How to Grow Coriander
Variety is important!
Coriander (Cilantro) can be either grown for its leaves or for its seeds. Varieties have been bred to be better at producing one or the other so the variety you choose is important. A seed variety will produce seed quicker than a leaf variety but once a plant ‘runs to seed’ it will stop leaf production. If you want coriander leaves for your cooking this means you will have a shorter picking time. All varieties will eventually produce seed but the leaf varieties will hold off for longer.
In our opinion coriander ‘Calypso’ or ‘Leisure’ are the best for leaf production as it has an excellent ‘cut and come again’ habit while ‘Santo’ will produce larger flower heads and run to seed more quickly. You do not need to choose these varieties but make sure to check if the seeds you are using are ‘seed’ or ‘leaf’ varieties.
How to Grow Coriander
Coriander enjoys a sunny position but appreciates a little shade during the hottest part of the day. Plants will run to seed more quickly if stressed by hot weather so this is important for leaf varieties.
Coriander is sown from late March until early September. To achieve a constant supply of leaves through the Summer sow small amounts every 3 weeks. The best months for leaf production are late spring and Autumn. Coriander is will grow best sown directly rather than grown in seed trays and transplanting. This is because transplanting disturbance will also cause then to run to seed.
Sow directly into well drained, fertile soil. If your soil needs to be improved add good garden compost or well rotted manure. Rake into the surface of the soil to remove any large lumps or stones leaving a fine and even tilth. Seeds are best sown in groups of 5 spaced 20cm between rows and 20cm between plants.
You can also grow coriander successfully in pots or trays filled with a good multipurpose compost. Coriander plants have deep tap roots so pots need to be at least 25cm deep. Scatter seeds on the surface of the compost and cover, watering well. In a pot of 25cm diameter you can sow approx 5 seeds per pot.
Caring for Coriander
Germination of coriander takes up to 3 weeks. Thin young plants to 20cm apart to allow them to grow to their full size. Water them in dry periods and ensure the soil never dries out. If flowers develop remove them immediately – this ensures the plants focus their energy on growing new leaves. Re-sow coriander every three weeks to ensure you have a continual supply during the summer. It is not normally necessary to feed coriander if the soil is well nourished. However is the plants appear to be suffering give them a liquid organic feed to perk them up.
Harvest the leaves when the plant is big and robust enough to cope. Pluck or cut each leaf off the stem or snip whole stems if necessary. Both the leaves and the stalks can be used.
If you are growing coriander for its seeds, wait until the flowers have died off before harvesting. Cut the stems and place the heads of the coriander in a paper bag, with the stems slicking out. Tie the stems and the bag together in a bunch and hang upside down in a cool, dry place. Wait for three weeks and then shake the bag. The dry seeds will fall out from the flowers and be ready in the bottom of the bag. Keep them in a dry place and re-sow the following spring.
Coriander is a versatile herb popular in Asian cooking including curries, Chinese and Thai dishes. Both the seeds and the leaves of the plant can be used, and offer two distinct flavours. The seeds have a slight lemony flavour; they are often ground and used as a spice. The leaves (also known as cilantro) have a slightly bitter taste and can be chopped up and added to dishes and breads or used as a garnish. Coriander is a tasty herb to grow, both for its leaves and seeds. If you re-sow seeds every three weeks you can have lush coriander leaves throughout the summer to add to salads and Asian dishes.
How to grow your own coriander herbs a comprehensive guide. Used alot in asian cuisine, Coriander is a very useful herb to have in the herb garden
Grow Coriander at Home with this Simple Guide
Historically, coriander has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years and utilized as a culinary spice across the world. It not only adds colour and fresh flavour but also acts as an anti-food poisoning agent. With simple techniques, coriander can be grown in the comfort of a balcony next to other herbs or plants. The numerous benefits of this herb make it our perfect pick to grow at home and share with friends and family!
