If you are not sure about How to Grow Cilantro Indoors, then don’t worry! This guide will help you get the best harvest!
Imagine a steady supply of fresh, aromatic cilantro right in the comfort of your own home, readily available whenever you’re whipping up guacamole, salsa, or a myriad of culinary delights. Think it’s too good to be true? Growing cilantro indoors isn’t just doable; it’s downright easy and incredibly rewarding! Let’s have a look at every detail on How to Grow Cilantro Indoors!
Learn Growing Cilantro in a Pot (Coriander Care Tips) here
Who Should Consider Growing Cilantro Indoors and Why?
- Limited Garden Space: If you live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space, growing cilantro indoors is an excellent way to maintain a fresh supply.
- Controlled Environment: Indoor growing allows for better control over temperature and soil conditions.
Frequent Users of Cilantro
- Cost-Effectiveness: If you regularly purchase cilantro, growing it indoors can be a more economical choice in the long run.
- Freshness: Having cilantro grown indoors ensures you always have fresh leaves at your disposal, as opposed to store-bought cilantro that may wilt quickly.
- Small-Space Gardening: Cilantro doesn’t require a lot of space and can be grown in small pots, making it suitable for those who enjoy indoor gardening but have space constraints.
- Skill Level: It’s relatively easy to grow, making it a good choice for beginner gardeners.
- Quality Control: Growing cilantro at home allows you to control the growing conditions and avoid harmful chemicals or pesticides.
- Immediate Availability: Having cilantro indoors means it is readily available whenever you need it for cooking, reducing last-minute trips to the store.
Growing Micro Cilantro: Taste and Uses
- Organic Options: You have the control to grow it organically, ensuring that you consume pesticide-free cilantro.
- Nutritional Benefits: Fresh cilantro is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to your meals.
Cost Savings: Even though there’s an initial investment for seeds and soil, the recurring cost is minimal, and you get a continuous supply, which can be more cost-effective than buying it frequently.
Propagating Cilantro Indoors
Methods to propagate cilantro indoors:
- Seed Germination
- Stem Cuttings
Seed Germination: This is the easiest and most common way to propagate cilantro indoors.
- Select Quality Seeds: Begin with high-quality cilantro seeds, preferably organic, as they have a better germination rate.
- Container: Choose a shallow, wide container or a seed tray with drainage holes. Fill it with a well-draining potting mix.
- Sow the Seeds: Sprinkle the cilantro seeds evenly over the soil surface. Press them lightly into the soil so they make good contact.
- Moisture: Water the soil gently to ensure it’s evenly moist but not waterlogged.
- Cover and Encourage Germination: Place a plastic wrap or a clear plastic lid over the container to create a mini greenhouse effect. This helps maintain humidity and warmth, promoting germination.
- Warmth and Light: Put the container in a warm, well-lit area with indirect sunlight or under grow lights. Cilantro prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C).
- Germination: Cilantro seeds typically germinate in about 7-14 days. Once you see small seedlings, remove the plastic cover.
- Thinning: If multiple seedlings emerge in one spot, thin them out, leaving the healthiest-looking one.
- Care: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Ensure the seedlings receive adequate light, ideally around 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight or under grow lights.
- Transplant: When the seedlings have grown a few inches tall and have a couple of true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots or your desired indoor herb garden.
Learn How to Grow Cilantro from Stem Cuttings of Grocery Store Bunch here
Best Pot Size for Growing Cilantro Indoors
For indoor cilantro, choose pots that are 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter and 6-8 inches deep. Use lightweight plastic or clay pots with drainage holes to ensure proper moisture control. Well-draining potting mix and containers with saucers to catch excess water will help maintain cilantro’s health and vigor.
Learn How to Grow Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Ram Information) here
Requirements for Growing Cilantro Indoors
Cilantro grown indoors needs at least 6-8 hours of direct and indirect sunlight daily, preferably near a south or west-facing window that receives some sun is best.
Rotation: Rotate the pot occasionally for even growth and light exposure.
