How To Grow Cilantro


Average Days To Maturity: 50-55 days

Distance Between Rows: 18-24 inches

Spacing Between Plants: 9-12 inches apart

When To Plant: Charley recommends planting Cilantro in mid to late April or after last frost, but experienced gardeners can plant earlier and protect the young plants with buckets and milk jugs or start them out in a cold frame or small greenhouse.

Planting Tip: When growing Cilantro in a pot or container, make sure there is good drainage. This can be achieved by putting a layer of gravel or small rocks in before the dirt.  If planting in the ground, keep the soil free of weeds and water it a bit so that it is moist when you plant.

Cilantro has a long tap root so they shouldn’t be transplanted once established in the garden.  Take extra care when planting from a pot from the garden center so that you do not damage this root.

Cilantro grows best in cooler weather so planting in early spring or early fall is best.  Unfortunately when the weather gets warmer cilantro will bolt and bloom. You can mulch the roots to help keep them cooler.  Planting in a location that gets either morning or late afternoon sun with shade during the hottest part of the day is best. This could prolong the harvest.  Also, if you plant a crop and wait a week or two and plant another and so on, this can also help prolong your harvesting.

Preparation and Care: If the soil that you are planting in is poor, then work some compost into the soil.

You will need to hoe or VERY shallowly till or cultivate the soil around the plants to keep the weeds under control. Be sure to keep it shallow and not damage the roots.

Make sure there is plenty of air flow around the plants to prevent rot and disease.

Watering: It is recommended that you water Cilantro when the soil is dry to the touch making sure that you do not overwater.  The soil needs to have proper drainage but make sure that it retains enough water to stay moist and not soggy.

Water your garden (tomatoes and everything else) once a week with a 8-12 hour soaking. This will allow the soil to absorb an adequate amount of water and also limit the time you spend each week watering.  If you use a sprinkler to water, do this during the day so that the plants will have some time in the evening to dry out before dark. This will limit the chances of disease. If you use a soaker hose, you can water at night. Watering with a soaker hose at night is best as it limits the amount of water lost to evaporation and keeps the plants dry which limits the chances of disease. During dry periods you may need to water more often (every 4-5 days), and watering at night is important in water conservation during droughts.

Fertilizing:  Working compost or some type of fertilizer in to your soil before planting should be sufficient for growing Cilantro.  You can place compost around the base of the plant to provide continued feeding, however, too much fertilizer can cause the flavor to be weak.  If you work the compost into the soil and think that is sufficient, then you can simply mulch around the plants to help keep the roots cool.

Harvesting: Cilantro is a short crop because of its tendency to bolt when it gets warm.  When harvesting, cut from different sides of the plant each time.  By the time you get back to where you started, new leaves should have appeared.  Keeping the plant pruned should help prolong the crop.

If you want Corriander, then let the plant go to seed.  You can harvest the flowers once the seed is set and hang them upside down in a paper bag in a warm, dry place.  When they are dry just shake them into the bag and store in an airtight container.  You can also let them dry on the plant and then shake them into a container.

Cilantro is high in Vitamin A and lutein.

Common Insect Problems

Cilantro is not bothered by many insects, in fact they tend to repel harmful pests and attract butterflies, lady bugs and other helpful bugs.

Common Disease Problems

Cilantro has no major disease problems, but watch for powdery mildew.  Allowing for proper air flow around the plants will help prevent this.


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