Pests & Diseases
Beet armyworms are brown moth larvae that can destroy seedlings, consume leaves, and stunt growth by feeding on developing buds. Cabbage loopers are smooth-skinned green caterpillars; they can be distinguished from other caterpillars by their distinctive “looping” movement. These pests may strike cilantro at any time during the growing season. Early infestations may result in damage to the young leaves and terminal buds.
The green peach aphid occurs throughout California, mostly in the spring and fall and can transmit more than 100 different viruses. Infestation can cause stunting, leaf curling, and twisting.
Bacterial leaf spot is a seedborne disease that causes dark, water-soaked spots on both the top and bottom sides of leaves. If severe, foliage can take on a blighted appearance as the spots merge. The disease progresses rapidly during wet weather and can cause significant damage.
Apium virus Y results in spotted patterns and small distortions on leaves, stunting plants. The disease has been reported in California’s Central Coast region. Carrot motley dwarf affects both cilantro and parsley and is caused by a combination of carrot redleaf virus and carrot mottle virus. Plants infected in the seedling stage will be severely stunted and foliage may be yellow, orange, or red.
Storage & Packaging
After harvest, bunches should be stored in low-temperature, high humidity conditions. In California, fresh cilantro is cooled immediately when brought in from the field and stored at 33 to 35°F until shipped.
References: Herb Society of America, University of California, University of Illinois Extension, USDA, Western Institute for Food Safety & Security, Worldcrops.org.
GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL
There are currently no published U.S. good arrival guidelines for cilantro. Recommended transit temperature is 33 to 35°F; under these conditions, cilantro should have a shelf life of at least 14 days.