​How to Grow ​Cilantro

​Coriander is a frost-sensitive annual with feathery, finely divided leaves growing on stems from 18 to 36 inches tall. Coriander leaves, known as cilantro, resemble flat-leafed parsley. Blossoms in spring and summer are tiny white to pale pink flower clusters. The plant sets small round, ribbed, beige-colored seeds in late summer.


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Growing Notes

  • Plant coriander in full sun; it will tolerate light shade. Coriander grows best in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter. Prepare planting beds in advance with aged compost. Coriander prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.7.
  • Sow coriander seed ¼ to ½ inch deep; thin successful seedlings from 8 to 12 inches apart. Space rows 12 to 15 inches apart.





10 Days 60f


1 Years



Well Drained


Full Sun


8"- 12" apart


8"- 12" apart


75-100 Days


Keep coriander evenly moist throughout the growing season. Do not let plants dry out. Avoid overhead watering as plants reach maturity; overhead water or rain can reduce seed yield. Add aged compost to the planting bed in advance of planting. Do not fertilize at midseason.


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Snip cilantro leaves for fresh use after the plant is 6 inches tall or more. Pick just the top 2 to 3 inches to ensure continuous growth. Continue picking leaves until the plant flowers. Snip off the tops of stems before the plant flowers for continued harvest of leaves. For coriander seeds, allow plants to flower; seed will be ready for harvest 2 to 3 weeks after flowering when they turn light brown. The seeds are small, only about ? inch in diameter. Harvest them when they dry but before they fall to the ground.

Saving Seeds

The seeds are contained in the flower heads. Make sure that you cut the stems at least 8 inches long.

Bundle the stems of the herbs together using either string or a rubber band.

Place your bundle of herbs upside down with the seed heads inside a brown paper bag. Tie the bag closed around the stems with either string or a rubber band.

Hang the bag in a dry place. Do not hang it in direct sunlight. The seeds will fall into the bag as they dry.

Remove the seeds and stems from the bag after most of the seeds have fallen. Remove any seeds remaining on the seed heads. Store them in a glass jar in a cool, dark area until you are ready to use them.

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