Cilantro is a popular herb that is used in multiple foods like Asian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, and others. Cilantro has a very short life that can be increased by regular harvesting of the plant in this article we will cover When to harvest cilantro and How To Harvest Cilantro So It Keeps Growing (Without Killing The Plant)

When To Pick & Harvest Cilantro

Cilantro should be harvested ideally once the plant is about 6 inches (15 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm) tall for the first time and it has green leaves that are tender. The leaves of the cilantro plant are ready to harvest in about 45 to 70 days after they have been seeded. You can pick the leaves of the cilantro plant even before the plant has matured and is ready to harvest. You can harvest cilantro plants multiple times during the growing period which is around 4 months. You should harvest the cilantro plant completely before it starts to enter into the seed production phase loses its taste and bolts. When the cilantro plant starts becoming taller and produces smaller leaves like carrots that are more delicate then is time for the plant to enter the seed production phase and also time for you to pick the plant completely unless you want to get seeds out of it.

How To Harvest Cilantro So It Keeps Growing (Without Killing The Plant)

While harvesting cilantro you can either do it in small quantities by picking the leaves one by one as you need them or you can do it in larger quantities by cutting off the stem. In order to harvest cilantro without killing the plant make sure you only harvest 1/4th to 1/3rd of the plant and leave the remaining plant so that it can keep on growing. This is important when you are harvesting large quantities of cilantro if you just pick the leaves one by one as you need them plant will continue growing easily throughout the growing season. If you don’t remove too much of the plant then it will keep on growing and this method is known as cut and come again.

How To Pick Cilantro Correctly?

  • When you are picking cilantro leaves one by one make sure that you remove them from the top of the plant that will also help the look of the plant because it will still keep looking full and thick.
  • If you are harvesting the stem make sure that you use either scissors or shears that are clean and when cutting you leave leaves on the stem that is still left so that it can make its food.
  • When harvesting the stems make sure you pick the outer stems having large leaves and when cutting you cut an inch above the surface of the soil.
  • If you are harvesting the complete plant make sure that you use a sickle knife that is clean and cut the plant where it is coming out of the soil and then after picking make sure that you warp the leaves and stem together.

How Often can you harvest Cilantro?

You should harvest cilantro at least once every week and if needed even more, especially if the plant has good growth. If you don’t harvest cilantro every week it will bolt as soon as temperatures start to rise moving into the flowering and seed production phase in fact by harvesting cilantro regularly you are able to delay bolting. As long as the cilantro plant has not started flowering you can just keep picking the leaves of cilantro and it will keep on growing new ones to replace them.

Does Cilantro Grow Back After Harvesting?

Yes, the Cilnatro plant will grow back after harvesting as long as you make sure that you don’t harvest more than a quarter or at most one-third of the plant. In fact, if you only pick the leaves of the plant one by one in small amounts as you need it works very well for cilantro as it will keep on growing more and more leaves. The cilantro plant doesn’t live for long only for 120 days or 4 months but you can get multiple good harvests out of cilantro during this period.

How Long will Cilantro be Fresh After Harvesting

Cilantro will remain fresh for 14 days after harvesting if you keep it in a refrigerator. Commercial cilantro is kept at temperatures between 1 to 2 degrees Celsius to keep it fresh.

Storing Cilantro

Ideally, you should only harvest only as much cilantro as you require as the leftover cilantro will wilt if kept outside but it is not always possible so you need to store cilantro to make them last here are a couple of ways to do that

1 Store it with Water

If you want to store cilantro for just a few days you can do that by storing it in a water jar and you can make it last even longer by keeping that jar of water in the fridge.

2 Store it in Fridge

To keep your cilantro fresh for 14 days you can store it in a refrigerator by wrapping it damp towels and then storing them in a sealed container.


  1. You should harvest cilantro for the first time once the plant is about 6 inches to 8 inches tall and it has green and tender leaves.
  2. You can either harvest cilantro in small quantities by removing the leaves one by one or in larger quantities by removing the complete stem.
  3. If you are harvesting cilantro in large quantities take care that you only remove at most a quarter to one-third of the plant and leave the remaining plant so that it can grow back.
  4. You should pick cilantro leaves from the top of the plant and remove stems that have large leaves and are on the outside to preserve the look of the plant.
  5. You can harvest cilantro plants every week during the growing season which will help improve the life of the plant.
  6. if you don’t regularly harvest cilantro plants they will bolt and go into the flower and seed production phase and then die shortly.

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By Pete