Coriander herb has bright green leaves and flat and thin stem. It has a pungent smell, similar to onions when fresh and lighter smell once dried. Coriander leaves make a showy display with its bright green leaves and little flowers. In the garden, the herb grows brilliant next to basil.
However, fresh coriander is not the easiest to find in the market. Even though Indian vegetable vendors won’t mind tossing in some free coriander with other vegetables you buy, it may not be the freshest or healthiest. We believe we can be in control of the authenticity of whatever goes in our body by growing it in-house. Here is a comprehensive guide to sowing coriander. Whether indoors or out, in small spaces or a farm, the growing guide ahead will equip you to grow coriander plant in all scenarios. Happy growing!
Coriander Plantation at Home
Coriander herb can be grown indoors under a wide range of climatic conditions. However, hot weather during the summer months causes coriander to bolt quickly and reduces foliage development. A coriander crop will mature in 40 to 45 days. It is often used as a rotation crop. Some growers double-crop in a given year.
How to plant Coriander herb
Growing coriander at home is the best way to have ready access to this fresh herb. You can buy pure, heirloom and non-GMO coriander seeds online from AllThatGrows. Sow coriander seeds indoors in late winter or early spring. For a flavoursome and lush, leafy coriander crop, follow the following simple steps as you plant the herb.
Tips on growing Coriander indoors
Coriander crop thrives well in temperatures between 17° to 27°C. Coriander is best sown directly in pots rather than growing them in seed trays and then transplanting the sprouts.
You can grow coriander in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. Sow the coriander seeds about half to one inch deep in the soil. Space the seeds at a gap of approximately 6 inches. Press the soil over the seeds and cover with the half-inch layer of fine mulch. Water thoroughly.
Water the plants in dry periods. Be sure to not over-water the plant to avoid root rot. Good soil drainage is essential to ensure healthy root health as coriander has deep taproots. You can choose to buy organic manure at AllThatGrows.
Germination of coriander takes up to 2-3 weeks. Remember to thin young plants to 20 cm apart to allow them to grow to their full size. To extend the coriander harvest, regularly snip soft stems, rotating the plant while you harvest.
How to Care for Coriander
Coriander prefers cool weather similar to spinach and lettuce alike. It can be grown in partial sun as the herb does not demand full soon.
- Avoid transplanting or repotting the germinated seeds and prefer starting from the seeds straight. This will help you avoid bolting.
- The key to growing healthy coriander herb is regular and steady watering. Remember to mulch to keep the soil surface cool.
- For a steady supply, we suggest planting small patches every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season.
Harvesting Coriander Herb
Coriander can be harvested when the plant has become six inches tall. At this height, the leaves of the herb will be tender and least bitter. The stems tend to be more pungent as compared to the leaves. Cut the gentle stems at soil level.
Harvesting Coriander Seeds
You can also harvest the seeds once coriander plant develops flowers and seed heads. The harvested seed heads should be a brown colour and are available in the seed heads. The seeds can be harvested once they are brown
Dry the harvested seeds before using them in recipes. Store them in an airtight paper bag until they are ready to be planted. You can also sow them immediately for a continuous crop.
How to grow Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) at home
One of the easiest methods of sowing coriander seeds indoors is via sprouting method. Pre-soak the coriander seeds in a shallow dish overnight. Then place these seeds in a plastic sandwich bag and seal it. Place the bag in a spot receiving decent sunlight for a day or two until tiny white sprout appears. Add more water if needed to ensure that the bag retains moisture.
Now that the sprouts have been formed, add some potting soil to the unsealed bag. Plant these seeds in a container filled with fresh soil once the sprouts have expanded in size. Add a thin layer of potting soil on top of these sown seeds. Place the potted seeds in a sunny spot for up to four to five hours. You can move the pot indoors at a spot that receives 4-5 hours of sunlight every day or keeps in shade outdoors.
