How to Grow Cilantro
Updated: Sep 22
Cilantro, also called coriander, is easy to grow once you know your technique. It grows quickly and should be reseeded every 2 or 3 weeks to maintain a constant, fresh supply for your household. In warm climates it will reseed itself and you can grow a constant supply that way. In zone 3 it will go to seed in the fall and you may have an abundance of small plants 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 collect the brown 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 Plant Cilantro 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. The seeds take 7 to 10 days to germinate and month to maturity for leaf harvest.
When to Plant Cilantro
Cilantro can be planted 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 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.
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 also be used 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 as it deters leaf-eating pests from your vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach and kale.