Cilantro is a highly aromatic herb used to enhance the flavor of many South-East Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisines and as a dressing to improve the appearance of the meal served. If you follow all the useful information on How to Grow Cilantro in a Pot given here–You can easily grow it in your home garden!
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If you’re planting grocery store seeds, gently crush the seed husk before sowing. Some seed companies sell whole seeds–If you find them unopened, slightly crush or rub the seeds between your hand or on the ground.
As coriander seeds are enclosed in a husk (covering), it’s important to remove this covering to improve the germination rate.
It is better if you sow the seeds directly in a final pot in which you would like to grow the plants later because cilantro has a long taproot, and it doesn’t transplant well, especially when the plant grows up slightly.
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Choosing a Pot
Most people choose too shallow pots for growing cilantro, but that’s a mistake. Similar to dill, cilantro needs a pot that is deep and wide.
For growing lush and full cilantro in a container, choose one that is at least 8 inches deep. If you can get a window box or large plastic tub — this would be a perfect size.
Best Cilantro Planting Time
Start growing cilantro once all the dangers of frost are passed. You can grow it successively from spring to fall. In warm temperate parts and much hotter regions (USDA Zone 8 and above), you can grow cilantro in winters, too, with some care.
The herb can tolerate light frost easily. Below zone 8b, in much cooler regions, you can grow cilantro indoors, in cold frames and hothouses, and overwinter it.
In a hot tropical climate (USDA Zone 10 – 11), cilantro grows best in fall and winter. However, it can be grown year-round in such climates as in many tropical countries fresh cilantro leaves are available throughout the year, but you’ll need to cope with the bolting problem. You may need to harvest quickly and provide shade in spring and summer.
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Requirements for Growing Cilantro in Pot
Cilantro likes evenly moist soil, so water it regularly and thoroughly. When watering, make sure you never wet the foliage as it will make it susceptible to powdery mildew. Also, avoid overwatering and waterlogging.
Neutral soil that is very rich in organic matter and crumbly in texture helps this plant to grow really well. Also, the addition of aged manure or compost provides a good steady supply of nitrogen and other trace elements, which promotes vegetative growth.
You can grow cilantro plants closely, but for optimum growth, space the plants 3-4 inches apart.
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Feed the cilantro bimonthly with any half-strength nitrogen-rich fertilizer to promote foliage growth. You don’t need to fertilize your cilantro plants too much if you’re side-dressing them with compost or aged manure.
Also, the application of fish emulsion is recommended. Make sure you don’t overfertilize, otherwise your harvest will be less flavorful.
Inspect your cilantro plants every now and then to see if the flowers are appearing. If they are, deadhead them regularly to promote the production of leaves. However, you can leave them if you want your herbs to seed.
Pests and Diseases
In pests, look out for aphids and mites. Mildew is the most common disease that kills this herb, more consistently occurs in humid, warm weather.
To prevent powdery mildew, keep distance between the plants, provide good air circulation and avoid overhead watering. Wetting the leaves also promotes the growth of many other fungal infections.
Problems With Coriander / Cilantro
The recurring problem with cilantro is bolting. The plant eventually seeds, but it does the same a lot earlier in hot weather. Flowers start to appear quickly, then give way to seeds, and after seeding, the plant dies.
The best solution for this problem is to sow seeds successively, and plant seeds every other week to get a regular harvest. Also, once the plant starts to bolt, pinch the top of it to slow down the process.
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You can start to harvest young cilantro leaves early, about 3-4 weeks after sowing seeds. Leaves can be picked from the plant when they have reached 5-8 inches in length.
If you want to harvest the entire plant, you should wait at least 45-70 days. Cut the entire plant at soil level or 2 inches above the crown.