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Why Is My Cilantro Dying? 3 Causes We Found

Cilantro is an annual leafy herb that is easy to grow once you understand its growing conditions. You can grow cilantro indoors and outdoors, and the plant only grows for a few months before it starts flowering.

However, cilantro isn’t immune from issues, and one of them is the plant dying. So, if you’re asking the question, ‘why is my cilantro dying?’ you’re in the right spot. We’ll provide answers to your questions and how you can fix the issue. 

Some of the reasons your cilantro is dying are due to drought caused by too much sun or underwatering. Overwatering could also cause your plants to look like it’s dying, especially when there’s root rot.

To revive dying cilantro, you have to figure out the problem and then apply the solutions quickly; below are some reasons and the best solutions to explore. 

Why Is My Cilantro Dying 1
My cilantro is sad. What am I doing wrong? I’m not good at gardening but I’m trying. – via Reddit

Why Is My Cilantro Dying?

Several herbs grow well when provided with proper conditions; cilantro is no different. Below are three top answers to the question ‘why is my cilantro dying?’

1. Drought and Too Much Sun

When there’s a drought, it could cause your cilantro to start dying. The common symptoms of drought and too much sun are the cilantro leaves turning yellow and drooping. Sometimes, this happens even when there’s frequent watering and usually signifies that your cilantro is dying.

If you don’t water your cilantro enough, it could lead to drought, which eventually causes its death. Additionally, the intense sun can cause the soil to dry out quickly, leading to drought.

Since cilantro has many leaves, they tend to lose moisture through its leaves when it gets windy or hot. Additionally, if the soil is sandy or stony, it would be difficult for your cilantro to retain moisture, leading to wilting and a dying appearance. 

How to Fix

If your cilantro is dying due to drought or too much sun, you can fix the issue by increasing your watering frequency. This would help the soil stay moist; you should avoid overwatering to ensure it isn’t saturated.

Watering your cilantro plant once or twice weekly would help prevent the plant from dying. However, when there’s a heatwave or drought, you should increase the watering to at least 3 times weekly or every day to ensure the plant doesn’t dry out.

Another effective way to fix the issue is by ensuring the potting mix has ample compost that can retain moisture. Leaf mold and multi-purpose compost are the best materials for creating a potting mix. These options help retain moisture when you water your plant and allow the plant to establish its root.

If possible, repot your cilantro if the present pot is smaller than 10 inches. You need a pot up to 12 inches across to efficiently hold more compost and hold more moisture. You should also shield the plant from direct sunlight to prevent heat stress on the plant. 

2. Transplant Shock

If you purchased your cilantro from a garden center or a store, then the plant might start giving a dying appearance. Transplant shock is a viable answer to ‘why is my cilantro dying?’ It might be necessary to revive your plant after planting it indoors to outdoors or vice versa.

When cilantro is grown commercially, it is grown in a greenhouse with a specific temperature, watering, full sun, and optimal coil condition. This means the plant is used to a specific set of conditions and therefore suffers transplant shock when exposed to different temperatures, soil conditions, and water in your home. 

The shock is often temporary and only lasts as long as the root tries to establish itself in the new soil. Then, as the plant becomes more accustomed to its new surrounding, it usually begins to look better. 

How to Fix

There’s little you can do when your cilantro is dying from transplant shock. You just have to optimize its growing condition and wait for the plant to revive. Ensure you provide it with at least 6 hours of sun.

Plant it in good quality compost and provide regular watering. Once you provide an excellent growing condition, your cilantro will begin to adapt and revive afterward. 

Watering your plant is essential because cilantro easily loses water through its leaves. Ample watering can help the plant mitigate its shock. You should also prune the plant if it is quite leggy.

Reduce the plant to 8 inches; longer stems can usually result from higher levels of nitrogen which causes the plant to weaken and could lead to it dying. Pruning the plant could reduce its stress and stimulate new plant growth. 

Why Is My Cilantro Dying 2
The cilantro in my kitchen herb garden is dying. Can I revive it? – via Reddit

3. Overwatering

Although cilantro loves well-watered soil, overwatering can also lead to your cilantro dying. Whether due to excess rain or overwatering, your cilantro plant will start dying when it receives too much water.

It starts by becoming soft and limp; the water also removes the air pockets present in the soil. When there are no air pockets in the soil, the roots won’t be able to breathe and will fail to carry water to the leaves and stem.

Due to this, the cilantro will begin to fall over and die. Also, if too much water stays in the soil for extended periods, it will inevitably result in root rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that causes your plant’s roots to rot. Eventually, it leads to the death of the plant.

How to Fix

To prevent your cilantro from dying because of overwatering, you should always allow the soil to get dry before you water the plant again. Also, plant cilantro in well-drained soil and ensure that the pot has ample drainage holes on the bottom. Finally, add fungicide to the mix to prevent root rot when creating a potting mix. 

To confirm if your soil is wet before you water it, push your finger around 2 inches into the soil. If it comes up wet, you need to wait a little while before watering your plant. You can also use a pH/soil meter to monitor the moisture level of your cilantro plant.


Final Thoughts

Cilantro is a great plant to add to your outdoor or indoor garden. If your cilantro is dying, examine it for symptoms to determine its problem.

Once you figure out which of these problems is the answer to the question ‘why is my cilantro dying?’ implement the solutions shared above. If you try different methods to treat your cilantro and nothing works, you shouldn’t hesitate to plant new cilantro plants.