How to grow Cilantro

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Cilantro: From Seed to Harvest, Indoors and Outdoors

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a versatile herb that adds a fresh, tangy flavor to various dishes. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, growing cilantro can be a rewarding experience. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about growing cilantro, from planting seeds to harvesting, and includes tips for growing cilantro both indoors and outdoors.

Growing cilantro

Why Grow Cilantro?

Cilantro is a popular herb in many cuisines, especially Mexican, Indian, and Thai. Its leaves are used fresh in salads, salsas, and as a garnish, while its seeds (known as coriander) are used as a spice. Growing your own cilantro ensures a fresh supply and can save you money. Additionally, cilantro is relatively easy to grow and can be cultivated in various environments, making it an excellent choice for home gardeners.

 Choosing the Right Variety

Before you start planting, it’s essential to choose the right variety of cilantro. There are several varieties available, each with its characteristics. Some popular varieties include:

Santo: Known for its slow bolting, making it ideal for warmer climates.
Calypso: Another slow-bolting variety, perfect for continuous harvesting.
Leisure: A common variety that grows quickly and produces a lot of leaves.

How to Grow Cilantro from Seed

Growing cilantro from seed is straightforward. Follow these steps for a successful harvest:

How to grow cilantro from seed

1. Prepare the Soil
Cilantro prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8. Work organic compost or aged manure into the soil to provide essential nutrients. Ensure the soil is loose and not compacted, as cilantro roots need room to grow.

2. Plant the Seeds
Cilantro seeds can be planted directly in the ground or in containers. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and space them 6 inches apart. If planting in rows, space the rows about 12 inches apart. Lightly cover the seeds with soil and water gently.

3. Watering
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry spells. Cilantro prefers cool, damp conditions, so avoid letting the soil dry out completely.

4. Thinning
Once the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, thin them to about 6 inches apart to give each plant enough space to grow. The thinned seedlings can be transplanted or used as microgreens in salads.

How to Grow Cilantro at Home

Growing cilantro at home is convenient and allows you to have fresh herbs at your fingertips. Here’s how to do it:

Growing cilantro

1. Choose the Right Container
Select a container with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. A pot that is at least 8 inches deep is ideal for cilantro, as it has a taproot that needs room to grow.

 2. Use the Right Soil
Use a high-quality potting mix that is light and well-draining. Mix in some compost to provide additional nutrients. Avoid using garden soil, which can be too heavy and compacted for container plants.

3. Planting
Fill the container with potting mix, leaving about an inch from the top. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and cover them lightly with soil. Water gently to settle the soil.

4. Location
Place the container in a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. Cilantro prefers cool temperatures, so avoid placing it in a spot that gets too hot, especially during the summer.

5. Watering and Maintenance
Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Water the plants regularly, and ensure the container has good drainage. Fertilize with a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks to promote healthy growth.

How to Grow Cilantro Indoors

Growing cilantro indoors allows you to have fresh herbs year-round, regardless of the weather. Follow these steps to grow cilantro indoors successfully:

 1. Choose the Right Location
Cilantro needs plenty of light to grow well indoors. Place the pot near a south-facing window that receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. If natural light is insufficient, consider using a grow light to supplement.

 2. Use the Right Container
Select a container with drainage holes and fill it with a high-quality potting mix. Cilantro has a taproot, so a pot that is at least 8 inches deep is necessary.

3. Planting Seeds
Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the potting mix and cover them lightly with soil. Water gently to settle the soil and ensure it is evenly moist.

 4. Watering and Care
Water the plants regularly to keep the soil consistently moist. Indoor air can be dry, so misting the plants occasionally can help maintain humidity levels. Fertilize with a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks.

 5. Temperature and Humidity
Cilantro prefers cool temperatures, ideally between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Avoid placing the plants near heat sources like radiators or vents. Maintaining moderate humidity levels will help prevent the plants from drying out.

Harvesting Cilantro

Knowing when and how to harvest cilantro is crucial for getting the best flavor and ensuring continuous growth:

1. Timing
Cilantro is ready to harvest about 4-6 weeks after planting. The leaves should be bright green and about 3-4 inches long. Harvesting the leaves regularly encourages the plant to produce more foliage.

 2. How to Harvest
Use sharp scissors or garden shears to cut the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing. Avoid cutting more than one-third of the plant at a time to ensure it continues to thrive.

3. Storing
Freshly harvested cilantro can be stored in the refrigerator. Place the stems in a glass of water and cover the leaves with a plastic bag to keep them fresh for up to a week. Alternatively, you can chop and freeze the leaves for longer storage.

Common Problems and Solutions

1. Bolting
Cilantro tends to bolt (flower and go to seed) in hot weather. To prevent this, choose slow-bolting varieties and provide shade during the hottest part of the day. Regular harvesting can also help delay bolting.

2. Pests and Diseases
Cilantro is relatively pest-resistant, but it can be affected by aphids, spider mites, and fungal diseases. Inspect the plants regularly and use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat infestations. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overwatering to prevent fungal issues.

3. Poor Germination
If your seeds fail to germinate, it could be due to old seeds, poor soil conditions, or insufficient water. Use fresh seeds, prepare the soil properly, and keep it consistently moist during the germination period.


Growing cilantro can be a fulfilling and straightforward gardening project, whether you’re planting outdoors in a garden or indoors in a pot. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh cilantro throughout the year. With the right care and attention, you’ll have a constant supply of this versatile herb to enhance your culinary creations.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *