Sowing coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is a herb with dark green leaves, used as a spice in the cuisines of Asia and Latin America. Coriander is also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. Coriander is not at all difficult to grow, the seeds can be planted directly into the soil after the frost has passed, or it can be grown in a pot.
Method 1 of 2: Growing Coriander in Your Garden
Step 1. Choose the season
The best time to plant coriander depends on where you live. Coriander will not survive in frost conditions, but it also does not tolerate heat. In temperate climates, it is best to plant coriander in late spring, late March or early May. In tropical climates, coriander grows best during cool, dry periods of the year, such as autumn.
If the weather starts to get too hot, coriander will start to bloom, so choose the right time wisely
Step 2. Prepare the coriander area
Choose an area of your garden where the coriander gets plenty of sunlight. In the southern part of the garden, where the sun warms up well enough during the day, a small shade will not hurt. The soil should be dug up and well drained, with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8.
If you want to cultivate the soil before planting, take a shovel or rotary tiller and process the topsoil with five to seven centimeters of organic mulch, such as compost, rotten leaves, or manure. Level the ground with a rake before planting
Step 3. Plant coriander seeds
Sow the seeds in a row about one centimeter deep, with a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters between the seeds. The distance between the rows should be about 30 centimeters. Coriander needs moisture to germinate, so be sure to water it regularly. It should germinate for about two to three weeks.
Since coriander grows very quickly, you should plant a new batch of seeds every two to three weeks to keep fresh coriander for the entire season
Step 4. Take care of the coriander
After the seedlings are about five centimeters tall, you can fertilize them with a water-soluble nitrogen fertilizer. Don't overdo it with fertilizer, you only need a quarter cup for every seven meters of planting.
Once the seedlings have started, they need much less water. The soil should be kept moist, but don't make it marshy; coriander is a dry climate plant
Step 5. Don't let the coriander grow
Stop it by replanting the seedlings when they reach a height of five to seven centimeters. Pull out smaller seedlings and leave only the strongest ones, allowing them to grow 15-20 centimeters apart. Smaller seedlings can be used in food preparation.
You can also prevent weeds from growing by scattering some mulch at the base of the plant as soon as they begin to sprout from the ground
Step 6. Harvest the coriander
Collect it by cutting off individual leaves and stems from the base of the plant, near ground level, when the stems are 10 to 12 centimeters high. When cooking, use fresh coriander sprouts, not old ones, as they can taste bitter.
- Do not cut off more than a third of the leaves from the plant at a time, as this can weaken it.
- After trimming the leaves, the plant will continue to grow for at least two to three more cycles.
Step 7. Decide if you will keep the coriander seedlings to bloom
Sooner or later, the seedlings will begin to bloom. When this happens, the plant will stop producing new shoots with edible leaves. In this case, some cut off the flower in the hope that the plant will produce more leaves.
- Leave the seedling in bloom, however, if you want to harvest the seeds. After the flower is dry, you can collect the seeds and use them in cooking.
- You can also let the seeds fall into the ground for the plant to seed itself. This way, you will have a bountiful harvest of coriander again next season.
Method 2 of 2: Growing Coriander in a Pot
Step 1. Choose a suitable pot
Choose a flower pot or container about 45 centimeters deep and 25 centimeters wide. Coriander doesn't like to be transplanted, so the pot must be large enough to hold a mature plant.
Step 2. Plant the seeds
Fill the pot with soil. You can also add some fertilizer. Moisten the ground with a little water to make it slightly damp. Spread the seeds evenly over the soil. Cover the top with a layer of earth one centimeter thick.
Step 3. Place the pot in a sunny place
Coriander needs plenty of sun to grow, so place the pot on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse.
Step 4. Maintain moisture
Spray the ground with a sprayer to keep the soil moist. Pouring water on the ground can displace the seeds.
Step 5. Harvest the coriander
Coriander can be cut when its stems are ten centimeters high. Cut about two-thirds of the leaves each week to stimulate further plant growth. This way, you can harvest coriander up to four times from one pot.
- Coriander is great if you want to attract butterflies to your garden, as they love it, especially in the morning and evening.
- It is best to start with the 'Costa Rica', 'Leisure' and 'Long Standing' coriander varieties as they grow slowly and yield much higher yields.