Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Growing Cilantro From Seed
Cilantro, also called coriander, can easily be grown from seed in a pot indoors or outdoors in your vegetable garden. To keep cilantro growing all summer it should be succession sown every 2 or 3 weeks in order to maintain a constant fresh supply for your household. In warmer climates cilantro can be grown year round and continuously seed itself. In cooler climates (such as the zone 3 gardening climate I grow in) cilantro will go to seed in the fall and you may have an abundance of small plants all ready for harvest at the same time next year! I have found some varieties do not form proper seed heads. I'm guessing these are hybrid varieties. If you have a heritage variety you will be able to easily collect the brown round seeds off the plant in the fall. You can also choose to let the seeds fall but you may end up with a problem of out of control cilantro! Once cilantro is cut down for use the plant will put more energy into seed growth and you will not have much more leaf growth. That is the reason the frequent seeding cycles are beneficial.
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How to Grow Cilantro from Seed in a Pot
You can plant cilantro seeds as close as one one or two inches apart for young harvest. I use a 6 inch round pot and place about 10 seeds on top of the soil, then cover those with a 1 cm. layer of soil. Cilantro seeds take 7 to 10 days to germinate and month to reach maturity for leaf harvest. Cilantro seeds can be soaked for 8 hours prior to planting them to encourage quicker sprouting. Keep soil moist until plants germinate (or sprout).
Check out Zappa Seed's cilantro or these cilantro seeds from Amazon.
When to Plant Cilantro Seeds
Cilantro seeds can be planted in a pot at any time! I like to plant my cilantro seeds as soon as I have my indoor plants started in the spring (the end of January). These first cilantro seeds are grown to maturity indoors in a pot for a handy kitchen supply. If you have indoor grow lights you can grow cilantro all through the winter! (Check out My Favourite Products for Growing Indoors!) When growing cilantro in your garden during the hot summer months the plant has a tendency to bolt. To prevent this plant your cilantro in partial shade in a cool part of your garden.
How Much Water Does Cilantro Need?
When it comes to watering cilantro it does well with the standard amount, as far as most plants go, requiring around 1 inch per week. You want to apply enough water to fully moisten the soil without waterlogging it. You can determine this by how long it takes the soil to dry out. The soil should begin to dry out within 2 to 3 days.
When growing cilantro in a pot, make sure you are using good quality potting soil and have sufficient drainage on the bottom of the pot.
Coriander - Cilantro Seed
Coriander is the name of the seed while cilantro is the name of the leaf. To save the coriander seeds, allow the seeds to dry and turn brown on the plant prior to harvesting the seeds. These seeds can be used to flavour food or for next year's cilantro planting! For more on saving seeds check out A Beginners Guide to Saving Seeds.
Companion Plants for Cilantro
Cilantro makes for a great companion plant to cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach and kale as it deters leaf-eating pests from your vegetables. It also does well next to celery, parsley, peas, potatoes and tomatoes.