Today in this blog post we are going to learn to grow cilantro from seeds at home. Cilantro is a herb that gives a delicious flavor and taste to the food. Now you can obtain fresh cilantro from your kitchen as they are easy to grow in an indoor garden using container gardening methods.
The scientific name for cilantro is Coriandrum sativum. Cilantro is a herb with green leaves and a savory taste. In order to make the food more delicious, they are freshly harvested and garnished on the meal.
Growing cilantro is an easy task. You can grow them directly in the soil of the garden. Or if you don’t have any garden, consider growing them indoors in pots and containers.
How to Grow Cilantro From Seeds?
Cilantro plants grow very quickly during the peak growing season. And in 4-6 weeks they are ready to harvest and use. Following are the simple steps that you can follow to grow cilantro from seeds:
Soaks the Seeds
First, you need to soak the cilantro seeds in water. For this purpose, you will need cilantro seeds, a small dish, and some water. Put some seeds in the dish, add some water to it and leave it for the next 12 hours.
Doing this will encourage the germination process of the seeds and they will sprout up more quickly.
Seal the Seeds
The second step is to seal the seeds. After 12 hours take the seeds out of the water and seal the seeds in a plastic bag. Now keep it in a sunny spot for 2 days. Keep observing the moisture inside, if you find that the seeds are not moist open the bag and spray a little bit of water on the seeds.
Add Some Potting Soil
Third, add some potting soil to the bag. Keep in mind that does not fill the whole plastic bag with soil. Just add a handful of potting soil to encourage sprouting. After that spray the water on the soil. Doing this will keep the soil moist and the seeds germinate quickly.
Choose the Pot or Container for Seedlings
In order to retain the moisture for a long time, I would recommend you to choose a plastic pot. In terracotta pots, the soil will loosen the moisture quickly. Select a container that is minimum of 18 inches wide and 10 inches depth. This is because the cilantro plant will not be able to take the transplant. Hence, we are choosing a big container from the very start.
Moreover, if you want to grow microgreens then it is recommended to choose a shallow container.
Growing Media for Cilantro
We are going to use a high-quality potting mix so that it can provide nutrients to the cilantro plants as they grow very fast. You either can use coconut coir or commercial potting mix both are perfect to serve the purpose of growing media. Both are lightweight and have good water retention capacity. Moreover, it allows the excess moisture to drain out. And the pH of the soil should be In between 6 to 6.8.
Move to seeds to the Pot
Finally, we are moving out the seeds from the plastic bag to the container. Make sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom surface to eliminate the risk of the development of root rot. Now fill the pot 3/4 with high-quality potting mix.
Take the seedlings and carefully spread them on the soil. Cover them with a thin layer of soil. While planting the seedlings make sure the leaves are upright and the roots in a downward direction. Give water to the seedlings with the help of a sprayer.
Grow Cilantro From Stem Cuttings at home
In this section of the blog, we will get to know how to grow cilantro from stem cuttings at home. All you need is to follow the steps mentioned below.
– To grow cilantro from cuttings, you need a stem cutting of about 4-inch long. Remove all the leaves from the stem.
– Place the cutting in a glass of water. Fill the water in the glass such that the bottom 2 inches of the cutting should be submerged into the water all the time. Leave the setup as it is and wait for the roots to develop in the cutting.
– Select a good container for growing cilantro. Again the container should have drainage holes and big enough to accommodate the number of cuttings you want to grow.
– Now, Fill the selected container with a high-quality potting mix. Commercial potting mix or coconut coir would be best as they have moisture-retaining properties and are lightweight.
– Plant the cuttings in the pot. Followed by spraying water on the surface to keep the soil moist.
Caring for the cilantro plant
Place the container in such a place where it gets plenty of sunlight during the daytime. Sunlight plays a crucial role in the development of plants. While growing cilantro from seeds at home, the best practice is to place the container on a window sill that receives most of the sunlight. Or you can use artificial grow lights if there is an issue with sunlight.
The best temperature for growing cilantro ranges between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Cilantro is capable of tolerating mild frost but growing them indoors will protect them from harsh winter. However high temperatures are not good for growing cilantro. As it results in thin leaves and mismatched taste.
Cilantro plants do not like wet feet. Keep the soil moist but do not overwater it. Overwatering increases the chances of root rot. Drainage is another important factor otherwise you will not get good, fresh cilantro. To decide whether the plant needs water or not, place a finger in the soil, and if it feels dry then water the plant.
Place the container where it gets good air circulation. In the absence of fresh air, the fungus will start to appear and the seedling will die eventually. To avoid this situation choose a place with good air circulation such as a balcony, window, terrace, etc.
As the seedling grows up to 2 inches, you can start fertilizing your cilantro plant with organic fertilizers. Be very careful about the amount so that you do not over-fertilize the plant. This will result be good for your plants. You can use diluted fish emulsion to make the soil more nutritious.
Being a fast-growing herb, the harvesting period for cilantro is between 4-6 weeks. Cilantro does not follow the thumb rule of cut-and-come-again. To get freshly available every time you should sow the seeds in the soil every 2-3 weeks. Also to increase the life span of the herb pinch off the tops from the stems.
Of course, the harvesting period for microgreens and the fully grown plants would be different. Microgreens should be harvested within 2-3 weeks.
However, it doesn’t matter which method you are using for growing cilantro(seeds or stem cutting). But at the time of harvesting use clean pair of scissors. When the plant reaches the height of 6-inches you can start harvesting them.
Tips for Harvesting:
The big and old leaves have fewer flavors than the short ones. Try to harvest the plant when the leaves are small.
Harvest only as much as needed. Otherwise the extra will dry out and will be of no use. Also, freshly harvested leaves give the best flavor.
Do not refrigerate or try to freeze the harvested cilantro.
If the plant produces flowers, snip them off immediately as it diverts the energy away from leaf production.
Should I Plant Cilantro Seeds or Plants?
Cilantro is best grown by directly sowing seeds in the garden, not only because it develops a long taproot that will resist transplanting, but also because cilantro gets along so well growing in pots and hanging baskets.
However, if you still want to harvest fresh cilantro leaves in late spring, Start cilantro indoors in peat pots that can be directly transplanted into the garden. Cilantro Seeds germinate in about 7 to 10 days.