How to Prune Cilantro - Should I Cut Them After It Flowers?

Written by Ivy

Apr 08 2023

How to Prune Cilantro - Should I Cut Them After It Flowers?

Cilantro, also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, is a popular herb used in many different cuisines around the world. It's easy to grow cilantro at home, and with a little bit of care and attention, you can enjoy fresh cilantro leaves all year round. One important aspect of growing cilantro is knowing how to prune it properly. In this article, we'll discuss why pruning is important, when and how to prune cilantro, and some tips for maintaining healthy cilantro plants.

Why Prune Cilantro?

Pruning is the act of cutting back a plant's growth in order to promote new growth and maintain its health. Pruning cilantro is important because it encourages the plant to produce more leaves, which is the part of the plant that is typically harvested and used in cooking. If you don't prune your cilantro, it can become tall and leggy, with fewer leaves and a less attractive appearance.

In addition to promoting new growth, pruning can also help prevent your cilantro plant from going to seed too quickly. Cilantro is notorious for going to seed quickly, which means that the plant will stop producing leaves and start producing flowers and seeds. While cilantro seeds, also known as coriander, are also edible and delicious, most people grow cilantro for its leaves. By pruning your cilantro regularly, you can help prevent it from going to seed too quickly and extend the plant's life.

When to Prune Cilantro?

The best time to prune cilantro is when it is about 4-6 inches tall. At this stage, the plant has developed a strong root system and has started to produce new leaves. If you wait too long to prune your cilantro, the plant may become too tall and leggy, making it harder to prune effectively.

It's important to note that cilantro is a fast-growing plant, so you may need to prune it every few weeks to keep it healthy and promote new growth. You can also prune your cilantro after it has started to flower, but it's best to do this before the flowers turn into seeds.

How to Prune Cilantro?


Pruning cilantro is a simple process that can be done with a pair of clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. Here's how to do it:

  1. Identify the stems that are ready to be pruned. Look for stems that have grown tall and have few leaves. These are the stems that need to be pruned in order to encourage new growth.

  2. Cut the stems back to about 1 inch above the soil. Make sure to cut the stem at an angle to promote healing and prevent disease.

  3. Repeat the process for all the stems that need to be pruned. Don't be afraid to remove a significant amount of growth if necessary. Remember, the more you prune your cilantro, the more new growth you will encourage.

  4. Water your cilantro thoroughly after pruning. This will help the plant recover from the shock of being pruned.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Cilantro Plants

Pruning is just one part of maintaining healthy cilantro plants. Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  1. Water your cilantro regularly, but don't overwater it. Cilantro likes to be kept moist, but it doesn't like to sit in standing water.

  2. Provide your cilantro with plenty of sunlight. Cilantro prefers full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade.

  3. Fertilize your cilantro every 2-3 weeks with a balanced fertilizer. This will help promote new growth and keep the plant healthy.

  4. Watch out for pests and diseases. Aphids, whiteflies, wilt, and mildew are sporadic issues with cilantro. Use insecticidal soap to get rid of the insects. Make sure to remove any infected plants as soon as possible in order to control or prevent wilt and mildew. You should also clean up any spent cilantro plants at the end of the growing season.


The fact that cilantro progresses through its life cycle so quickly, especially in spring, is one of the biggest surprises for most gardeners. The longest harvesting season is in the fall and winter if you're fortunate enough to live somewhere with mild winters. This quick little plant is simple to handle once you understand it. Give it a designated area in the garden where you can harvest, ignore, and then harvest once more. Harvest when it is low, allow it to grow tall when it wants to, and then trim the tall plants after the seeds have fallen to get them out of the way. This frees up space for the new plants to emerge from the dropped seeds. As long as we have them in the stores, you can also set out new plants every three to four weeks, but the harvest and ignore method will get you by during the interim.


Does Cilantro Need to Be Pruned?

To promote new growth, cilantro should frequently be pruned. If cilantro is allowed to mature, older, larger leaves have a tendency to taste more bitter, which makes it less appealing. Trim the stems from your cilantro plant when it is 6 inches (15 cm) tall so that you can use them as needed.

How Do You Keep Cilantro Bushy?

To promote fuller, bushier plants, pinch back young cilantro plants by about an inch. As soon as the main stem begins to appear to be forming flower buds or seedpods, cut off the top portion of the stem. By removing the flower heads, cilantro plants are forced to focus their energy on growing leaves rather than flowers or seeds.

How Do You Prune a Cilantro Bush?

Additionally, it will prevent your plants from becoming lanky and droopy and keep them looking tidy. Take a pair of sharp, clean scissors and cut stems toward the base, ideally just above a leaf or secondary stem, once your plant is about 6 inches (15 cm) tall.