You are not alone with cilantro and it's just a learning process. Cilantro is really a cool-weather plant (spring and fall) and can't grow in summer heat so planting times depend on where you live and your climate. When the weather gets warm, the plant bolts and sends up a long, lanky flower stalks that will later seed. Even in cool conditions, cilantro yields a fast crop; plants are barely up before they try to flower and set seeds. Two weeks tops. So those tasty leaves aren't around long, especially in warm weather. We're not sure where you live but if you lived in the Southwest, for example, it may be best to plant in the fall and it may keep growing until spring when the weather heats up again. We would suggest you contact your county's cooperative extension for free, local, in-person advice. Here's a link to get you started: http://www.almanac.com/content/cooperative-extension-services
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