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flowering herbs

 
pollinator
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Location: N. California
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I'm kind of new to herbs.  I have grown basil in my veggie garden, and to takes quit a while to flower, and then I usually snip the flower off to keep the basil growing nicely.  In my new herb spiral I have oregano, and cilantro.  They were bought as plants and have been planted for about a month give or take a week.  They both look like they are going to flower.  Is this normal?  should I cut the flower off so the plant will bush out?  Should I just leave it be?  Thanks
 
master pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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I'm not sure about oregano; I guess I've cut mine too quickly to let it flower?  But cilantro is notorious for going straight to seed.  The flowers are beautiful, and the seeds are coriander.

If you want to use cilantro during the summer, you have to plant it in succession, because the first one(s) you plant will be showing their pretty flowers and turning to coriander quite soon.  (I learned this last year when I planted cilantro for the second time.  The first time was a plant start, and last year was from seed.  It grows slowly in the beginning and then whoosh, it's gone!)
 
Posts: 377
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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The oregano is a perennial and you can cut it back or leave it to flower as you like.  If you let it run to seed you could have a few plants and cut some so as to have plenty of leaves for cooking. The flowers are popular with bees and other pollinating insects.
 
pollinator
Posts: 616
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Hi Jen, Basil will die after flowering, don't know if snipping it will stop the process.They're mostly grown under artificial lights and made for people to put in their kitchen and eat quickly, yours is doing fine. The seeds will sprout this year when it does die back, so you'll have more!
Like Hester says, Oregano is perennial. My oregano doesn't flower yet, but yours flowering now could be some shock reaction maybe. Last year my Oreganos went to flower, i saved the seeds and have planted them, many small oregano plants now. The stems died back and when i wanted to pull them out, they were stuck, when i pulled hard a bit of plant came out with it and it had roots as well. I've made 50 clones like that and used them in mini hedges.
Cilantro is so nice, i only managed one time to get it going, i try every year, hopeless! So no advice there.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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You can buy seed for coriander/cilantro which has been selected to be slow to run to seed.  Of course, you can do this yourself by resisting the temptation to gather seed from early "bolters" and wait instead for the plants that take longer.
 
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