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Cilantro Flower: Meaning, Benefits & Growing Guide

Often eye sore for gardeners, the Cilantro flower is a result of bolting by trading off the taste of its foliage.

Generally, Cilantro blooms clusters of whitish-pink umbel flowers within 40 to 45 days after germination, with a mild citrusy aroma during mid to late summer. Cilantro needs 6-8 hours of sunlight, biweekly fertilization with phosphorus, and water once every 1-2 days to flower.

Though Cilantro has a distinct fragrance that either offends or allures people, its flower has a different story.

So, read more to know everything about the Cilantro flower in the article below!

How Often Does Cilantro Flower?

As an annual herb, Cilantro readily produces vibrant blooms annually during summer when the plant reaches a height of about 50 cm.

Meanwhile, with gradual temperature dip in winter, Cilantro focuses on foliage growth instead of putting on new flowers.

Image represents bolting of Cilantro under full sun
Cilantro is in the bolting process under the full sun.

Many gardeners are not fond of Cilantro’s rapid flowering and seed-setting capacity as they can not enjoy the foliage on hot days.

In fact, it is a defense mechanism of plants to escape winters, known as bolting.

However, once it starts to bolt, the plant loses all its flavor and aroma, and there is no turning back.

Besides, the blossoms stay on the plant for at least one week, then enter the fruiting and seed-setting stage.

Fortunately, you can use these seeds to grow indoor Cilantro flowers. This helps you make your home interior aromatic with Cilantro flowers.

Place your Cilantro in the shade, but keep it in a south-facing window with direct sunlight for at least six to eight hours daily.

This way, you can have clusters of Cilantro flowers all year round.

Cilantro Flower: Overview

The floral characteristics of this plant are equally intriguing as its smelly facts, so you need to look at the table below to get some idea.

Bunch SizeAbout 1.2 cm
Bloom ColorWhitish-Pink
SexualityBisexual (Male and female part present in same flower)
Blooming PeriodSummer (Faster blooms)
Winter (Slower blooms)
Floral AromaMild citrusy smell
Seed ProductionFour to six weeks after flowering
Seed ColorCreamy brown to brown
Seed Size and WeightSize: about 0.31 cm
Weight: 0.011 g

Cilantro commonly comes with white blooms. The most colorful ones you can find are pink with a slight hue of white.

Initially, you might not find the seeds appealing to the eyes, but they will satisfy your tongue!

But to have seeds at your disposal, allow the Cilantro flower enough time to pollinate. Otherwise, help them with pollination.

How Do You Pollinate Cilantro Flower?

Since Cilantro flowers are bisexual, hand pollination is barely necessary for such herby species.

In nature, they attract nectar-collective insects like bees, cuckoo wasps, butterflies, and hoverflies, for natural pollination.

Bees sitting on a flower
Bees are one of the natural pollinating agents that help Cilantro with pollination.

However, if you do not find enough pollinators in your area, you can also hand-pollinate them.

Before hopping on hand pollination, grab pollinating tools such as a fine-tipped brush and gloves.

  • Wait for the flowers to open, usually during mid to late summers. Remember, you have to pollinate the flowers immediately after it opens.
Pro Tip! Cilantro becomes ready to bloom when the plant’s central stem becomes thick, called bolting, and occurs faster during summers and late during winters.
  • Collect the pollen from the flower’s anthers using a fine brush tip.
  • Brush the collected pollen into the Stigma of the same flower.
  • You can cross-pollinate by brushing the pollens in the Stigma of flowers from another plant.

Remember to pollinate the flowers in the early morning when the sun is not scorched.

The afternoon sun can damage the pollen and make them non-viable.

How To Collect Cilantro Seeds?

After successful pollination, you will notice that the Cilantro’s’ thick central stem turns brown and becomes woody.

Within 2-3 weeks after flowering, the Cilantro plant will begin producing brown seeds from the fruits.

Image represents the ripe fruits and seeds of Cilantro flower
Here are the ripe fruits (left) and seeds (right) of the Cilantro flower.

Before picking the seeds, carefully hold a plastic bucket beneath the flowering head.

  • Bend the stem containing the flowering head and pick the seeds with your hand.
  • Alternatively, you can also clip the whole flowering head with pruners. This will not affect the plant once the seeds are extracted. 
  • Place the flower heads in a paper bag and shake them to release the seeds from the fruit husk.
  • You can keep the seeds in paper bags to dry or take them out from the bag and store them in a container on the kitchen top desk for later use.

You can store Cilantro seeds in the best condition for 3 to 4 years by freezing them or drying them to increase their shelf-life.

How To Make Cilantro Plant Flower?

For consistent seasonal flowering of Cilantro, aim to mimic natural conditions as far as possible.

