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Cilantro Plant

Cilantro Plant
Many people think that caring for cilantro plants is a difficult task. This Gardenerdy article tells you how it easy it is if you follow some essential tips.
Gardenerdy Staff
Cilantro is a herbaceous plant native to southern parts of Europe, south west Asia and North Africa. It belongs to the Apiaceae family which is the same as parsley family. The aromatic leaves of these plants are referred to as cilantro which has a distinctive flavor of its own and is popularly used in various Mexican and Asian dishes. Seeds are also known as coriander which is also used for seasoning foods. The taste of these seeds are quite different from that of the leaves.

Plant Information

It is an annual herb that grows to a height of 45 - 60 centimeters. The plant has a soft texture and is hairless. The base of the leaf is broad while the outer edges are slender like a feather. Its flowers are small in size, irregular in shape and are found in either white or light pink color. The diameter of its fruit usually varies between 3 - 5 millimeters. Seeds are hard, round in shape, and are encased in a husk. It grows very quickly from its seeds but does not give a good response to transplantation. The ideal time to grow these plants is fall and spring as they prefer cooler temperatures.

Caring Instructions

Cilantro can grow on any type of soil provided it is fertile and well-drained. Mix equal quantities of potting soil and sand and add 20-20-20 fertilizer to it for the purpose of soil preparation before the seeds are planted. Then sow the seeds half inch deep into the soil and keep a gap of 3 inches in between two seeds.

Watering
When the plant is in the seedling stage, it needs water every alternate day. Once its roots are properly established, watering them once in a week or two will be enough. If you live in an area where the weather condition is hot and dry, then you may have to water them more frequently. Check out the dryness of the soil by dipping your finger into it. If you find it is dry to touch, then it's time to water the plant.

Mulching
A good mulching helps these plants in many ways. First of all, this will supply essential nutrients to the soil and retain the soil moisture. It will also protect the delicate roots of the plants from high temperature of the sun. Lastly, it will prevent growth of weeds.

Sun Exposure
This variety should receive at least 4 hours of direct sunlight every day. Select a location where it can receive the morning sun and shade in the afternoon. If you have planted it indoors, move the containers outdoors for a few hours so that it can get adequate amount of sunlight.

Harvesting
The suitable time for harvesting is when the plant reaches the height of about 6 inches. If you want only the leaves then you can cut the entire plant. However, if you want to get its seeds too, then cut the matured leaves on the outer part of the plant and let the small leaves near the stalk grow. It can be done twice or thrice before it begins to seed. When the seeds are mature and have turned brown (which usually takes around four months), cut the plant and hang it upside down to collect the seeds.

Those who want to use fresh cilantro leaves for cooking purpose prefer to grow them indoors. Thus it can be grown round the year and not just in any particular season.
Cilantro Plant in sunlight
Coriander herb in plant pot
Harvesting Fresh Coriander