What To Do When Cilantro Flowers? [Full Guide]

Did you know that cilantro doesn’t produce only leaves but also has flowers? So cilantro is a pretty herb plant that provides us with a lot.

However, is cilantro flowering always a good thing?

This article will answer that question and more. First, we’ll talk about what cilantro flowers are. Then, we’ll detail why cilantro flowers in the first place.

In addition, we’ll discuss whether or not it’s bad if cilantro flowers, when it’ll most likely flower, and what to do if it does flower.

Finally, we’ll share tips on how to prevent your cilantro from flowering as long as you can.

What Are Cilantro Flowers?

Have you ever seen a cilantro plant with flowers? Believe it or not, cilantro is a herb that can also produce flowers.

These flowers grow in clusters, called umbels. They look like they have a lacy appearance and are white-pink in color. 

Unlike most other flowers, cilantro flowers don’t have much of an aroma. Also, they don’t have a strong taste, either.

For instance, cilantro flowers have a similar taste to the herb’s fresh leaves but are much milder.

Are Cilantro Flowers Edible?

Yes, cilantro flowers are edible. In fact, the entirety of the cilantro plant is edible.

The flowers have a similar flavor to the herb’s leaves, but it’s more subtle. For instance, cilantro flowers are often used in Indian, Asian, and Latin dishes. 

You can use the flowers on their own for certain recipes, or you can use the cilantro flowers as a substitute for cilantro leaves.

However, remember the flavor isn’t as strong as the fresh leaves. On the other hand, the flowers will taste similar to dried cilantro leaves. 

Cilantro flowers
Cilantro flowers

Why Does Cilantro Flower?

When a cilantro plant flowers, it’s called bolting.

Bolting is a survival mechanism for cilantro. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t always produce flowers because it’s supposed to, or it might look pretty.

For instance, if your cilantro plant bolts too early, then that means there’s something wrong.

To explain, cilantro flowers if their living conditions aren’t good enough to grow. The cilantro plant will bolt, producing flowers. Thus, producing seeds.

The plant does this to produce seeds quickly so that the seeds can plant themselves, and the next generation of cilantro will grow. 

In other words, the plant wants to start over, hoping the new bath of cilantro will grow well. 

Is It Bad When Cilantro Flowers?

No, it’s not necessarily bad when cilantro flowers.

Flowering is how cilantro reproduces. As mentioned earlier, the flowers produce seeds, which fall off and are replanted in the soil. Thus, new cilantro plants grow.

So, cilantro flowering is a good thing. However, it’s when it bolts too early that’s when it becomes a problem.

When cilantro flowers are too early, it’ll be more difficult to get a harvest out of it. This is because the leaves will lose their flavor once the flowers bloom.

Unfortunately, simply cutting off the flowers won’t do any good. The leaves still won’t have their flavor.

What To Do When Cilantro Plant Flowers?

So, what do you do when cilantro flowers? Unfortunately, when your cilantro plant begins to flower, there’s not much you can do.

You can try to harvest the leaves already on the plant and dry them out. Drying them out will allow the leaves to last longer and, since they lose their flavor, the dried leaves will be mild either way.

Also, the dried leaves will last longer, so you won’t waste any of the cilantro plant’s leaves.

Otherwise, you can let the cilantro plant do its thing. Then, once it flowers, you can let nature take its course.

Allow the seeds to germinate or gather them to replant them yourself.

Remember, cilantro will flower early if its living conditions aren’t suitable. So first, find the cause of the problem, and then you can correct it for the next cilantro plant.

Then, you can plant the new cilantro seeds in a different area, if need be, and help that new plant thrive.

When Does Cilantro Flower?

Cilantro flowers in the spring and summer.

This herb is cold-hardy, which means that it prefers cooler temperatures. Cilantro grows its best in colder weather.

So, in the warmer months, such as spring and summer, the plant doesn’t feel as if it has ample living conditions.

The cilantro will flower, preparing for the colder months. They’ll produce seeds that will allow them to germinate and grow well for the following winter.

Read more about cilantro in winter here.

How To Stop Cilantro From Flowering

First, know that the cilantro plant will continuously flower, no matter what you. Flowering is the way cilantro reproduces, so it’s completely natural.

However, you can prevent flowering from happening too early. Or, you can avoid it just long enough for you to make the most out of harvesting from your cilantro plant.

So, let’s talk about ways you can prolong the flowering process.

Grow Slow-Bolt Cilantro

Yes, there are different types of cilantro, and this is one of them.

Plants can adapt to their environments, and this plant did just that.

Slow-bolt cilantro is a cilantro plant bred in warmer climates that don’t have as much moisture in the air as cooler climates. So, it lasts longer in warm weather. 

If you live in an area with a warm climate, then this particular cilantro plant is worth looking into. 

Utilize Succession Planting

Succession planting is when you grow new seeds of the same plant once every other week. This will allow you to have more harvests of the same plant.

For example, while you wait for your first cilantro plant to produce more leaves, your second cilantro plant will be ready for harvest. This is great if you use cilantro a lot and need to take stock of it.

However, it’s also great to do to prevent bolting. If one cilantro plant bolts too early, you have a backup cilantro plant ready to go. So, it won’t delay your harvest at all. 

Know When To Plant Cilantro

The best time to plant cilantro is early fall, early spring, or late summer. Then, as the weather begins to cool, this is an ideal time to plant your cilantro.

Planting it during the summer or mid-spring will bolt much faster due to the warm weather.

Alternatively, you can plant your cilantro indoors. You’ll be able to control the temperature better in there. So, if you happen to have cilantro seeds at the ready and plant them in the summer, you can leave them in a cooler room in your house.

Then, you can choose to leave it inside your house for the winter or find a spot in the garden or greenhouse. Finally, you can move your cilantro plant outside and allow it to thrive in the fresh, cool air. 

Harvest Your Fresh Cilantro Leaves Often

One other way to prevent early flowering is to harvest your cilantro plant as often as possible.

When you harvest the leaves, you can check the plant overall to see if any flowers begin to bud. If you see the start of flowers, before the plant bolts, then you snip the buds off.

Cutting off the buds will allow your cilantro plant to continue growing and producing leaves rather than flowers.

Remember, cilantro has a shorter lifespan of about one season of cool weather. So, at some point, you won’t be able to keep snipping off the buds. The cilantro plant will decide when it’s done producing leaves.

When the weather is about to turn warm, this is an ideal time to allow your cilantro plant to flower so you can collect those seeds.

Then, depending on the weather, you can replant those seeds and not miss a harvest. 

Final Words

Overall, cilantro flowers are natural. It’s how the plant reproduces, which is a good thing. However, if it flowers too early, it’s unsuitable for the plant or your harvest.

Luckily, there are some ways to prevent cilantro from flowering too early so you can make the most out of the herb plant.

Want to learn more? Find out how often to water cilantro here. You can also find all my cilantro guides here.