Cilantro is an herb that is a member of the parsley family. The herb is most commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisine and is often referred to as Mexican parsley and Asian parsley. Cilantro seeds are also called coriander seeds. Growing cilantro in a home garden is usually a trouble-free endeavor. Occasionally, however, a cilantro gardener may experience problems with the plant.
Cilantro plants require moist soil in order to grow properly. The plant should be watered at least every 3 to 5 days to maintain the proper moisture levels. If the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, the plant is too dry. A cilantro plant that is too dry will wilt and its leaves will turn dry and yellow.
Small white grubs on the soil surface is an indication that gnats have moved in. Plant gnats are tiny black flying insects that live in and around plants. Gnats are common pests in cilantro plants because they are attracted to the moist soil. Kill gnats and grubs with a food-safe insecticidal soap.
Going to Seed
Once a cilantro plant grows a long, flowered shoot of growth, the end is near. This process is called "bolting," and this is the plant's final stage of life. The flowery tip is full of seeds that the plant naturally scatters to resow itself. Taking regular cuttings of the cilantro plant postpones the bolting and prolongs the life of the plant.
Wrong Growing Conditions
Because it's used in Mexican dishes, many people assume that cilantro is a warm or hot weather crop. In fact, cilantro requires cool weather in order to survive. In the south, cilantro grows best during fall and winter. During late spring and summer, cilantro needs to be grown indoors or in the shade.