You may love Cilantro’s unique flavor in salsa and guacamole, but growing it can be challenging.
One day it’s thriving. The next day, it’s bolted to seed, leaving you with a bitter taste in your mouth.
But don’t lose hope! With patience and understanding, you can successfully grow this flavorful herb in your backyard.
In this article, we’ll dive into the secrets of growing Cilantro and how to keep it from going to seed too soon.
What Is Cilantro?
Cilantro (seeds are also known as coriander) is an herb that adds a unique flavor to many dishes, especially in Mexican and Asian cuisines.
The leaves have a fresh, slightly citrusy taste that’s perfect for livening up salsas, guacamoles, and stir-fries. And don’t forget the seeds, which can be harvested and used as a spice for baking or curry dishes.
But before we dive into growing Cilantro, let’s set the record straight. “Cilantro” refers specifically to the leaves of the plant, while “coriander” refers to the seeds.
So, when you see recipes calling for “cilantro,” you know they mean the fresh leaves. And when you see recipes calling for “coriander,” they mean the dried seeds.
Now that you know the difference, let’s get growing!
In Ayurvedic medicine, Cilantro was used as a detoxifying agent to treat respiratory issues. Modern research has also found that Cilantro may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.
What You Need To Grow Cilantro
You don’t need a green thumb or a lot of space to grow Cilantro.
In fact, all you need is a sunny spot in your garden or a sunny windowsill, a pot of good-quality soil, and a handful of seeds. That’s it!
Here’s a quick shopping list for your cilantro-growing adventure:
- Pot or garden bed with well-draining soil
- Cilantro seeds
And, if you want to take your cilantro game to the next level, consider adding a few accessories:
- Grow light (for indoor growing)
- Fertilizer (to keep your plants happy and healthy)
With these basic supplies, you’re ready to get started!
How To Grow and Care for Cilantro?
Growing Cilantro is straightforward, but it requires patience. Here are the steps you need to follow.
Plant Your Seeds
Sow your cilantro seeds about ¼ inch (0.6 cm) deep and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart in a sunny spot in your garden or a pot with well-draining soil.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. The soil should be damp but never dry out completely.
If you notice that your plants are wilting, then water them immediately.
Give It Some Love
If you want to boost your Cilantro, consider using a fertilizer once a month to keep it happy and healthy.
Enjoy The Leaves
Harvest your cilantro leaves once they’re big enough to use in your favorite dishes.
The more you pick, the more leaves will grow!
Watch Out for Bolting
The biggest challenge with growing Cilantro is keeping it from bolting or going to seed too soon.
To avoid this, keep the soil moist and give your plants plenty of sunlight.
How To Cut Cilantro?
Harvesting Cilantro is just as easy as growing it. Here’s how to do it:
- Timing is everything: Cut the cilantro leaves just before the plant begins to flower for the best flavor.
- Cut from the outside: Start by snipping the outer leaves first, leaving the inner leaves to grow. This will keep your plant producing leaves for longer.
- Use the right tool: Use a sharp pair of scissors or a herb-snipping tool to make clean cuts and avoid damaging the plant.
- Store it right: To keep your Cilantro fresh, wrap the cut stems in a damp paper towel and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
And there you have it! Cutting Cilantro is a quick and easy process that will have you enjoying fresh, delicious Cilantro in no time.
Cilantro seeds (coriander) can also be harvested and used as a spice. Wait until the seed heads turn brown, then cut and dry them for later use.
Possible Problems Growing Cilantro
Cultivating Cilantro can be a breeze, but sometimes things go differently than planned.
Here are some common issues you may face and how to fix them.
Overwatering or planting in soil that doesn’t drain well can lead to wilting leaves.
Solution: Reduce watering and make sure your pot has proper drainage.
This can be due to a need for more water or nutrients.
Solution: Water more frequently and add fertilizer to the soil.
Bolting is when the plant begins to flower and goes to seed. This can happen if the plant is exposed to too much heat or has been growing for too long.
Solution: Plant a new batch of Cilantro every few weeks to ensure a continuous supply of fresh leaves.
Aphids and whiteflies can be a problem for Cilantro
Solution: Spray the plants with water and dish soap to eliminate the pests.
Growing Cilantro is a simple and delicious way to add flavor to your kitchen.
With just a little care, you can have fresh Cilantro at your fingertips all season long.
Whether you’re using it to top off tacos or mix it into a marinade, Cilantro is a versatile herb that every home cook should have in their arsenal.
So, why not try and taste the difference that fresh, homegrown Cilantro can make in your cooking? Happy harvesting!