Thursday, January 1, 2009

Adventures in Gardening (Cilantro/Cilan-faux)

The cilantro was definitely the bane of my windowsill gardening experience. I received a baggie of coriander seeds from the Tortoises and planted several in a few plastic cups. After forever, a small sprout finally took hold and grew. I was very fond of it, even after it became apparent that it was NOT cilantro, but cilan-faux. Cilan-faux grew like the weed it was until it was quite taking over my windowsill and had to be let go. 

I left one of the plastic cups on the windowsill hoping against hope and amazingly, one day a small cilantro sprout was spotted. I thought it was another cilan-faux but once the true leaves appeared there was no doubt at all. This was my most precious of plants because of how hard it was to get it going. Unfortunately, after it sprouted I read everywhere that one was supposed to plant cilantro in the container it was meant to be because of the long taproot that forms. Cilantro is finicky in many ways obviously.

However, this one didn't seem to suffer much from transplantation into coffee can. It grew nicely and I was fantasizing about chili verde sauces when suddenly, the leaves started to look different and flowers began forming everywhere. I snipped off the first few buds in the hope of staving off the inevitable but finally became resigned - the cilantro had bolted. The cold weather was too much for this plant I guess. Or maybe it was the transplanting, who knows. To be fair, the flowers were very pretty, small and white and delicate.

Since I am always one to look on the bright side, I became excited about collecting seeds to plant in the spring. I pollinated the flowers I saw and watched with satisfaction as the flowers faded and large green bulges formed. Since the coriander seeds I had gotten from Tortoise were dry looking and brown, I left the seeds on the plant until they looked the same. This coincided with the total death of the plant. When poor little cilantro was a crisp dry stick, I snipped the seeds into a bag and dug up the plant for my compost bin. BUT! There was already a tiny sprout growing next to the dead plant. Will it be cilantro or cilan-faux? Stay tuned!

Posted by Picasa


  1. man so much effort! can't you start with a cilantro plant and just keep maintaining it?

  2. so today some indian coworkers were in the break room talking about how easy it is to grow cilantro. no joke. they said you just get the dried seeds from an indian store and they grow best in the fall.