Cilantro – Coriandrum Sativum
Coriander/cilantro is a fast-growing, aromatic herb that grows in the cooler weather of spring and fall.
This herb is used to flavor many recipes and the entire plant is edible. Slow-bolting varieties, such as ‘Costa Rica’, ‘Leisure’, and ‘Long Standing’ are the best choices for harvesting the leaves. Coriander is thought to symbolize hidden worth.
The leaves are called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander.
BOTANICAL NAME: Coriandrum sativum
PLANT TYPE: Herb
SUN EXPOSURE: Full SunPart Sun
SOIL TYPE: Loamy
BLOOM TIME: Spring
Diseases and Problems
To control for insects, use insecticidal soap once they are spotted under leaves.
Clean up debris and spent plants to avoid wilt and mildew.
A common problem with cilantro is its fast growing cycle. It will not grow properly in the heat of summer. Grow so that you harvest in spring, fall, or winter (in mild climates).
- Plant cilantro in the spring after the last frost date or in the fall. In the Southwest, a fall planting may last through spring when the weather heats up again.
- Do not grow in summer heat as the plants will bolt (so it is past harvesting). The leaves that grow on bolted plants tend to be bitter in flavor.
- it is best to chose a sunny site that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it is ought to do. Plant in an herb garden or the corner of a vegetable garden. When the weather gets warm, the plant will quickly finish its life cycle and send up a long stalk which will produce blossoms and later seeds. Little plants will sprout during the season and the next spring.
- Plant the seeds in light, well-drained soil and space them 1 to 2 inches apart. Sow the seeds at 3-week intervals for continued harvest.
- Space rows about 12 inches apart.
- It is important to keep the seeds moist during their germination, so remember to water the plants regularly.
- Water the seedlings regularly throughout the growing season. They require about 1 inch of water per week for best growth.
- Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart so that they have room to develop healthy leaves.
- Once the plants are established, they do not need as much water per week. Keep them moist, but be careful not to overwater them.
- Fertilize once or twice during the growing season with nitrogen fertilizer. Apply ¼ cup of fertilizer per 25 feet of row. Be sure not to over-fertilizer the plants.
- To help prevent weeds, mulch around the plants as soon as they are visible above the soil. You can also till shallowly to help prevent root damage from weeds.