Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tips for Growing Cilantro

Cilantro is one of those funny herbs, some people like it, others don't!  You can count me in the group of people who like it.  Growing beautiful cilantro plants isn't a difficult thing but there are a couple things you should know to maximize your cilantro harvests.  Yesterday a reader asked me in my post 5 Herbs You Should Grow In Your Garden if I had any tips for growing cilantro so I thought today I pass along a few.

Here are a few Tips for Growing Cilantro!


  • First you need to realize it is a cool weather crop.  When the heat of summer comes along your cilantro doesn't have much time left!  It will begin to bolt (which just means it starts to flower) and the flavor of the leaves changes, and not for the better, more bitter.  Plants grown in part shade will take a little longer to bolt.  My advice would be to plant a couple in part shade and a couple in full sun.  
  • The white flowers of bolted cilantro.
    Let it bolt!  The easiest way to insure a cilantro crop for later in the year is to let your cilantro go to flower and allow it to set seeds.  When it goes to seed collect the hard shelled seeds and either plant them directly in the garden where you want the cilantro to grow or save them to plant outdoors in fall.  It's an annual so the only way for it to come back is through its seed. 
  • Cilantro doesn't need any fancy soil to grow.  It grows fine anywhere the seeds land in my garden.  I have more cilantro growing in my lawn right now than I do in the garden!  Lighter soil may grow a better plant than heavy clay but cilantro isn't too picky.
  • Cilantro seedlings growing in the fall.
    If you are starting cilantro from seed this year start a few weeks before the last frost date indoors or sow directly outdoors after the frost.  I usually have cilantro germinating in the fall.  Cilantro is very cold tolerant and will survive our Tennessee winters easily.  It goes dormant over the winter then explodes into growth once the spring temperatures return. 
  • There really is no need to fertilize cilantro, it will do just fine on its own.
  • Cilantro seeds are called coriander and you can harvest them for that spice also!

Are you a cilantro liker or disliker?

3 comments :

  1. Thank you! I had no idea that cilantro liked the cold. I had a little last fall that promptly died. I want to try again now but I will plan to bring it inside when it starts to get hot around here (Tucson), which won't be much longer. :-)

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  2. I love the stuff, hate that the big box stores sell it in the spring when it is too late to plant it, but I have had zero luck growing it here, despite my best efforts. Now I buy big bunches of it, press it flat in a ziplock, and freeze it flat. When I want it I chop fast while it is still frozen and put the remainder back. Soggy texture, but original flavor. Salsa doesn't mind.

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  3. Thanks so much!! That's a great help :)

    ReplyDelete

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