Welcome to another Stand With Nature helpful guide on how to grow herbs. In this article, we tell you how to grow tasty cilantro.
When my daughters first started growing Cilantro, one of them said, “It smells like Mexican food.” Which is what a lot of folks think of with Cilantro. But, many other cultures from all over the world - Africa, Asian, India, Spain, Russia, Middle East, Thailand cook with Cilantro.
While in the U.S. the leaves are usually called cilantro it is also called Mexican parsley. Chinese parsley, fresh coriander, or coriander leaves.
Like me and my daughters, I suggest that when you’re growing cilantro that you should enjoy the strong scent.
Growing cilantro indoors
The number one key for growing cilantro indoors is drainage. You need to have a planter that has good drainage.
As I explain later in the article, cilantro does not transplant so well. Thus, its always better to start cilantro in the planter that it will grow in. This is why, its usually not the best idea to start Cilantro in a little burlap bags or even a peat/ coir container.
Cilantro needs full sun or as much sun as possible. It grows best in moist, well drained soil. You should space the plants apart a few inches. Sow the seeds in about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.
Make sure you provide them with plenty of water. But, don’t over water. This is usually where your good drainage comes in to play. Once it’s established you should cut back on the water.
While cilantro can be grown all year long, it does best in the cool days of spring or fall.
Cilantro seeds germinate in about 7 to 10 days.
While we have successfully transplanted Cilantro before, you need to do it fairly early. Cilantro has a taproot, so it doesn’t transplant as well as other herbs.
You can begin to fertilize Cilantro after they get about 2 inches high.
How does cilantro grow?
Cilantro grows quickly. For a steady supply of Cilantro, you can sow cilantro seeds every 2-3 weeks or so.
Cilantro growing tips
You should pinch back young cilantro plants so they grow bushier.
I also suggest that you as soon as you see flower buds or seed pods that you snip them off. This will redirect the plant’s growing back to the leafs.
When the weather gets hotter, cilantro plants will bolt quickly, Meaning, they will develop seeds. Once they do this, they plants will quickly start to degrade.
Because of this, we recommend that you start growing Cilantro every 3 weeks or so. This way you will always have fresh cilantro, all year long and longer if you’re growing indoors.
If you’re cilantro is too spindly, then it’s not getting enough sun. It should get at least 5 hours of sun a day.
By the way, cilantro seeds are called corinader.
You can begin harvesting your Cilantro in about 2-3 weeks. Use scissors to cut off foliage. Cut from different sections of the container each time. You should rotate the planter as you cut. Try and to not let the plants mature. By the time you get back to the area where you cut previously, new leaves will grow.
You should cut the upper, new leaves for cooking. Not, the mature, lower leaves.
If you’re planting indoors, you can begin sowing new cilantro plants in between the other plants, so to speak.
You should not harvest more than 1/3 of the plant at one time.
Cilantro loses it’s flavor when dried.
In later posts we will talk about cooking with Cilantro. But, you can sprinkle the fresh cut Cilantro leaves to spice up many dishes. Some people we know sprinkle it on just about everything.