Note: Cilantro thrives in sunny conditions, but excessive heat can cause it to bolt (go to seed) prematurely. If you’re growing it on a balcony or patio in a hot region (USDA Zone 10 and 11 and other similar climates), provide shade in the afternoon to prevent bolting.
Creating a homemade potting mix tailored for cilantro can promote larger leaves and better flavor. Below are the key components for an optimal potting mix and their respective benefits.
1. Coconut Coir or Peat Moss (40%)
- Role: Retains moisture and provides aeration.
- Benefit: Helps to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, aiding in nutrient absorption.
2. Perlite or Vermiculite (30%)
- Role: Aids in drainage.
- Benefit: Prevents root rot by ensuring that excess water drains away from the root zone.
3. Compost or Well Rotted Manure (20%)
- Role: Provides essential nutrients.
- Benefit: Adds organic matter and essential nutrients to the soil, enhancing leaf size and flavor.
4. Worm Castings (10%)
- Role: Adds beneficial microbes and nutrients.
- Benefit: Stimulates root growth and improves soil structure, contributing to better nutrient uptake.
Check out Vegetables that Grow Many from One here
Water cilantro when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, this means watering every few days but adjust based on temperature and humidity levels in your home.
Method: Watering at the base is preferable to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to mold.
Temperature and Humidity
Cilantro indoors prefers temperatures above 60°F (15°C), which you can easily provide. Maintain a moderate indoor humidity level of around 40-50% to prevent drying out or wilting. Adequate ventilation helps maintain these conditions and keeps cilantro healthy and thriving.
Learn Growing Micro Cilantro: Taste and Uses here
Cilantro Care Indoors
To boost the production of leaves, use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/2 of its strength once in 2-3 weeks.
Homemade fertilizers can be an effective and eco-friendly way to provide essential nutrients to your indoor cilantro. Below are some options, along with guidelines on how and when to apply them.
- Dosage: 1 tablespoon per pot.
- How to Use: Sprinkle the used coffee grounds on top of the soil.
- When to Use: Once a month.
- Benefit: Adds nitrogen to the soil, which promotes leafy growth.
- Dosage: One eggshell per quart of water.
- How to Use: Boil crushed eggshells in water, let it cool, and then water the cilantro.
- When to Use: Every 2-3 weeks.
- Benefit: Provides calcium, which helps in the cell wall structure.
Banana Peel Fertilizer
- Dosage: One banana peel per pot.
- How to Use: Bury small pieces of a banana peel 1-2 inches below the soil surface or sprinkle the powder made of it.
- When to Use: Once a month.
- Benefit: Adds potassium, which helps in growth.
- Dosage: 1 part compost to 5 parts water.
- How to Use: Steep compost in water for 24-48 hours, strain, and then use the liquid to water the cilantro.
- When to Use: Every 2-3 weeks.
- Benefit: Provides a balanced range of nutrients and beneficial microbes.
Check out Different Types of Cilantro and Coriander here
- Dosage: 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.
- How to Use: Dissolve Epsom salt in water and use it to water the plant.
- When to Use: Once a month.
- Benefit: Supplies magnesium and sulfur, which help in chlorophyll formation, green and flavorful leaves.
Periodically check your cilantro plants for flower development. If you spot flowers, practice deadheading by removing them. This encourages leaf growth.
Alternatively, allow the flowers to stay if you wish to collect seeds. Deadheading helps prevent premature bolting and ensures a longer harvest of fresh cilantro leaves.
While growing cilantro indoors, you don’t need to worry much about the pests, as your home is a more controlled environment. However, it’s good to know the enemy:
- Identification: Small, soft-bodied insects clustering under leaves.
- Treatment: Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Prevention: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs.
- Identification: Tiny white insects that fly when the plant is disturbed.
- Treatment: Use yellow sticky traps and insecticidal soap.
- Prevention: Regularly inspect the undersides of leaves and act quickly at the first sign.
3. Spider Mites
- Identification: Fine webbing on the undersides of leaves, tiny red or brown dots.
