variety of plants in the garden, whether they’re herbs, vegetables, or root crops. Basil, dill, parsley, and anise are the most recommended companions for cilantro. Because of the natural shade created by cilantro when planted near your tomatoes during summer or as the temperature rises, planting it next to them may be quite beneficial.

cilantro plants

When to Harvest Cilantro

Cilantro will be ready to harvest 4 weeks after planting. You can start harvesting when the plant is about 6 inches (or 15 cm) tall. To harvest, cut the stems about 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) above the ground.

Cilantro should be harvested when the plant is still young and before it begins to bolt. You can tell by looking at the leaves whether or not cilantro is about to flower. It’s beginning to bolt when the plant starts growing taller and producing smaller, more delicate leaves (much like carrot leaves).

At this stage, you can either pull all of your cilantro before the leaves become less desirable and lose their distinctive flavor, or you may take as many leaves as you want and allow the plants to bolt so that you can harvest the coriander seeds.

harvesting cilantro

How to Store Fresh Cilantro

Cilantro can be stored in a number of ways:

  • You can keep the cilantro in a glass or jar of water, making sure to change the water every few days.
  • You can wrap the cilantro in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • You can dry the cilantro and store it in an airtight container.
  • You can freeze the cilantro by chopping it up and placing it in an ice cube tray covered with water or oil. Once frozen, you can transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Cilantro will last the longest when stored in the freezer, but it’s still best to use it within 6 months.
storing cilantro

How do you keep cilantro from going to seed?

The best way to keep cilantro from going to seed is by harvesting it regularly. You can also try to reduce the amount of stress on the plant by making sure it has enough water and shade. If you live in a hot climate, you may need to grow cilantro indoors during the summer months.

What are some ways to use cilantro?

Cilantro can be used in a variety of dishes, both cooked and raw. It’s often used as a garnish or added to salads, salsa, guacamole, and other dips. It can also be used in soups, stews, sauces, and curries. When cooking with cilantro, it’s best to add it near the end so that it doesn’t lose its flavor.

cilantro seeds


Cilantro is a delicious herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s easy to grow, and you can either harvest the leaves when they’re young or allow them to bolt so you can get the seeds. So let’s summarise what you’ve learnt:

  • Allow the cilantro to grow for at least 4 weeks or 6 inches tall
  • Snip off a third or a quarter of the largest leaves
  • Cilantro is used in many dishes around the world
  • Cilantro has many health benefits and is rich in vitamin A,K and C
  • It’s a simple plant to grow
  • Some people like the taste while others don’t
  • Cilantro needs the right weather conditions to grow properly
  • You can store cilantro in a glass jar of water, wrap it in a damp paper towel, leave it in an airtight container and freeze it.
  • You can stop your cilantro from going to seed by harvesting it regularly
storing fresh cilantro
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Oliver Wright

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