Saving Your Cilantro Garden: Tips for Reviving Fading Plants

It’s delicious to use cilantro in your cooking. You might also use coriander seeds in the kitchen if you’re like me.

Even though it is widely adored, cilantro can be quite fussy. One of the most frequent issues gardeners face is wilting cilantro, but why does it happen so quite often? I have the answers and would be delighted to share them with you!

Although it’s widely believed that cilantro is a simple plant to grow, this claim is greatly exaggerated. While cilantro does germinate quickly, growing it can be more difficult than growing other herbs. Here’s why cilantro wilts and what you can do to make it bloom again.

Why is My Cilantro Dying? 

Before figuring out how to fix it, you must first understand why your cilantro is dying. The last thing you want to see is the plant dying too late. These are the warning signs of dying cilantro:

1. Overcrowding

Overcrowding causes cilantro to compete and wilt. Growing cilantro with enough space will lessen competition and wilting. The minimum spacing between seeds is two inches. Have you ever seen those cilantro plants in pots at the supermarket? It won’t be surprising if you’ve seen or bought them before because they always appear so luxurious and practical.

The disadvantage of these plants is that they are usually overcrowded. Grocery stores frequently grow multiple plants in one pot to give the impression of a bushy plant.

It may appear lovely, but the roots are most likely in turmoil. Too many plants in one pot can lead to various issues and force them to compete for nutrients. The cilantro will gradually wilt and die if left to grow in these excessively small spaces. Separating the plants and growing them in different pots is the simplest fix.

Plant the seeds of your cilantro 2 inches apart for a healthy crop. To give the plant enough room to grow and flower, space the coriander seeds at least 6 to 8 inches apart if you prefer to harvest the entire plant.

2. Transplant Shock

Transplant shock in cilantro can show up as wilting stems and stunted plant growth. Because of its delicate taproots, cilantro does not adapt well to replanting and will wilt very quickly.

At some point or another, many of the other gardeners I know have lamented their cilantro wilting after being replanted. The long, delicate taproots of cilantro plants are extremely sensitive. When being transplanted, plants frequently experience some stress, but cilantro is renowned for being among the pickiest species.

This is specifically true if you attempt to plant an indoor plant outdoors. The disruption of the cilantro’s root systems leaves it vulnerable, where it will eventually begin to wilt and experience stunted growth.

3. Excessive Sun

Wilting can happen when cilantro is exposed to the sun for more than 12 hours each day. To keep cilantro from wilting, shield it from direct sunlight and grow it in some shade. The cilantro plant is renowned for being picky, and this can be unpleasant if you only want some fresh cilantro.

Although cilantro plants prefer full sunlight, this does not mean they should be left there all day. Like spinach, cilantro can quickly wilt or bolt if exposed to 12 hours or more of continuous light.

In my experience, it is simpler to save a plant suffering from insufficient sunlight than to fix a plant that has been harmed by excessive sunlight. You can still save the plant, though, if the damage isn’t too severe.

Move the cilantro to a more shady location if grown in a sunny area. This plant can grow in just six hours of full morning sun before taking a nap in the shade in the afternoon.

4. High Temperatures

The cilantro wilts and becomes dehydrated when temperatures rise above 80°F. In warm climates, cilantro does not grow well. Grow cilantro in the shade and mulch the soil to help reduce the heat and prevent wilting. Moving on, it is likely that the temperature will also be too high if there is too much sun.

Despite how delicious it may taste in hot dishes, cilantro does not enjoy the heat. Because of its extreme sensitivity and low-temperature tolerance, it has a hard time adjusting to changes in temperature.

The cilantro will wilt and droop if the average temperature is consistently higher than 80°F. To get the best results, try growing cilantro in soil temperatures below 75°F. Mulch can be applied to the soil in addition to growing the cilantro in some shade. The cilantro will stay cooler than it would if the soil were left bare because it will help retain moisture.

