Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates

Milkwood Blog

How to Breed slow-to-bolt Coriander for your climate

August 26, 2012 | Gardening, Kitchen Garden | 10 comments | Author:

We love growing coriander for its many benefits and its flavor, but in our climate it just bolts so quickly, it’s a blink-and-you’ll miss it affair. Fortunately the fabulous Meg McGowan showed up at last weekend’s Aquaponics Workshop with a simple, doable solution to breeding slow to bolt coriander for any climate…

How to breed slow-to-bolt Coriander:

1. Clear out existing Coriander

2. Buy seed from Diggers or organic seed supplier. NOT Yates which is quick to bolt.

3. Plant seed in good soil. Part shade is best. Follow this cycle:

Usually takes 2 years to develop and seed will be specifically suited to your climate and soil conditions.

* You can use this idea to improve any plants you want to grow. Just select for the qualities you want.

Thanks, Meg! We’re looking forward to developing the Milkwood strain of this delicious herb.

As said, this technique works for many plants, but isn’t it always the way that once you have a specific goal in mind, you learn all sorts of widely useful techniques? Bring on the adapted coriander for months of delicious flavors…

>;>; More how-tos on vegetable growing at

+1 0


  • Rebecca August 26, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply

    SHARING..Thank You . definitely
    trying this…I’ll call this the “Milkwood Strain”

  • Cecilia Macaulay (@CeciliaMacaulay) August 26, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply

    I like this!
    I have found that for balcony gardens, making sure the pot is very deep makes a difference. The long root gave me that idea, and it seems to be a good guess.

    1. Anne Gibson August 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply

      I agree Cecilia … I grow in pots and garden beds and allowing the extra depth has always resulted in slow-to-bolt plants. I also add thin layer of mulch, water well and give it regular haircuts to maximise the harvest!

  • Megan McGowan August 26, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply

    It seems incredible, but after years of following this cycle it’s not uncommon for my coriander to last over four months! Even when it starts to bolt it doesn’t set seed for a really long time, so we just keep side cropping it until it does. Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to get seed for the next cycle!
    Thanks for passing this information on. I consider it a small form of activism against corporate seed companies that act in the interest of profits rather than people.
    PS: The course was amazing and I highly recommend it.

  • ecofilms August 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply

    A good tip is to sow the coriander seeds directly into the aquaponics system over the gravel or clay media directly and walk away. Forget them. The seeds will fall into the dark crevices and spaces and grow with ease. We have coriander growing fine in Queensland without bolting over winter and in cooler months of the year. Transferring them from punnets to aquaponics tends to shock them and they go straight to seed. Especially if you’ve bought your seedlings from a large department store where they are stressed already from erratic watering.
    Hot full summer sun can also cause them to bolt too. Partial shade is good.

  • Yeva August 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply

    Question : when there are shoots of the plant that are starting to bolt, do I just snip off the bolt or do I have to remove the entire plant?

  • stanleycottagegarden August 27, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply

    Great post… I will give this a try.

  • Astrid | Pohutukawa PhotoGraphic August 28, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply

    Great tip, thanks! Coriander bolts annoyingly quickly in our climate also (Christchurch, NZ) but we love cooking with it so I’ll definitely do this.

  • tameesh August 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply

    Reblogged this on tameesh and commented:
    my favourite kitchen herb

  • Maxine Lynch August 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply

    Also planting in the shade will stop coriander bolting so quickly in summer in Melbourne .


Blog Categories

Related Courses

Intro to Organic Market Gardening

March 12th-14th, 2015

Sydney, Common 2 Us Farm

Learn how to start a market garden from scratch, and take bare ground to thriving, intensive vegetable production in one season. This course is for those who want to establish a viable, small-scale organic growing enterprise.

Market Garden Masterclass

March 20th-22nd, 2015

Gundaroo, Allsun Farm

Dive straight into the nuts and bolts of how to run a thriving, diverse organic market garden, taught by long-term, established and successful market gardeners. Suitable for those with some prior growing knowledge who are keen to make a livelihood from growing great vegetables.

Backyard Aquaponics

April 18th-19th, 2015

Sydney, 107 Rooftop Garden

Join us for a practical aquaponics workshop on how to build your own aquaponics system and produce organic, water-wise vegetables and fresh fish in your own backyard.

Serious Backyard Veggies

May 9th-10th, 2015

Sydney, Alexandria Park Community Centre

Get serious about vegetable growing in your backyard using organic, permaculture techniques. Two days full of expert knowledge about planting, growing, nutrient cycling, harvesting and integrated pest management.

Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation

May 16th-17th, 2015

Byron Bay, The Farm

Join us for two jam-packed days of hands-on skills in edible mushroom propagation. Learn how to grow delicious oyster, shiitake and many other mushrooms at home, organically!

Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation

June 6th-7th, 2015

Sydney, 107 Rooftop Garden

Join us for two jam-packed days of hands-on skills in edible mushroom propagation. Learn how to grow delicious oyster, shiitake and many other mushrooms at home, organically!