When and why does cilantro bolt?
Fast forward a few years and we move to Pennsylvania and are introduced to stink bugs. Nasty little buggers that have sheilds on their backs and a stink in their bellies. Dive bombing, clumsy, LOUD bugs that live up to the moniker of BUG!!! Squeeze them to kill them and you will wish you hadn't. Trap them on sticky traps and you'll be smelling it for weeks. Attempt to watch TV in the month of October and the bugs will craw all over the character's faces.
(The only thing I've found to help is a little jar of windex. Just hold it under the bugs and they stupidly fly straight into it and death is pretty much instant.)
They are bad now, but the worst is in the fall when they are clamoring to come indoors for the winter. Houses are literally covered from ground to roof on the sunny side. Luckily, they don't bite or harm your house, but man do they STINK! Can you imagine if they were harmful?? UGH!
What does this have to do with cilantro??? Well, some folks think stink bugs smell like cilantro. I thought they were crazy. I hate stink bugs. I love cilantro. There is no way they smell the same. Right? Nope. They were right. Raw cilantro leaves growing on a plant smell JUST like the stinkbug stench. Perhaps the smell dissipates after cutting....I'll have to experiment...but for now, sadly...the stink bugs have ruined my cilantro. I can't handle putting it in my food with that smell. UGH!!!
So the bolting?? If you have grown cool seasons edibles, you might have noticed they start to taste bad when the weather warms up. The plants start to grow quickly and begin to flower and your great tasting lettuce, or spinach, or cilantro starts tasting bitter. Your plant has officially bolted and there is nothing you can do about it. If you want to try again, you can cut the plant back and it might produce another crop if the weather cools down (sometimes in fall!). Otherwise, you can let your plant go to seed and collect the seeds for your fall crop or spring sowing next year. Pf course, in cilantro's case, the seeds are actualyl corinader, so I might try using them as a spice. Hopefully the seeds don't smell like stink bugs...
|Cilantro plant flowering in late spring|