How to Grow Cilantro
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Also Known As
Coriander, or Chinese Parsley
An herb with a wide variety of uses, all parts of the cilantro plant are edible but the seeds and the leaves are most commonly used in the kitchen.
Cilantro is an annual herb, so it must be replanted each year if you want a continual supply of fresh leaves. It can grow up to 50cm or 20″ tall.
The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many dishes around the world, common in South Asian foods, Chinese and Thai dishes, Mexican Russian and Indian among many others. Since heat drastically reduces their flavor, cilantro leaves are used raw and only normally added to the dish immediately before serving.
Grow cilantro by starting cilantro seeds indoors or direct sowing any time during the spring or summer. Sprinkle seeds in a medium sized pot with a diameter of 8″-12″, spacing seeds about 5-10 cm (2″-4″) apart. Cover with 2 cm (1″) of soil. Seeds should sprout in 5-10 days.
Though cilantro can grow in medium sized pots, they put out a long tap root that stretches deep into the soil. As a result, cilantro will grow best in deep containers.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.
Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide
Do not over water. Cilantro likes to be kept relatively dry, and does not do well in soggy conditions. Water when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow cilantro indoors or outdoors, in full sun or partial shade. Cilantro does not like the heat, and a shaded location will keep it nice and cool.
Cilantro can be grown in zones 2-12. However, if you are in zone 7 or above, cilantro will grow through the winter if you provide protection, such as a cloche.
You can begin picking young leaves once the plant has reached 10 cm (4″) in height.
Flavor is best when freshly picked, and loses its intensity when cilantro is dried or cooked. For this reason it is best to always add cilantro just prior to serving your dish.
Growing cilantro as a companion plant is beneficial for your garden because it can attract many beneficial insects. Cilantro does well planted alongside tomatoes, spinach, basil and mint.
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