Growing herbs is an excellent way to bring fresh herbs into your kitchen for little or no money, but there are some things you need to keep in mind in order to keep your herb plants producing the best tasting leaves. One of the things to keep in mind is that you need to cut off the flowering tops as soon as you see them.
What makes a herb grow quickly and neatly is pruning. Of course, pruning an herb means that you are actually harvesting the great tasting leaves and stems. If you do not prune, the plant grows taller on only a few stems and the leaves age, dry, and fall off. This results in long stems with no leaves.
Basil, oregano, lettuce and coriander/cilantro are herbs that turn bitter once they flower. As soon as flower appear, use a pair of scissor to cut them off. Coriander/cilantro has a tendency to stop growing as it starts flowering, in those cases it’s better to grow a new plant.
You are also allowing the herb plant to start and finish its life cycle. By harvesting regularly, you are keeping the herb in its growth stage for as long as possible. This promotes stem and leaves, keeps flowers from forming, and keeps the herb producing for a longer period of time. Your herb plants look better and are healthier if pruned back on a regular schedule.
If you remember to cut off the flowers from your herb plants, you can greatly prolong the window of harvest you have for these plants. Cutting the flowering tops off will not hurt your herb plant and will help keep your kitchen stocked with fresh herbs.