How to Grow Cilantro, or Coriander, Chinese Parsley
Biennial, Coriandrum Sativum
Is it Cilantro or Coriander? The plant is called Cilantro, while the seeds
are called Coriander. It is also called Chinese Parsley......yes,
it belongs to the Parsley family. Call it what you'd like. But, make sure
to grow some of this useful herb in your herb garden.
Cilantro is native to Asia and Mediterranean regions, and is a staple in
Mexican cuisine. The plant has parsley like leaves, producing a profusion
of small, white flowers the second year. The sweet tasting seed has a pleasant
odor when ripe. Cilantro plants grow up to three feet tall.
Cilantro plants are grown from seed. Directly sow Coriander seeds into your
garden after all danger of frost. Cover lightly with fine garden soil. For
a jump start, sow a few seeds indoors in containers, for transplanting later.
Space Cilantro seedlings or thin plants to 6" apart, in rows 2' apart. The
plants tolerate a little crowding, but prefer their space.
Plant Height: some varieties grow to three feet tall.
Days to Germination: 15-20
Days to Maturity: about 65
How to Grow Cilantro Plants:
Cilantro plants grow well in full to partial sun, and a well drained soil.
They will do well in almost any soil, and are tolerant dry soil conditions.
Water plants during dry periods, once or twice per week. Add a general purpose
fertilizer once or twice a season.
Harvest flower heads after seeds have formed and the flower head has died.
Extract Coriander seeds and dry them in a cool, dry location.
Tip: If growing for seeds, replant every year for a continuous supply.
Harvest the Coriander seeds in the second year, after the flower head has
died. Cut the stems and tie together. Hang them in a cool, dry place to dry
out. Make sure to place a container under them to capture falling seeds.
When dry, place flower heads in a bag and shake to harvest seeds.
Important: Make sure seeds are completely dry before storing.
Main Cooking Uses:
You will find this useful herb in many ethnic recipes, including Mexican,
Tex-Mex, Spanish, and Asian cuisines.
Use the fresh, strong flavored Cilantro leaves chopped or as garnish. It
is perhaps best known as a key ingredient in salsa. But it's also used in
soups, seafood, and main dishes.
Coriander seeds are an ingredient in curry. The seed oil is used to flavor
liqueurs, candies and sauces. You can also use Coriander seeds in breads,
cakes, and main dishes.
Note: Seeds can also be used in potpourris
Tip: Put unused sprigs in a jar, and add an inch of water. Place
it in the refrigerator, for later use.
Homemade Salsa Recipe - use fresh cilantro
leaves in this great recipe.
Other Gardening Resources:
How to Dry Herbs