How to Stop Cilantro From Bolting: An Essential Guide

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Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a popular herb that’s used in many dishes. It’s especially popular in Mexican and Indian cuisine. But if your cilantro plant is starting to bolt, you may be wondering why this is happening and what you can do about it.

In this article, I will explain to you what bolting is and how you can postpone it for a later time.

What is bolting:

Bolting is a natural process that occurs in plants when they are ready to produce seeds. This is especially true for cilantro and other herbs, like parsley and dill.

When a plant bolts, it goes through an early flowering stage before the plant reaches maturity.

This happens when the plant is getting too much sunlight, or the temperature is too warm for the plant to produce new leaves and flowers.

Cilantro plants bolt when they go to flower and produce seeds. This process causes the plant to stop growing new leaves and stems, which can cause problems for gardeners who want to harvest their cilantro at its peak.

When cilantro bolts, it looks like a small green stem with tiny white flowers at the top of it instead of leaves or buds as normal plants do. You might also notice that your cilantro is wilting or turning yellow at the bottom of its leaves.

What Causes Cilantro To Bolt?

The main reason why cilantro is bolting is too much heat.

When temperatures get too hot, however, it will bolt and go to seed prematurely. This can happen if you live in a warm climate or if you have planted your cilantro seeds too late in the spring.

Cilantro is known as a cool-weather crop, and by early summer it finishes its life cycle. To ensure the production of next-generation they will put their energy into producing seeds.

So if your weather has been unusually warm and/or dry, you’re likely seeing cilantro bolting all over your garden.

Can I Still Eat Cilantro When It Bolts?

Unfortunately, once cilantro bolts, the leaves rapidly lose their flavor and become bitter. So you can’t consume them.

Cutting the cilantro flowers won’t bring the flavor back to the leaves. Rather, leave the plant and let it go to seeds.

The seeds are also a source of high nutrients and are used in Asian, Indian, Mexican, and many other ethnic recipes.

Here is more about the cilantro seeds

How Can I Stop My Cilantro From Bolting?

In warmer climates, cilantro bolts (goes to seed) quickly. Most people want their cilantro plants to grow as long as possible so that they can keep harvesting the fresh leaves.

But if you’re growing cilantro in a warm climate and your plant is bolting before you want it to, what can you do? Here are some tips for stopping cilantro from bolting.

Plant Them Early:

One of the best ways to prevent bolting is to plant your cilantro early in the spring. That way, it will have time to establish itself before summer heat sets in.

If you’re starting from seed indoors, plant them about six weeks before the last frost — that should give them plenty of time to grow before the summer heat arrives.

Keep Cilantro Cool And Shady:

Cilantro prefers cool temperatures, so make sure you plant your cilantro somewhere shaded from direct sunlight during hot months. A spot under trees or near a fence would be ideal for this purpose.

You can also try covering your cilantro with a shade cloth like this or row cover fabric to protect it from intense sunlight and heat damage.

Use Succession Planting Method:

If you want to keep growing cilantro all year round, then you need to keep planting new plants every few weeks or so. This method is also known as succession planting.

You can either plant new seedlings every time or cut the stems off at the base of the plant once they start bolting and replant them in a new spot in your garden.

This way when one set of cilantro starts to bolt, the next set will be ready to harvest and you will enjoy the leaves for a longer period of time.

Plant Slow-Bolting Varieties of Cilantro Plants:

There are some cilantro varieties that tend to bolt slower than others. They have been bred to withstand higher temperatures. Plant these varieties so you can enjoy the leaves a little longer.

Use Mulch:

Mulch is very useful in keeping the soil temperature down. It isn’t the heat of the air that causes cilantro to bolt, but rather the heat of the soil. Mulch will also help to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

You can learn more about mulch here in this post.


Bolting isn’t harmful to your cilantro plants and may actually be beneficial because they will produce seeds sooner rather than later.

However, if you want fresh cilantro leaves throughout the growing season, you’ll need to learn how to stop your cilantro from bolting so you can harvest fresh leaves all summer long!

I hope this post was helpful to you. You can find more posts about growing cilantro here.

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prasenjit saha author Gardening ABC

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here I share everything I have learned.