Purple Cilantro

Asked May 2, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

Hello, I bought a cilantro plant this year, (about a week ago) in order to give container gardening a try. The plant looked green and healthy when I bought it and, was already about 6 inches tall with plenty of foliage. When I removed it from the pot it came in it seemed a little root bound, but not too bad. I transplanted it into a pot containing a 50/50 mix of Rogue Natural & Organic Potting Soil and Harvest Supreme Natural & Organic Soil Amendment. Now, as you can see in the photo, the stems and veins are gaining a purple hue. I've searched online for an answer as to why this is happening but there doesn't seem to be a definite answer or consensus for the cause. The soil amendment seems to be made largely with woody material. Could this be causing a nitrogen deficiency? Any advice you can give me to remedy this problem will be most appreciated, Thank you. Joe

Jackson County Oregon herbs horticulture

1 Response

I too searched online for answers and saw lots of questions regarding purple stems, but few answers. One suggestion was low P and K, which might be solved by using a foilar fertilizer (sprayed on the leaves). Also, avoid buying potbound plants. Gently tip the plant out of the pot at the nursery to find out if it was just transplanted, or has outgrown the pot.
You can find reliable information about growing cilantro at this website:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/590
Recognize that we have had unseasonably warm weather this spring, which might cause your cilantro to bolt to seed earlier than expected. For now, put the pot where it will get afternoon shade, keep the soil moist, and mulch well to keep the soil temperature down. If you let the plant go to seed, it will reseed itself in the cooler weather of the fall.