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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.


Plant Propagation:

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


More Information:

Homemade Salsa Recipe - use fresh cilantro leaves in this great recipe.


Other:

How to Dry Herbs

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How to Grow Herbs:
Anise
Balm Lemon
Basil

Borage
Caraway
Catmint
Catnip
Chamomile
Chinese Parsley

Chervil
Chives
Cilantro/Coriander

Corn Salad / Mache
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Dill
Fennel
Garlic
Lavender

Lovage
Marjoram
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage

Savory
Sorrel
St. John's Wort
Stevia
Tarragon
Thyme
Watercress

Drying Herbs

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