Mention coriander and people either love it or hate it. The highly divisive herb also happens to be a fussy plant that many people struggle to grow. In this article, learn how to grow coriander (cilantro) for a successful harvest.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is a cool-season annual herb which is grown for its leaves and seeds. If you find it tastes like soap, this is due to a genetic predisposition of having a heightened sensitivity to chemicals called aldehydes.
5 Tips for Growing Coriander
1. Grow Coriander During the Cooler Months
Coriander has a tendency to bolt in the heat and at the first sign of warm weather so it’s best grown during the cooler months. A slow bolt variety exists which can be grown from seed so look out for this variety when buying seeds.
2. Sow Direct
Cilantro is one of those fussy herbs that doesn’t like much root disturbance. If you’ve bought a plant from the supermarket and attempted to divide it and transplant it in the garden, it may not always work. I have even tried planting the whole pot in a raised bed and it died a few days later. Sow the seeds direct as it has a long tap root, be patient as it takes 3 to 4 weeks to germinate and you’ll have better chance of success.
3. Choose a Cool Location in Part Shade
Depending on your climate and weather, if you’re planning on growing it during the warmer months, choose a cool location in part shade. In my garden, I keep it in a deep container which I move against the south facing wall in summer under the shade of the Atherton raspberry plant.
4. Water Coriander Regularly
Coriander loves water so make sure you keep the soil moist at all times avoiding the leaves. I have grown coriander successfully in my Vegepod Kitchen Garden (not sponsored) as it works by wicking. Harvest regularly to encourage bushy growth.
5. Succession Plant
Sow seeds every 2 weeks to ensure you have a continual supply. When the plant bolts and flowers begin to form, they will attract many beneficial insects. The seeds are ready to harvest when they turn dry and light brown. They’re delicious to eat
Want to Know More?
You’ll find more information on how to grow coriander / cilantro, which varieties to try, how to pair it with food and spirits, and how to use coriander in cocktails including a full recipe in my 260+ page digital book GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN available now.