Growing Cilantro

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on July 4, 2012

Cilantro is a Greek herb that is in the same family as parsley.  It is used in a variety of dishes in cuisines as varied as Mexican and Thai.  Coriander, the seed of the cilantro plant, is also used to flavor a wide variety of dishes.


Cilantro prefers light, well-drained sandy loam soil, but it will grow in other soils as long as it is fertilized and watered well.  It is a cool season crop, growing best in temperatures from 50 degrees F to 85 degrees F.  If the temperature is over 85, cilantro will bolt.  That means that it needs to be planted in the early spring and late fall in hot areas.


Set the seeds two inches apart and in rows twelve to fifteen inches apart.  If you are growing the herb for its seed, plant the seeds eight inches apart in rows fifteen inches apart.  Plant the seed 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep.


Cilantro needs to be fertilized twice.  Apply 1/2 teaspoon of ammonium nitrate per square foot of plants.  Water in well after fertilizing the plants.


Cilantro is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot.  This is treated with neem oil.  Cilantro is also vulnerable to beet armyworm, cabbage looper, or the green peach aphid.  Bt will kill the beet armyworm and the cabbage looper, while neem oil will kill the green peach aphid.


Cilantro leaves are ready to harvest 45 to 70 days after planting.  Cut the plants about one to two inches above the soil.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vernessa Taylor August 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hi Stephanie,

Fresh Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs (along with fresh parsley). Just the aroma left on your hands from chopping and handling them is so refreshing! Something I didn’t know is that coriander is the seed of cilantro. Well, I don’t have much of a green thumb but I do love to cook with fresh herbs.

Hope you’re doing well, Stephanie!
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