Posted on 20 June 2009 by

Growing Cilantro and Coriander – Two Herbs, One Plant

cilantroBy Vanessa Richins

If you’re a fan of salsa, you’re probably very familiar with cilantro.

If you also like to cook, you’re probably familiar with coriander.

Did you know, however, that these come from the same plant?

When you’re using the leaves of Coriandrum sativum, it’s called cilantro. If you let it flower and produce seeds, those are called coriander.

Cilantro prefers cooler weather. If you’re wanting to use the plant for cilantro, then plant outside in early spring or keep inside in the kitchen. When it’s warm, the plant will become bitter and go into seed production, so you could plant for coriander then.

Start the plants where you want them (full sun, well-draining), as the long taproot makes it difficult to transplant. Poke a hole that is 1/2″ deep and place the seed inside. Keep it moist for the next 7-10 days while germination is occurring.

Once they have appeared, you will want to thin the plants. Make sure the remaining plants are about 4″ apart.

Many people like to plant seeds every 3 weeks or so to have cilantro available throughout the season. Make sure to keep them well watered.

You can harvest some cilantro any time you want to use it. Don’t use more than about 1/3 of the plant at a time – it needs leaves so that it can continue to photosynthesize.

Planet Natural says : “As with most culinary herbs, cilantro is best picked early in the morning just as the dew evaporates. Do not wash the leaves or aromatic oils will be lost. Leaves store poorly unless preserved in something like salsa, but even then its flavor can fade.”

If you are collecting coriander, place the entire plant upside-down after blooming in a place that is dry and dark for a few weeks. Once the seeds have turned brown, use a paper bag around the flowers to collect the seeds as you shake the bag. Sort out the seed from any leftover bits of the flower.

Have your grown your own cilantro/coriander?

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5 Responses to “Growing Cilantro and Coriander – Two Herbs, One Plant”

  1. Shibaguyz Says:

    Grew the cilantro… now waiting on the coriander. Going out this weekend to harvest the flowers. WOOHOO!!

  2. Mangochild Says:

    I’ve grown coriander for a long time, since it is a fav herb in my family. We go through more of it than I’ve grown, so its often supplements by purchased coriander, but I love it. Very easy too. We put it on top of almost any cooked veg as well as in a raw mango/tomato/onion salad. Wonderful herb.

  3. jennifer (4bratz2luv) Says:

    I love Cilantro on almost everything! I make a Cilantro pesto with walnuts and italian parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil! its so good on shrimp and chicken! I use it alot in my homemade salsa! How do i know when its gone to seed and how do i harvest it

  4. Dan and Deanna Says:

    Thank you for the information on this, did not know most of what you have given here. Have not used this herb. It sound like it is one that should be used often.
    Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”

  5. Hating on cilantro; in love with coriander « Bill Pitcher (just a camp cook) Says:

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