Growing a Delicious Herbs
I’m actually salivating just thinking about cilantro and all the dishes you could make with this amazing spice. This pungent herb has delicate green leaves and flavorful seeds that you may popularly know as coriander, though these two nomenclatures both refer to the plant itself.
However, the plant’s unique and generally strong flavor means you’ll either love this herb or hate it. For those who love it, though, having a potted cilantro in your kitchen is essential. Also, you don’t have to be a chef to grow cilantro indoors.
Additionally, cilantro can be incredibly versatile. For instance, you could chop up some fresh cilantro leaves which you could sprinkle as a more flavorful alternative to parsley leaves! Why not add cilantro to your shrimp and garlic pasta? Add a fresh bite to your gremolata with cilantro! Moreover, if you love chimichurri, cilantro leaves is markedly essential.
If I haven’t convinced you to grow cilantro indoors, then these easy yet awesome tips to grow cilantro indoors just might!
11 Tips for Indoor Cilantro
Once you see the convenience of having cilantro at an arm’s length in your kitchen, you’ll wonder why you never tried to grow cilantro indoors before! For the best and freshest cilantro, take a look at these awesome tips!
1. Start With A Starter Plant
The quickest way to get some cilantro growing in indoors, you could buy the plant in starter form from a garden store. Starter plants are young plantlings that have just started growing. Generally, these immature plants are already in soils hence you would only need to transfer them into a pot. Consider buying two a placing each in their own pots for the best yields!
2. Grow With Coriander Seeds
Alternatively, you could start homegrown cilantro by using its seeds. Interestingly, stores often refer to the seeds as coriander. One you have your seeds, let them soak overnight in a bowl of water. Afterward, place the seeds in a resealable plastic bag.
Make sure there’s some moisture left in the bag, then seal. Next, put the bag of seeds on a windowsill or where they’ll get some sunlight. In a day or two, the seeds will begin sprout!
When the seeds produce their sprouts (around 14 days), you may now transfer them to a pot with a light potting mix. From here on out, keep the soil damp but not soaked in a spot where the plantlings will get lots of sunlight! Soon you’ll have fresh cilantro for harvesting!
3. Always Use Nutrient-Rich Soil
Much of your cilantro plant’s health will depend on the type of soil you plant it in. So, make sure you use fresh and nutrient-rich potting mix, especially during the delicate early stages of growth. Also, it’s important that the soil is light and drains well. Cilantro plants do not fare well in soggy soil.
4. Soft Sunlight
Cilantro loves the light but not direct sunlight. Hence, you should keep the plant where it can soak up some soft morning sun or on a bright windowsill but not directly exposed to sunlight.
5. The Right Home
Cilantro grows long taproots, so the plant will not respond well to repotting. Therefore, you should choose a pot that is at least 8 inches deep and drains well. Choosing the right pot is quite significant as this may be the last pot your cilantro will ever use.
6. Keep It Cool
Growing cilantro for its leaves is like a race. Remember that once your cilantro plant sprouts flowers, I’s leaf production will diminish and its flavor profile changes. One way to extend the “harvest time” of cilantro is by keeping temperatures around 70°F (21°C).
Cilantro plants need regular watering, especially during its growing stage. Hence, routinely hydrate the plant and keep the soil moist. Take care, however, that you do not overwater.
8. Supplement The Soil
Keep your cilantro healthy and thriving via a gentle fertilizer. I’d recommend a liquid fertilizer especially for herbs that have the right mix of nutrients. Conversely, an alternative to liquid fertilizer are controlled-release plant supplements.
9. Get Rid Of Pests
One thing that could really ruin your day, as well as Cilantro) are pests. Routinely inspect leaves and stems as cilantro may attract thrips, aphids, and whitefly.
10. Pick Regularly
Cilantro leaves are ready for harvest when the plants are at least 6 inches long. This time is when they’re most tender and least bitter. Don’t hesitate to pick a lot as this can actually encourage leaf growth! Additionally, your regular harvest will also delay cilantro from flowering.
11. Prepare For The Next Crop Or Season
Sadly, the cilantro plant is an annual and is generally not fit for consumption after its flowering stage. It’s for this reason that learning to propagate cilantro through its seeds is essential. Hence, if you’d want a continuous supply of cilantro, then you will need to sow seeds when you’re current plants are nearing maturity.
With these tips, you’ll always have a fresh batch of cilantro on hand! Now, all you need to do is choose what dish to improve with this excellent herb!
- Cilantro/Coriander in the Garden
Colt Miller & Dan Drost. Jan. 2006. Utah State University Extension. Extension.usu.edu
- Harvesting Herbs 101 (Basil, Chives, Cilantro/Coriander, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme)
July 12, 2013. Homegrown.org