Growing coriander in Pots
Coriander is a fast-growing annual plant that reaches up to 12 – 22 inches in height. With a little extra care, coriander can grow indoors as well as it would grow outdoors. We recommend you grow coriander herb in a huge planter with rest of the herbs as herbs make great neighbours and encourage healthy growth for each other.
Follow the step by step instructions below for growing coriander indoors.
Pick a spot for your container that exposes the plant to run for at least four to five hours. Prefer exposing the plant to morning sun as it enjoys a lot of light but not too much heat.
Take any container or planter (approx 10 inches) deep enough for the roots. Make sure that you have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the container.
Coriander needs extra fertile soil if growing indoors. The root system range is limited and can’t access as much soil for nutrients as in the garden, hence the nutrition content in the soil needs to be higher. Explore rich organic manure at AllThatGrows.
Pre-soak the seeds overnight. Space the seeds 3 to 4 inches apart while sowing in the container. You can also sprout the seeds before sowing.
Water the plants when the soil is dry to the touch. Water thoroughly until the water comes out the drainage holes. Keep the soil moist and not soaked.
You can plant new seeds every six weeks to keep a steady supply throughout the season. Follow the same steps for harvesting coriander as recommended under the Harvesting Coriander Herb.
Common problems to avoid while growing Coriander
Coriander has a tendency to bolt straight into flower i.e instead of growing leaves, the plant jumps straight to the flowering stage. Bolting can occur due to heat, transplantation or insufficient watering.
However, there are some things that you can do to prolong the leaf production phase. Keep the soil moist, and plant the seeds in partial share not too shady as it needs a sufficient amount of sun to grow properly. Coriander is an excellent plant for sowing successionally, so sow regularly every 5-6 weeks.
2. Root Rot
Coriander might suffer from root rot. This situation is developed if the roots of the plant become too wet. Hence well-drained soil with mixed sand is imperative for improved drainage of the plant. Overwatering can also lead to oversaturation of soil and subsequent development of certain leaf diseases. The simple precaution that can avoid this will be watering in the day, avoid watering in the evening and don’t overwater the plants.
Pests & slugs that can affect Coriander
Coriander can have problems with aphids and whitefly, wilt or powdery mildew. Bacterial leaf spot, carrot motley dwarf, armyworm, cutworm, and nematodes can also infect the crop. However, the crop can be mostly saved from pests and viruses with fertilizer. We recommend the usage of organic fertilizer at the growing stage for a healthy yield. You can buy organic fertilizer from AllThatGrows.
Health Benefits of Coriander
- Coriander leaves are a wonderful source of dietary fibre, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Additionally, coriander leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and protein. It is antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature.
- Coriander contains linoleic acid and cineole which give anti-inflammatory properties to it. The herb helps in avoiding inflammation such as swelling due to arthritis, kidney malfunction or anaemia. The consumption of the coriander herb also improves skin appearance, helps fight fungal infections and eczema.
- Linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are found in coriander that makes it effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. It helps in reducing the level of bad LDL cholesterol deposition raise the levels of healthy HDL cholesterol preventing multiple cardiovascular issues.
- Coriander is helpful in stimulating blood sugar levels and is of medicinal value against diabetes. On consumption of this herb, the secretion of insulin is increased from the pancreas. This results in a subsequent increase in insulin level in the blood. As a result, proper assimilation and absorption of sugar are regulated in the body.
- Coriander is rich in iron. It helps in preventing anaemia and facilitates the proper functioning of all organ systems.
How to use Coriander herb
Coriander leaves are most flavorful when they are freshly cut. The seeds from the coriander plant form the spice known as coriander. The leaves are called cilantro. The seeds can be stored in an airtight container and ground immediately for use. Cilantro is typically used in many different food dishes including Mexican and Indian cuisine. The leaves are commonly used as a garnish in multiple cuisines. Coriander blends well with mint, cumin, chives, and garlic. You can store the harvest by freezing the leaves in cubes of water or dry them and store in an airtight container to retain the flavour.