  • Provide organic slow-releasing phosphoric fertilizer of 1/4th strength every once in two weeks during the flowering season.
  • Use 15-30-15 NPK fertilizer but keep it minimum to prevent early bolting.
  • Well-draining aerated loamy soil of pH 6.2-6.8 containing sand or perlite.
  • Ensure 6-8 hours of daily direct sunlight by placing the plant near a south window.
  • Maintain temperature between 50°F and 85°F and humidity at 40% for optimal blooming.
  • Apply 2.4 liters of water per square foot in your outdoor Cilantro plantation.
  • Also, you need to water the plant once every 1-2 days with the same amount of water.
  • Incorporate a hygrometer indoors to keep check-in humidity requirements at all times.  

Cilantro flower buds are highly susceptible to attacks by Beet Army Worms.

If your Cilantro suffers from these pests, you can use insecticides like Conserve SC Formulation of Spinosad, the primary line of defense against these insects.  

You must also watch out for Apium virus Y disease, bacterial leaf spot, motley carrot dwarf, and Cilantro yellow blotch to save Cilantro flowers.

What Should You Do With Cilantro Plant Flowers?

The Cilantro flower may be an eye-pleaser, but the plant trades this off by rapidly losing the taste of its foliage from citrusy to bitter.

So, it’s better to harvest the foliage of your Cilantro early before it starts to bolt. Moreover, cutting flowers will not bring back the foliage taste.

Hence, it is better to let nature run its course and leave your Cilantro to go and drop the seeds.

However, prune the buds of Cilantro before it opens once a week during mid to late summer to make the plant produce foliage throughout its annual cycle.

  • Check your Cilantro to see if it is about to flower, if the stem is thickening, or if the plant has formed flower buds.
  • Simply pinch off the stem that connects to the central part of the plant containing the flower buds.
  • You can also use pruners to cut off the flowering stem just a few centimeters below the flower head.

But don’t let this cut section waste, as you can still use it to garnish your meals or cooking.

Meaning & Uses of Cilantro Flowers

The aromatic Cilantro flowers symbolize lust, and ancient Greeks used the seeds from the plant as an aphrodisiac.

Furthermore, the name “Cilantro” translates to “koris” in Greek, meaning “stink bug” due to the intense smell of its flower.

Cilantro flowers also suggest hidden worth or merit and are extensively used for their medicinal properties.

Although the flowering takes away all the flavor credit of its foliage, you can still include the flowers in various dishes.

1. Culinary Uses of Cilantro Flowers 

Cilantro flowers are used as a supplementary taste enhancer along with the Cilantro leaves in various dishes like salads and salsas.

Image represents Cilantro flower garnish
Cilantro flower is often used for garnishing salsa.

You can add chopped flowers at the top of your cooked curry as a garnish to make the flavors bolder and the dish colorful.

But remember to use the flowers raw because cooked flowers lose all their mild citrusy aroma.

It is a great way to be innovative and bring the best exotic feel to your favorite dishes from Cilantro flowers.

Some people are genetically over-sensitive to the taste of Cilantro flowers and describe them as “soapy” in flavor, making Cilantro flowers unpalatable.

2. Medicinal Uses of Cilantro Flowers

The Cilantro harbors many health benefits, but the flowers do not offer as many health benefits as the leaves, seeds, or roots.

Dihydrobenzofuran, an aldehyde extracted from the essential oil of flowers, has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiangiogenic, and antimitotic effects.

The flower also has minerals and Vitamin K that help clot blood, along with vitamins A and C.

When consumed raw with their leaves, Cilantro flowers supply the body with dietary fibers and lower blood sugar levels.

Cilantro flowers are also great for the gut because they aid in the process of digestion.

Is Cilantro Flower Toxic? 

Cilantro flowers belong to the family Apiaceae and are known for their pungent-smelling flowers and foliage.

Some people complain about the soapy smell and taste of the flowers in moderate amounts, but consuming the flowers will bring you no harm.

According to the ASPCA, leaving your dogs and cats around a Cilantro won’t cause harmful side effects.

Cilantro flowers are also harmless to your pets and can be used to ease digestion issues.

Person holding flower bouquet in a hand
In addition to medicinal benefits, the Cilantro flower as a flower bouquet makes a great meaningful gift.

It is advisable to slowly provide Cilantro flowers to your pets in pinch amounts mixed with foods, and you can increase the dosage to no more than one teaspoon.

However, you can call any helpline number if any side effects become visible to your pets.

From Editorial Team

Trade Foliage Taste With Sweet Blooms

Due to the rapid bolting of Cilantro during summers, you must make a trade-off between aromatic flowers with foliage taste.

However, you can always solve this issue by removing the flowering stem as soon as it thickens.

Happy Gardening!

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