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How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

You can keep keep cilantro fresh for up to one month in the fridge, by properly cleaning and trimming stems, and storing in one inch of water, loosely covered for air circulation. DO NOT rinse until ready to use.

Fresh cilantro stems and leaves on a wooden cutting board with a knife.
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Implementing these tips to keep cilantro fresh week after week, will only actually take you a minute or two per day, just a few days per week.

And, we aren't just talking about a few extra days. This will keep cilantro fresh for several weeks. So,

  1. There is no race to use recently purchased cilantro before it goes bad, or
  2. To make a special trip to the store to purchase fresh cilantro.

By following these instructions, you can buy cilantro whenever it's convenient, even if you're not planning on using it right away, because it will last so much longer.

It's amazing that so many people are still asking how to store fresh cilantro, when this method is so incredibly simple!

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

What you need

Cilantro, scissors, glass of water and a plastic bag.

Prep the Cilantro


DO NOT RINSE THE CILANTRO! Wait until you are actually ready to use the cilantro, and rinse just the amount that you plan to use.

Remove debris, dead leaves and any lower leaves off of the stems at the bottom (even the healthy leaves). This will help to keep the water and stems clear and healthy.

Debris and dead leaves cleaned out of cilantro stems.

Any healthy leaves that you've trimmed off can be set aside for immediate use, or tossed.

Also clean away any full stems or bad leaves from the upper portion of the bunch as well.

But make sure at least the bottom 3 inches are clean of everything. Then, trim ends with a pair of scissors to create a nice clean cut.

Trimming the ends of cilantro stems with a pair of scissors.

Now the cilantro is ready to store!


Choose a clear jar or glass that has a narrow enough mouth to support the stems, but not so tight that it smashes the leaves and stems.

A glass mason jar with an inch of water holding cut cilantro stems.

Fill the jar with just 1-2 inches of water and place the cilantro in it, keeping the bottom of the stems flush with the bottom of the glass. You don't want the entire stems submerged, just the ends.

Cilantro stems in a jar with water, covered with a plastic bag.

Cover the cilantro with a light weight, clear plastic bag. It should go over at least the top of the jar, but don't secure or tighten it.

Changing the water

This is the most important step, aside from the initial cleaning of the stems.

Every 2-3 days, remove the plastic, and dump out the water. Clear away any yellow leaves and remove dropped pieces from stems again, just like the first time.

A glass jar of water and yellow cilantro leaves and stem pieces.

Rinse the jar out, and add fresh water.

Try to trim the very ends again when possible, to create a fresh and healthy cut. This is especially important if it's been 4 or more days since the last change of water.

Trimming ends off cilantro stems and filling a glass of water.

Finally, place the fresh cilantro back into the fresh jar of fresh water. Repeat every 2-3 days. Don't let it go more than 4 days without changing or it won't last as long.

Cilantro in a glass jar of whatever covered with a plastic bag.


Should I wash cilantro before storing?

No. Wait to wash until ready to use, and only wash the portion that you are going to use.

How long will cilantro last in the fridge?

One month. When properly stored, and cleaned, like shown, cilantro can last a month in the fridge; sometimes longer.

Do I use the stems in cilantro?

Yes. Use any part from the leaves to the stem, but trim the ends of the stems and avoid any yellow.

Fresh cilantro bundle on distressed white wooden background.

Recipes with Cilantro

Try these an other fresh recipes to make with all the cilantro you will be saving!

Now that you know how to store cilantro, let us know in the comments how long yours lasted in the fridge! Did you change the water? How often?

📖 Recipe

A bundle of cilantro leaves on a cutting board.

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

Store fresh cilantro in the fridge for a month with these simple tips.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: ingredient
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: fresh cilantro, store
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 1kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $.50


  • Jar
  • Plastic bag
  • Scissors


  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cold water


  • Gather cilantro stems and remove any debris and dead or yellow leaves/stems.
  • Trim any leaves off the bottom 2-3 inches of stems using sharp scissors.
  • Grasp the bunch firmly in one hand and trim the ends evenly off, to form a straight, clean edge.
  • Fill a glass jar with about 1 inch of clean, cold water.
  • Place the cilantro stems in the jar, so that the trimmed ends are flush with the bottom of the jar.
  • Cover loosely with a light weight, clear plastic bag. Don't secure it around the glass- allow for air circulation.
  • Every 2-3 days, remove the bag, and clean away dead or dying leaves. Trim ends again (about ⅙th of an inch).
  • Dump out old water, rinse jar clean, and add fresh water back to the jar, no more than 1 inch deep.
  • Place cilantro stems in the jar as before, with trimmed ends flush with the bottom of the glass.
  • Cover again loosely with the bag and place back in the fridge.
  • When ready to use some cilantro, remove only the portion of stems that you are using. Rinse with cold water and shake dry.
  • Repeat this process until the cilantro is used up, or eventually dies.


  • DO NOT WASH CILANTRO. Wait until you're ready to use it, and only rinse the portion you plan to use. 
  • Change and clean stems, removing dead or yellow parts every 2-3 days. 
  • Don't rubber band or tie off the bag; allow it to be loose to promote air circulation to the leaves. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @TheFrozenBiscuit or tag #thefrozenbiscuit!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 17th of July 2022

Can't wait to try this! I don't know how many half bunches of cilantro I've thrown away. I tried growing in the garden but it goes right to seed in our warm weather. I tried a grow light too, but thin reedy cilantro isn't enough for recipes. Thanks for this tip!


Tuesday 24th of May 2022

So you don’t put into the fridge until like the third day? That’s what it says but doesn’t make sense.


Tuesday 31st of May 2022

Yes store in fridge. change water and trim stems 1/8 inch every 2 or 3 days. Clean all yellow and dead stems and leaves every 2 or 3 days. I would not suggest leaving it out of the fridge for any length of time.


Friday 26th of March 2021

Great idea with cilantro. Can we do the same thing for parsley?

Erin Corn

Saturday 27th of March 2021

Hi Lou! So, I've tried this with parsley actually and it doesn't fare so well. Weird right? I find with parsley, that actually leaving in a plastic bag works best. Depending on the weather and humidity- you can expirement with a glass of water on the counter top by a sunny window, uncovered.