Cilantro 101

Herb #2: Cilantro! (one of my faves!)


Apparently, whether or not you enjoy cilantro is dependent on your genes. To some people, cilantro tastes delicious and fresh, to others, it tastes soapy and yucky. (It tastes delicious to me and so I plan on planting a lot of it.)

I had hoped to grow cilantro indoors, but it’s actually not listed in my apartment gardening book, nor is it mentioned on Veggie Harvest as a plant that you can grow indoors. I’m sure you can, but I’m guessing it won’t grow as well as some others that you can grow indoors. So, in the garden it will go!

Coriander is best fresh and so it is a good idea to plant it every 1-2 weeks, so you have a continuous supply.

However, coriander isn’t very hardy so it is best to wait 2-3 weeks after the last frost date before planting it.

You should plant the seeds 1/4″ deep, in rows that are 8-12 inches apart. And you can plant as much as you want along your rows, but you will want to thin the plants so that they are about 12 inches apart in the row as well.

You can start picking/harvesting your cilantro leaves once the plants hit a height of 6″ or more. (I can’t wait to have fresh cilantro leaves to add to my dishes). Cilantro doesn’t store that long; you can keep some leaves or stems propped in a glass of water for about 2-6 days in your fridge but by day 6 they definitely won’t be as fresh as when you first picked them (I’m sure that’s pretty obvious, but figured I would mention it just in case).

Or you can harvest the seeds and use them as a spice (they are often used in Indian cuisine). To harvest the seeds, wait until the seeds and leaves turn brown (but before the seeds drop) or harvest the plant earlier and hang the plant upside down in a warm, dark, dry place for several weeks until they turn brown.


Et voila! You will have fresh leaves or dried seeds to give all of your dishes some extra pizzaz!

(In the garden, coriander grows well alongside caraway, eggplants, fruit trees, potatoes and/or tomatoes)

Happy Planting!


Apartment Gardening by Amy Pennington


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