- Treatment: Use a miticide or spray with neem oil.
- Prevention: Maintain high humidity and avoid over-fertilizing.
4. Fungus Gnats
- Identification: Tiny black flies around the soil and base of the plant.
- Treatment: Allow the soil to dry out between watering; use sticky traps. Check out the 50 best ways to get rid of this pesky pest here.
- Prevention: Use well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
Find Everything About Growing Chervil here
- Identification: Seedlings collapse and die soon after germination.
- Treatment: Use sterilized soil and pots, and treat soil with a fungicide if necessary.
- Prevention: Maintain good air circulation and avoid overwatering.
- Identification: White powdery substance on leaves.
- Treatment: Remove affected leaves, spray with a fungicide or homemade mixture of 1 part milk to 9 parts water.
- Prevention: Provide good air circulation, avoid high humidity and overcrowding.
3. Leaf Spot
- Identification: Brown or black spots on leaves.
- Treatment: Remove affected leaves, apply a suitable fungicide.
- Prevention: Do not water the leaves directly and maintain adequate spacing between plants.
General Prevention Tips
- Inspection: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases.
- Hygiene: Keep the growing area clean. Use sterilized pots and tools to reduce the risk of contamination.
- Watering: Overwatering can lead to various diseases. Water only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
- Quarantine: Isolate new plants for a few weeks before introducing them to your existing indoor garden to prevent the spread of pests or diseases.
- Natural Predators: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings to control pest populations naturally.
Timing for Harvest
- Maturity Level: Harvest cilantro when it has at least 6-8 adult leaves.
- Early Morning: Harvest in the early morning when the leaves have the highest water content, ensuring better flavor and longer shelf-life.
Methods of Harvesting
1. Leaf Harvesting Method
- Technique: Using sharp scissors, snip off individual leaves, leaving at least two-thirds of the plant intact.
- When to Use: Ideal for small, occasional harvests.
2. Cut-and-Come-Again Method
- Technique: Cut the entire plant about 2 inches above soil level, allowing the lower leaves and new shoots to continue growing.
- When to Use: Recommended when you need a larger quantity of cilantro.
3. Stem Harvesting Method
- Technique: Cut off the stems near soil level, ensuring you don’t remove more than one-third of the plant.
- When to Use: Useful when you also need the stems for cooking, but make sure to leave enough for the plant to recover.
Find What to Do with Cilantro Flowers here
Tips for Harvesting Without Damaging the Plant
- Sharp Tools: Always use sharp scissors or pruners to make clean cuts, reducing stress on the plant.
- Harvest Outer Leaves: Harvest the older, outer leaves first, leaving the young inner leaves to continue growing.
- Limit Quantity: Don’t harvest more than one-third of the plant at one time to allow for sufficient regrowth.
- Monitor for Bolting: Cilantro can quickly go to seed (bolting), especially in warm conditions. Harvest regularly to delay bolting and extend the harvesting period.
- Immediate Use: If you intend to use the cilantro immediately, simply wash it under cold water.
- Storage: To store, wrap the harvested leaves in a damp paper towel and place them in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the leaves for later use.
Check Different Types of Cilantro and Coriander here
How to Grow Cilantro Indoors – FAQs
Q1: Can I grow cilantro indoors year-round?
Answer: Yes, you can grow cilantro indoors year-round, but it’s essential to manage temperature and light conditions. Cilantro thrives in cooler temperatures and benefits from supplemental lighting during the winter months.
Q2: Can I start cilantro indoors from seeds, and how long does it take to germinate?
Answer: Yes, you can start cilantro indoors from seeds. Germination typically takes about 7-14 days when the seeds are kept in well-draining soil, adequate moisture, and temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C).
Q3: Is it necessary to thin cilantro seedlings when growing them indoors?
Answer: Yes, it’s essential to thin cilantro seedlings if there are multiple sprouts in one spot. Leave the healthiest-looking seedling and remove the others to allow space for proper growth and development.