How to grow cilantro


Cilantro/coriander prefers a sunny well-drained location and cooler weather for optimal leaf growth.

Cilantro is a member of the carrot family, and is a highly fragrant annual plant. It has a taste of parsley with citrus-like overtones. When grown for its leaves, it is called cilantro. When grown as a spice for its dried seeds, it is called coriander. The seeds of the cilantro plant are known as coriander.

Cilantro is one of the oldest herbs, used by mankind, as far as 3000 BC. It is mentioned in early Sanskrit writings dating back to 1500 BC. The seeds have been found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs. It was brought to North America in 1670 and was one of the first spices cultivated by the settlers. It is widely used in Asian and Mexican cuisine. Like many other herbs, cilantro has a reputation for
being an antibacterial agent.

How to Plant

- Plant seeds in a sunny, dry location. Begin planting in early spring
- Place seeds ½ inch deep
- Space seeds 8-10 inches apart and place rows 15 inches apart.


Water young plants regularly, once plants are established they need little water. Avoid over-watering.

Make sure that the young plants don’t dry out. Once the plants are established they need little water. Avoid over watering as this plant does not do well in damp or humid conditions.


Fertilize once or twice during the growing season by applying ¼ cup of a nitrogen based fertilizer (21-0-0) per 25 square foot of growing area.

Cilantro should be fertilized twice. Apply ½ teaspoon of ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) or urea (21-0-0) per square foot.

Be careful of over fertilization, too much nitrogen can make the plant less flavorful.


Of all the herbs in your garden, cilantro can be one of the most difficult to grow. Many people think that it's their fault that cilantro doesn't last very long, but what they don't know is that cilantro is a very short-lived plant.

Unlike most herbs, cilantro requires cooler temperatures to thrive. It should be planted in the early spring or in the fall when temperatures are cooler. Once the root of the cilantro plant gets above 75 degrees, it will bolt.

Cilantro is a cool-season crop that does best at temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees F. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees F, but if temperatures exceed 85 degrees F it will start to bolt.

Plant new crops every 1-3 weeks to ensure a constant supply. Weekly plantings will ensure that you have a continuous crop. This plant rarely has any problems with insects or disease.


Harvest cilantro when leaves are about 4-6 inches tall. Cilantro leaves are ready to harvest 45 to 70 days after seeding. Cut exterior leaves once they reach 4 to 6 inches long. Or, cut the whole plant about 1 to 2 inches above the soil level to use both small and large leaves.

After 8-10 weeks the cilantro in your garden will flower, and form seeds. Once cilantro matures, it will "bolt," or flower, then produce seeds. After the plant produces seed, it will begin to die. If you allow the plant to produce seeds and fall to the ground, your cilantro will "plant itself" to begin growing new cilantro seedlings next season.

To prevent maturation, cut the leaves regularly. Sow seeds thickly in a wide, shallow container; then, as soon as plants are 3 to 4 inches tall and sporting a couple of cuttable leaves, use scissors to cut off some foliage. Cut from a different section of the container every time, rotating the pot as you go and never letting plants in any area mature. By the time you get back to the first section harvested, new leaves will have appeared.

Harvest weekly to keep leaves coming. Using this method, it's possible to harvest 4 crops of cilantro from a single pot.

Is it advisable to plant cilantro/coriander indoors?

Yes, but make sure that the container is deep enough. Be sure to grow it in a place where it will get enough sun.


Cilantro/Coriander - Yard and Garden -

Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, Apiaceae - WSU Clark County Extension -

Cilantro - The Texas A&M System

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