Growing Cilantro in a Pot is not difficult if you know all the tips and tricks, you can even grow it indoors year-round!
Cilantro is a highly aromatic herb used to enhance the flavor of many Southeast 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 Growing Cilantro in a Pot or container given here–You can easily raise it in your home with or without a garden 😃.
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There are not many ways to propagate it–cilantro grows best from the seeds:
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 to 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.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and place them at a bright spot.
- Keep the soil moist until the seedlings germinate.
- If you have grown them in the seed tray, once the plants have formed 2-3 leaves, plant them in their final location in a pot without delay.
Learn how to grow cilantro from stem cutting here
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 a pot that is at least 8 inches deep. If you can get a window box or large plastic tub — this would be a perfect size for growing cilantro!
Best Cilantro Planting Time
Start planting cilantro once all the dangers of frost are passed; then, 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 winter, 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 and hot climate 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.
Here are the differences between cilantro and parsley
Requirements for Growing Cilantro in a Pot
The herb grows best in the sun. But be careful; too much heat will make it go to seed quickly. In summer (or in hot climates), place it in a position that receives shade in the afternoon.
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.
Find out the difference between cilantro and culantro here
Cilantro Plant Care
Feed the cilantro bimonthly with any half-strength balanced 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 periodically.
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. This trick will also save your plant from bolting sooner.
Pests and Diseases
In pests, look out for aphids and spider mites mainly. Mildew is the most common disease that kills this herb–more consistently occurs in humid, warm weather.
To prevent powdery mildew, keep a 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.
Q1: How big of a pot do I need for growing cilantro?
For a couple of cilantro plants or a small batch, a 6-8 inch deep pot with a similar width should suffice. But if you’re planning a cilantro jungle, go for a larger container with more width!
Q2: What’s the best soil for cilantro in a pot?
Any well-draining potting mix will do the trick. You can also mix in some compost or cow manure to make it better! Not only that, but you can also try to grow it in just garden soil after adding a lot of organic matter, peat moss/coconut coir, and some coarse sand.
Q3: How often should I water my potted cilantro?
Cilantro hates being parched, so keep the soil slightly moist. Stick your finger in the soil – if it feels dry, it’s thirsty.
Q4: Should I place my cilantro pot in full sun or shade?
Cilantro can be a bit of a drama queen in the heat. Give it some morning sun, but afternoon shade is where it thrives.
Q5: My cilantro is growing tall and leggy. What to do?
Ah, the classic cilantro bolt! It’s saying it’s time to make seeds. Harvest the leaves and deadhead the flowers often to prevent this, or let it go to seed for future plants.
Q6: Can I grow cilantro from store-bought bunches?
Yup, you can! Trim the stems, put ’em in water until they grow roots, then transplant them into your pot.
Q7: How long does it take for cilantro to be ready for harvest?
Cilantro leaves are ready to pick in about 3-4 weeks after sowing seeds. Snip the outer leaves and let the inner ones grow.
Q8: Are there any cilantro pests to watch out for?
Aphids and spider mites can be pesky. Blast ’em off with a gentle spray of water or use some neem oil to show ’em who’s boss.
Q9: Can I grow cilantro year-round in a pot?
In most places, cilantro is a cool-weather herb. It’ll thrive in spring and fall, but during the hot summer or freezing winter, it might need some TLC.
Q10: Can I grow cilantro indoors on my windowsill?
Absolutely! Just make sure it gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, or use a grow light.