How to Grow Coriander at Home
Coriander or Cilantro is a climate sensitive herb, so the season in which you plant your coriander is critical to your success. When growing coriander in your home garden, you need to prevent bolting by keeping the soil moist and cool, keeping it in shade during the harsh summers, giving it abundant morning sun, and fertilizing every 15 days and after every harvest to promote further growth.
Pot Size: at least 10-12 inches deep, with drainage holes.
Fertilizer: aged manure, compost will provide nitrogen and other trace elements needed for vegetative growth.
Soil: pH neutral, with rich organic matter and crumbly texture. 50% garden soil + 50% vermicompost or cow dung compost is recommended.
Watering: Coriander needs plenty of moisture to germinate, so water daily. They need an inch of water per week. Do not let the soil dry out.
10 steps to grow coriander at home:
- Take a bunch of healthy coriander seeds and split all the seeds into two using a roller or a hard object. You can also sow the whole seed without splitting.
- Soak all the crushed seeds overnight in water to promote faster germination. You can also sprout the seeds before sowing. Just pack all the seeds in a cotton cloth and keep the cloth moist for 2-3 days.
- Sprinkle all the soaked seeds in garden soil.
- Sprinkle a ¼ inch fine layer of potting mix. Do not sow the seeds too deep. You can cover the soil with mulch to keep the soil surface cool.
- Mist the soil with a spray bottle to settle it. Water until it feels wet at a depth of 1 inch.
- Seeds will germinate in about 8-9 days.
- Once germinated, give them full sun. In warm climates, keep it in a position so they are shaded from the afternoon harsh sun. The temperature for successful growth is between 50°F to 82°F (10°C to 28°C).
- After 20-30 days when the plant is about 4-6 inches tall, your fresh coriander is ready for harvest. Cut up to ½ of the leaves each week, which promotes further growth in the plant. You can harvest at least 4 crops from a single pot itself.
- Add more compost after every harvest to boost the new growth.
- You can harvest the next batch of coriander in about 12-15 days. The leaves can be stored for 2-5 days in the refrigerator.
Growing in Water
You can also grow coriander hydroponically. Here are the steps:
- Take a bunch of healthy coriander seeds and break all the seeds into two parts using a roller or a hard object. You can also sow the whole seed without splitting.
- Take an opaque utensil (not transparent) and fill some water.
- On top of that utensil, keep a net basket that is slightly submerged in the utensil.
- Put all the coriander seeds in the net basket and pour water up to the top of the utensil so the seeds are in contact with the water.
- Sunlight: Keep this setup in a shaded and bright area outdoors. During winters, even direct sunlight is fine. But in summers, protect it from the scorching sun.
- After 12 days, the seeds will germinate.
- After 25 days, you will see the true leaves.
- After 40-50 days, your coriander plant is ready for harvest.
- After every 6-7 days, you can harvest.
- After every 15 days, change the water and add 1/4th tsp of mineral based hydroponic liquid fertilizer.
Coriander Not Growing in Water
Here is a list of reasons why you are not able to grow coriander in water.
- Water contains high TDS (>400)
- Hard water with high salt concentration
Bolting is a survival mechanism of plants that triggers the development of seeds and flowers, instead of foliage. Since we need the leaves to grow so that we can harvest coriander leaves, we need to prevent coriander from bolting.
Bolting happens due to 3 reasons: high temperature, underwatering and transplantation shock. To successfully prevent bolting, you need to make sure the plant stays cool by covering the soil with mulch, regular watering and sowing the seed directly to let it sprout and germinate rather than sprouting and then transplanting the sprouted seeds. If you are sowing coriander in the wrong season or in an unideal climatic condition, it is bound to bolt.
How fast does Coriander grow
Here is a table that explains the rate of growth for Coriander that you can expect:
No. of Days
How to water💧
Water as soon as the soil starts to dry out. Touch the soil and if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Do not let the soil dry out between waterings, as this can trigger the plant bolting to seed. On the contrary, do not soak the container by overwatering as it can lead to root rot.
Sunlight Requirements ☀️
Coriander, just like spinach and lettuce, like cool weather, a lot of light but not too much heat. In the summer season, afternoon sun can be too harsh for coriander. So in the summer, keep the plant in partial shade to avoid direct sun and to keep the plant cool, at an ideal growing temperature of maximum 82°F (28°C). Anything above that, and your coriander may bolt to seed (instead of producing leaves, it produces seed as a survival mechanism).
In the winter season, when the afternoon sun is not too harsh, 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is recommended for coriander plants if the temperature does not exceed 82°F (28°C) during the day.
Temperature and Humidity 🌡️
Ideal temperature for coriander seed germination is between 50°F to 82°F (10°C to 28°C), and the ideal season is during fall or early winter months (September to November).
Coriander is very sensitive to climatic conditions and does not like hot weather. The coriander seeds won’t germinate when it’s too hot or too cold. Even if it germinates, it would bolt to seed quickly without even making it to maturity.
A mixture of 50% garden soil + 50% vermicompost or cow dung compost is considered an ideal soil mix for growing coriander in pots.
Coriander is not a heavy feeder. If you over-fertilize, it will lead to stunted growth, black leaves and will probably bolt to seed fast.
Fertilize every 15 days with an organic fertilizer to keep providing a constant source of Nitrogen for foliage growth.
Aphids and spider mites. You can easily get rid of these pests and diseases by spraying neem oil (30 ml / 500 ml of water).
Benefits of Coriander
- Contains fibre, Mg, Mn and Fe.
- Rich in Vit C, K and protein.
- Has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
- Good for diabetes, arthritis, kidney diseases, anaemia, eczema and maintaining cholesterol.
- Common ingredient of Indian and Mexican cuisine.
Also check out how you can grow cilantro microgreens indoors using grow lights
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