Why Is My Cilantro Turning Yellow?

Cilantro is a herb that many people use in their cooking. It’s often used as a garnish, but it also mixes well with other ingredients and can add amazing flavor to just about any dish. One thing you might not know about cilantro is that it is actually considered a type of leafy green–not a root vegetable or seasoning like some might think.

As such, cilantro needs certain nutrients to stay healthy and vibrant. However, sometimes the leaves can turn yellow – but why is this? In this article, we help you discover why the cilantro has turned yellow.

Why Is My Cilantro Turning Yellow?

Your cilantro is turning yellow due to stress. This can be because of a lack of sun, too much water, or an incorrect amount of fertilizer.


Using too much fertilizer gives the soil a lot of nitrogen, which can cause yellow leaves. In fact, you should probably skip using fertilizer for your cilantro. With that said, you should be using some soil that contains nutrients, not sandy soil.


Cilantro plants can be attacked by pests, such as aphids. The insects will feed on the leaves and leave them yellow or with a dark green hue. Get rid of plant insects by spraying with soapy water or using a natural remedy such as neem oil (Amazon link).

Too much sun

If the weather is too hot, it will also cause cilantro to turn yellow. To combat this issue, shade your plants during hot summer days by providing them with an umbrella or vining trellis. Protecting the leaves from direct sunlight and the excessive heat can prevent leaf burn on those sensitive green parts of the plant that are exposed to light.

Not enough light

Cilantro needs at least six hours of good bright sun daily in order to photosynthesize properly and grow healthy leaves without turning yellow. Planting away from buildings, trees and other structures that block out some sunlight can help keep cilantro healthier longer while producing more of its juicy leaves.

Not enough water

Cilantro doesn’t like to be left alone for too long without much water and will start to wilt or yellow in the process. The best way to keep cilantro happy is to make sure there’s plenty of moisture around it at all times, making sure that each pot has a small amount of soil wet with liquid every day before adding more soil on top of the moistened area.

In addition, you’ll want to avoid overwatering your plants because they may rot if given too much liquid at one time (especially during hot weather). If this happens, remove any standing water from inside pots and repot them into fresh soil then wait until new roots have grown before watering again.


Cilantro needs well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter because it thrives best in moist conditions. If your cilantro isn’t thriving, you might want to look at the type of soil you are using first before anything else.

How to Revive Cilantro with Yellow Leaves?

Even if the cilantro leaves are turning yellow, they can often be revived by altering the environment to suit its needs.

Place your cilantro in a spot that receives lots of sunlight, which will stimulate your cilantro to be more vibrant and green in color. I keep mine in a windowsill that gets direct sunlight from morning to late afternoon.

Cilantro thrives in moist conditions, so if your cilantro is turning yellow because it’s too dry, try watering the plant more frequently or placing them near a humidifier (a living room with central heating and air conditioning will also provide enough humidity).

If you’ve ruled out sun exposure and moisture as potential problems for your cilantro leaves turning yellow, then there might be an issue with soil quality. Your best bet at this point would be to repot into fresh soil and wait until new roots have grown before watering again. As always, make sure that any standing water inside pots has been removed first!

Soil that lacks nutrients should be given some cilantro fertilizer (Amazon link). If the cilantro is already in nutrient-rich soil or you are already giving plenty of fertilizer, then reassess your approach.

The pot may be too small for your cilantro, so move it to a bigger plant pot. This will allow the roots to spread out and collect all the nutrients they need to thrive.

After ensuring you have now met all the basic care rules, you should remove the most yellow leaves and prune your cilantro. The aim is to stimulate new growth and encourage green leaves to grow.

Is It Safe To Eat Yellowed Cilantro?

The Better Health Channel (BHC) says that you shouldn’t eat yellow cilantro. However, the choice is up to you, and it depends on the cause of the yellowing.

Apparently, the nutrient content remains unaffected by this color change, so you do not need to worry about that aspect.

Personally, I would chuck away any cilantro that has turned yellow, especially if the cause is related to pests or rot.


If the optimal conditions are recreated for cilantro, it will turn green again. Along with the color, your cilantro will taste even better! This is why it’s so important to care for your cilantro correctly.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post on cilantro.

Happy cilantro growing!