Growing Cilantro at Home

Growing Cilantro at Home
Cilantro, a herb with great flavor used predominantly for garnishing is an extremely popular kitchen staple. Growing cilantro is very easy; all you need are some coriander seeds and the basic knowledge of gardening.
Gardenerdy Staff
When I was a child, I remember being awed by the entire process of gardening, thanks to my grandfather, who planted and grew so many beautiful plants in our garden. I decided then that I also wanted to garden and to appease me, my mother handed me some coriander seeds. This became quite a regular event. My cousins and I used to plant these seeds in dark soil and watch curiously as the herb grew from these seeds in just a few weeks. Which is why I can say with authority that growing cilantro at home is a child's play!

Cilantro is a herb, and is known by many names like Chinese Parsley and coriander. It is a favorite among the many herbs used in the kitchen. Its fresh leaves, seeds, and seed powder are used for multiple cooking purposes in many cuisines. Its root, which has an even more stronger flavor, is used in Thai food. It has many health benefits, like it helps in digestion, it is anti-inflammatory, prevents nausea, and is a good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, etc.

Instructions
  • When growing cilantro from seeds, select good healthy seeds and discard the seeds which are infested by bugs. Soak these seeds in clean water for a day and wash them thoroughly but take care while washing them, as these seeds are delicate and can break easily. After washing the seeds, air dry them.
  • You can plant the seeds in your garden, but if you have facilities only for indoor gardening, use a pot for growing it indoors. Plant them in shade, where they don't get direct, bright sunlight, because the heat might burn the plants. Little exposure to the sun in mornings and evenings, is sufficient for cilantro plants. When gardening in a pot, make sure the pot is at least 12'' deep, so that it accommodates the tap roots of cilantro plants easily. Use a good potting soil mixed with compost as a fertilizer.
  • Plant the seeds ½'' deep in the soil, and keep 1'' space between the seeds. When the plants grow, they will need space, so keep at least 12'' - 15'' space between the rows of the seeds.
  • Make sure you keep watering the soil moderately twice a week, and maintain damp soil.
  • When the plant grows around 6'' in height, it's time to harvest it. Carefully trim the flower heads and the leaves growing on the sides of the plant, and you will have fresh cilantro leaves for your kitchen. If you want cilantro seeds, then do not cut the flower heads. Wait till the flower dies and then harvest the flowers heads for seeds.
  • Collect these flower heads and tie them together, and dry them in the sun. Place a container beneath these flower heads, so that the seeds fall into the jar. Make sure the seeds are well dried. You can use these seeds not only cooking purposes, but also for regrowing.
Additional Care Tips
  • Take care of the plant and if you observe that the plant's leaves are infested with pests, immediately remove the leaves.
  • Sometimes the leaves get damaged and turn black. Check for these leaves from time to time and remove them from the plant.
  • Cilantro reseeds itself, but it is short-lived so keep planting the seeds after every 1 and ½ months, to make sure that you never run out of supply.
  • You can store the leaves in the refrigerator for 3 days. Just trim out the fresh leaves and store the unwashed leaves in an air tight container in the refrigerator and wash them before using.
Growing cilantro is fairly easy and as time passes by, you will get better at understanding the harvest period, the watering time, and the flowering time of cilantro. Good luck!
Hands planting cilantro seeds in soil
Variety of Fresh Herbs