How and when to prune cilantro


Cilantro, also known as coriander, or by its scientific name Coriandrum sativum, is a very popular aromatic throughout the world. It has both gastronomic and medicinal uses (used for digestive problems, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and more). Specifically, it is an annual herb and depending on the bibliography you consult you will find that its origin is North Africa, Asia or even southern Europe. As you can imagine, in this post we will analyze everything about cilantro pruning, how to do it, with what tools, and at what time of year to do it.


This blog is read in different countries of the world, so it is often difficult to refer to a plant and for all readers to understand the same thing. And it is that the same plant is given different names as we move around the globe. And that happens with cilantro, which in certain places say that coriander and cilantro is synonymous, while in other places they refer to different things. For more information I will leave a link at the end of the post where you can clarify the differences between cilantro and coliander, and how its name changes in different countries. For simplicity in this post we will use both words synonymously.

Pruning cilantro - How and when to prune
Interesting fact: not all people like to add cilantro to their meals. This may be because, according to scientific studies, between 4% and 14% of the European population has an anti-coriander genetic configuration. Making them detect the flavor of their leaves and do not like it.

1.How to care your Coriander


There is no better thing than growing your own vegetables and herbs to use in the kitchen. But for this we must learn to take care of each plant. Growing coriander is not difficult, in the same way it is good to know the following tips:

  • Soil: This herb is not very demanding on the soil. The most important thing will be that the water drains properly, being able to maintain good humidity but without causing puddles.
  • Sunlight: When planting your cilantro, try to find a spot where it gets many hours of sun exposure. If you are planning to grow it indoors, it is important that you place the plant on a balcony or near a window in your home so that it receives as much sunlight as possible.
  • Irrigation: irrigation should be such that it always keeps the soil with some moisture but never causes puddles. When you start to see that the top layer of soil is drying out, apply watering.
  • Fertilization: Cilantro must be fertilized twice. Apply ½ teaspoon of ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) or urea (21-0-0) per foot square.
  • Harvest: You can start harvesting coriander leaves between 45 and 70 days after planting. Harvesting can be done gradually (by cutting off the longest leaves) or by cutting the entire plant a few inches above ground level.

2. Tools needed for pruning cilantro


As well as the care is not complicated, getting the tools to perform the pruning is also simple. You can get the job done with these simple tools:

  • Shears.
  • A pair of gloves.

Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your cilantro. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.

3. How to prune cilantro


In aromatic plants such as cilantro, pruning and harvesting are almost always confused in the same task. And is that if we cut some leaves to use in our kitchen we are harvesting and pruning at the same time.

Taking into account what we have just pointed out, we can differentiate the following types of pruning:

3.1 Pruning for promote growth

This aromatic has a good growth capacity, so if we cut it we will be favoring the generation of more shoots by increasing the foliage of the grass. At 45 days, if you have cared for it correctly, your coriander plants may be reaching 15 cm in height. It is from that size that you can start to trim your cilantro.

When you go to cut its leaves look for the largest leaves. You should select the stems that are at least 10 cm tall and cut them from the base. If you want to promote growth and make your plant last several weeks producing, prune no more than 1/3 of the foliage at one time. Otherwise, more than promoting, it can stress the plant and even kill it.

If you want to promote growth and make your plant last several weeks producing, prune no more than 1/3 of the foliage at one time.

You will see how after a few days the coriander will have reacted and will have new shoots. Prune regularly so you can enjoy the young leaves in your kitchen. Note that overripe leaves do not taste as appetizing as young ones.

Although in the necessary tools section we said that you need scissors, the truth is that coilantro pruning can be done with a simple pinch. Although if you have scissors better since the cut is more neat.

Since you are interested in knowing how to prune a laurel, I have no doubt that it will be useful to know about the pruning of any of these shrubs:

3.2 Flowers pruning

We already pointed out that cilantro is an annual herb, this causes that once it has flowered and generated its seeds it dies. A good way to extend its life as much as possible is to cut back the flower stems.

Keep in mind that when you prune the flowers, what you extend is the time to continue harvesting leaves. But if you also want to harvest seeds, you need to let the flowers ripen until they wither.

Keep in mind that when you prune the flowers, what you extend is the time to continue harvesting leaves.

Coriander seeds are widely used for their flavor, aroma and preservative power. It is very common to see it used in Arabic and Asian recipes. So don’t rule out the option of letting your coriander produce its seeds.

3.3 Cleaning pruning

The first two prunings that we have just seen are directly related to the harvest, but the latter is more related to the health of the plant. With cleaning pruning, what we seek is to eliminate all those leaves and stems that we see with any sign of disease or plague.

Observe regularly the general condition of the coriander if you notice that there are yellowish, brownish, wilted leaves or with any sign of poor health, do not hesitate to cut it. It is good to do it on a regular basis so that you can catch the problem early before it becomes serious.

4. Pruning cilantro aerogarden


A query that occurs frequently when talking about pruning cilantro is when it is grown in an aerogarden. With this in mind, I have decided to dedicate a short section to talk about it.

And when I say brief I am not lying, and it is that the pruning of coriander in an aerogarden has no secret. Follow the advice exposed so far in this post and you will not have any problem.

The only difference is that by growing it in this way, the conditions exist so that the plant can be active all year round, thus extending the harvest season. In optimal conditions you can do a weekly harvest, do not forget to do it or the leaves will mature too much to be used in your kitchen.

5. When to prune cilantro


With everything that has been said so far, I think you can answer the question yourself, when should I prune my cilantro? Anyway, let’s repeat it again so you don’t forget.

Pruning begins once the plant has reached a certain maturity (usually between 45 and 70 days), which can be distinguished when it has reached 15 cm in height. Once you start pruning, you should do it regularly to promote growth and take advantage of the best and most tender leaves.

Pruning begins once the plant has reached a certain maturity (usually between 45 and 70 days)

Depending on whether you want to make the most of the leaf harvest or you want to harvest seeds, pruning can end once the flower stems are produced. Or cut the flower stems to extend the life

6. Trimming cilantro video


To finish the article, and as we always like to do, we have selected a video (The Patio Gardeners channel). In it you can review some tips on pruning or trimming cilantro. I hope you find it useful. 😉

More information:

Rate this post
Tags:  , ,