Searching for info on how to grow cilantro is surprisingly common.
It is very easy to grow cilantro from seed, and even easier to purchase a small cilantro plant from your local grower and keep it alive…the problems that most people run into are
1. their cilantro plant starts spreading…with tiny little cilantro plants popping up all over the place and none of them really amounting to much individually…OR…
2. the thing turns into a 3 foot stalk that’s tall and spindly…with flowers all over it and tiny little cilantro leaves that aren’t going to do anything for the delicacies in your kitchen
What we all want is that nice, thick, bushy bunch of cilantro that we buy in the store, right?
Unfortunately, that store bought bunch only stays fresh and “useable” for about a week, after which the slimy mess has nowhere else to go but the compost heap. T
hat leads us to think of how nice it would be to grow our own cilantro and have it readily available in the garden.
Doesn’t any residential chef want a ready supply of cilantro?
The question then becomes, can we overcome the problems that most of us encounter when figuring out how to grow cilantro?
- Yes! And it’s surprisingly easy.
- There are just 2 steps for how to grow cilantro successfully:
- plant it in a container or pot, and harvest it biweekly.
Plant it in a container:
First of all, forget about planting cilantro in the garden with the other herbs. It simply doesn’t do as well when it has this much room to roam.
Cilantro planted in the garden seems to want to put more energy into spreading, than it does into getting nice and bushy. If you’ve ever had this problem, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about…what you end up with are lots and lots of little bitty cilantro plants pushing up through the soil, with no bushy form in sight!
To overcome this problem, plant them in containers instead of in the garden. Any container will do, even one that has other plants in it as well.
I have mine in 2 containers…one is a small, shallow pot with no drainage holes. I need to be careful about watering this little guy so as not to overdo it. This pot is perfect because the cilantro has no choice but to grow up instead of out.
The other cilantro plants are nestled in my Earthbox along with 2 pepper plants.
They are doing FABULOUS in there!
This may be because of the material that I loaded into the Earthbox before planting the cilantro…I didn’t want to waste all of my delicious potting soil mix (my own combo – potting soil, compost, perlite, peat moss, and pellet fertilizer) so I loaded the bottom 2/3’s of the bin with compost from my own Compost Tumbler. As a matter of fact, the compost wasn’t even done!! It was still thick with grass, leaves and food waste because it had only composted for about 1/2 the time it required.
But I added it anyways. And I’m glad to say that I did because the plants love it!
Harvest it biweekly:
This is key…harvest your cilantro every other week, cutting it down to about an inch in height.
I’m not kidding…hack away at the ENTIRE plant with a scissors, leaving only the little stems poking out of the soil.
This forces the plant to put its energy into reproducing more leaves to continue photosynthesis and the growing process…THIS is what gives you the nice bushy bunch of cilantro you’re probably looking for!
I have 2 plants (well, I actually have 3, but only 2 were necessary) and one week I “harvest” (or chop off) one bunch, and the next week I “harvest” (or chop off) the other.
I have a regular supply of cilantro in my kitchen, and the leaves produced on the plant are nice and healthy.