5. Overwatering

If cilantro’s soil is consistently wet, it will wilt and turn yellow. When watering outdoor cilantro, avoid doing so right after it has rained, and make sure the drainage holes are completely free of debris.

Cilantro grows best in moist soil. Even so, it can still be overwatered, just like any other plant, and plants tend to grow toward the light by nature. However, overwatered cilantro plants will wilt and droop until they disintegrate.

Overwatered cilantro leaves will also feel soft and turn a pale yellow. If you’re growing cilantro outside, check the weather forecast a week ahead. Try watering it based on the weather. When it rains, avoid watering.

6 Tips to Prevent Cilantro From Wilting

Now that you know the potential causes of cilantro wilting, you may want to know how to revive it. Here are a few simple strategies to keep your cilantro from wilting!

1. Use the Right Pot Size

Because of the delicate taproot of the plant, cilantro needs pots at least 6 inches deep. The container should be wider than deep to guarantee that the cilantro grows healthy foliage and does not wilt. Ensuring that the cilantro is grown in the right planter is another helpful tip to avoid wilting.

2. Provide Adequate Water

Only water cilantro when the top 2 inches of soil have dried to avoid it wilting. To promote healthy growth, the soil must never be allowed to dry out completely and always remain damp. One of the simplest ways to save an underwatered cilantro plant is to give it some extra water, which will help it recover. Keep in mind that cilantro thrives in moist soil and cannot be allowed to dry out completely.

 3. Plant Cilantro in Spring or Autumn

As a cool-season herb, cilantro can wilt quickly in temperatures above 80°F. It’s best to grow cilantro in the fall or spring for the best results. The fact that cilantro is commonly used in hot dishes does not guarantee that it will flourish in the same environment! Regardless of your adjustments, growing cilantro in a different season might be best if it constantly wilts from the heat. Cilantro thrives in cooler climates. In other words, spring and autumn are the best times to grow.

Calypso, Leisure, and Slow-bolt are options to consider if you must grow cilantro in the summer. Compared to other cilantro varieties, these varieties perform significantly better in warm climates. But, as is always the case, working with nature rather than against it is preferable.

4. Avoid Replanting

It’s best to grow cilantro in just one pot to prevent upsetting its taproot, as cilantro can easily experience transplant shock and wilt. Replanting cilantro is not advised unless it is rootbound or experiencing other severe issues, such as overcrowding. Avoiding transplant shock altogether is the best way to handle it in cilantro. As previously stated, there are few or no treatments for cilantro plants experiencing severe transplant shock.

Additionally, cilantro bolts quickly and has a very short lifespan. It can live for up to 8 weeks, but this is uncommon, and the plant will most likely bolt before then. In light of this, there’s no need to be concerned about it occupying necessary gardening space for an extended period.

Keep the plant in the proper pot from the start to avoid disturbing its delicate roots.

5. Fertilize Sparingly

Heavy fertilizer is not necessary for cilantro and it can survive without it. However, cilantro plants that are grown in large quantities will benefit from being fed nitrogen-rich fertilizer at half strength and are less likely to wilt.

Although cilantro is a finicky plant, fertilizer requirements are quite low. You don’t need to use much fertilizer unless your potting soil has gone bad or is very old.

To promote rapid growth, cilantro plants purchased from the grocery store are frequently heavily fertilized; if you feed the plant, you’ll over-fertilize it.

 6. Trimming

Trim cilantro leaves that are soft and wilted to encourage new growth. This will stop the wilting unless the plant is experiencing other problems.

Simply giving a wilting cilantro plant a quick trim can help it recover almost immediately. Cilantro plants larger than 6 inches can be completely harvested, but you should only remove the oldest leaves that are the most wilting. The plant should develop new growth and grow back upright after these cuts.

Many people enjoy cutting cilantro plants directly and feel safe doing so. These cuts will promote the growth of new leaves and shoots, giving you extra cilantro to use in recipes.

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