- Exposure: Part shade
- When to plant: Early spring and late summer/early fall
- Recommended varieties: Santo, Calypso
- Pests and diseases to watch out for: Rarely, aphids, slugs
How to Plant Cilantro
Cilantro (the leafy portion) and coriander (the seeds found in the dried-up flowers) are the same plant. It's best to . Sow seeds about ¼ inch deep directly in the ground about ½ inch apart. Because cilantro "bolts" (goes to flower) quickly, sprinkle seeds every few weeks during the cool months so that you have a steady supply of fresh leaves. Transplants are fine, if you prefer, but they sometimes don't perform well, so you may end up with a skimpy harvest.
How to Care for Cilantro
Cilantro isn't fussy, but it does prefer cool weather similar to what greens such as spinach and lettuce like. It's one of the few herbs that doesn't need full sun. Planting in part shade also helps slow down its tendency to bolt, especially if you live in a hot climate. Water if it's been very dry, but you don't need to feed it. It typically fades away during the summer heat but may pop up again in fall from seeds that dropped off mature plants.
Can you grow cilantro in a pot?
Sure thing! Cilantro grows well in any size pot and doesn't mind being crowded together. Water when dry, and feed monthly with a liquid organic fertilizer.
Can you grow cilantro indoors?
Yes. Give it bright, indirect light near a sunny window, but not too close so it overheats. Don't drown it, but water when dry, and feed regularly as described above.
Is cilantro an annual or perennial?
Cilantro is an annual, though it may survive the winter in mild climates. However, if you allow a few of the seeds to drop from the mature plant once it flowers, new cilantro plants may sprout when temperatures cool down in the fall. And baby cilantro plants may pop up without help from you next spring!
Can you use cilantro after it flowers?
The flowers are edible in dishes such as salads or omelets. Or let them dry on the plant, then harvest the little round seeds as coriander.
Why does cilantro taste "soapy"?
Some people have a genetic predisposition to perceive a weird or unpleasant aftertaste when eating cilantro. If that sounds like your taste buds, experiment by substituting other milder herbs in recipes that call for cilantro.
"Use kitchen shears to snip off pieces of cilantro for use as soon as the plants are at least 3 inches tall, and harvest frequently," says Tammi Hartung, author of and co-owner of . "The more you harvest cilantro, the more it comes back."