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Growing Coriander (Cliantro) - advice on how to grow Coriander (Cliantro)

Coriander is a highly fragrant annual herb and will grow to up to 2 feet in height. Coriander seeds are known as Coriander and its leaves are often known as Cilantro. Coriander is sometimes known as Chinese Parsley. Coriander is grown for both its seeds and leaves and both are used for culinary purposes. The leaves can be used raw in salads, sandwiches and salsas or in cooked items such as Bread or Curry.

Preparation

Coriander is sensitive to transplanting and the shock can cause boliting. Because of this it is advisable to sow coriander seeds where you want them to remain. If growing outside then weed, dig over and rake the soil before planting.

Sowing

If sowing outdoors then wait till May to ensure warm soil temperatures which will promote more successful germination. Sow seeds in drills around 1cm deep and then cover with soil / compost. Space rows around 35cm apart. Sow seeds around 4cm apart.

Seeds will take a few days either side of 2 weeks to germinate. Once the seedlings are about 4-5cm high you can thin them down to about 20cm apart.

If growing in containers then make sure the container is at least 15cm deep so that the tap root can develop.

Coriander should be sown every few weeks to ensure a continuous crop through the growing season

Position

Like most herbs, Coriander likes a lot of light so if growing indoors make sure your Coriander is positioned on a south facing windowsill. A minimum of 4 hours sunshine a day is recommended.

Coriander will also do better in warm spots (it originated from the Mediterenean or Asia).

Soil type

The soil should be well drained and have good aeration. If planting in containers ensure that sufficient drainage aiding materials such as broken pots and/or coarse gravel are in the base of the container.

Tending

A liquid fertiliser can be applied to the soil every few weeks to promote growth.

A shock to the plants system such as lack of water a significant drop in temperature will cause Coriander to bolt (start producing seed). This process of bolting is a natural 'survival' process. If growing outside fluctuations in temperature can be reduced by growing under glass - in the greenhouse, cloche or poly tunnel.

Do not overwater Coriander as it does not like its roots to stand in water.

Harvesting

You can start to harvest the leaves after the plant has reached 10cm in height.

Harvest mature leaves to encourage further growth.