Cilantro is an amazing herb and grows very easily from seed. It’s native to the southern regions of Asia and Europe and what’s even cooler is that Cilantro seeds have even been found in Egyptian Tombs! Meaning it’s been around for a very long time. Cilantro grows best in cooler weather so growing your spring or fall garden will yield you the best growth. Here’s how to grow Cilantro!
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With so many awesome retailers that offer seeds online the world is your oyster when It comes to where to buy seeds. Here are some of my favorite places to shop online for seeds. If you prefer to go in store you will find most retailers carry seeds in the spring.
Seed Starting Tools
You can get high tech and expensive with seed starting if you want, but you can totally do it low cost. If you need to go the low cost route shop at Dollar Tree or another Dollar store in your area. They all carry seeds and seed starting equipment in spring. All you need is what’s listed above.
Using seed starting mix when starting seeds is important because seed starting soil is sterile. Potting soil can have bacteria that can aid in seedling death called damping off. So you need to keep clean tools, pots and soil.
Now that you’ve got your seeds and supplies it’s time to plant. Add your seed starting soil to your pot and follow the planting directions. Typically planting two seeds per pot or cell if your using planting cells. Two seeds just in case one doesn’t germinate. As your Cilantro grows you will want to keep potting up, not allowing your seedlings to become root bound. Cilantro grows a long tap root and can often struggle after transplanting outside.
Now that your seeds are planted it’s time to talk about watering. Keeping seedlings watered is so very important. If you let your seedlings dry out you risk damping off. It’s best to water seedlings from the bottom so put them on a tray and allow them to soak up all the water they can within an hour.
When growing Cilantro from seed or any seeds rather, you need air flow. Warm temps and moist soil are a recipe for mold so keep your seedlings in an open area or keep a small fan nearby to help.
Cilantro seeds need light to germinate so keep your potted seeds in a very bright room or under grow lights. Seedlings need at least 14 hours of light to grow properly. If you choose to not use a grow light make sure to provide as much light as you can to your seedlings. Overhead light being the best.
When your area is no longer at risk of freezing temps you can begin transitioning your seedlings outside. Here’s how you do it.
Once your seedlings are fully acclimated it’s time to move them to their final location. When you grow Cilantro it’s best to not plant them in full direct sun nor during the summer. The summer heat can cause your Cilantro to bolt (Bolting is when your plants flower and go to seed earlier than expected) and after your vegetables bolt the flavor changes. Spring and fall are a great time to plant your Cilantro seedlings. Plant them in a space that gets part sun so 4-6 hours of sun with some shade relief.
Cilantro thrives with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Be careful not to over fertilize. Over fertilizing can cause issues within the plant. One issue being a change in flavor. Follow the directions on the package and opt for organic fertilizers if possible.
Cilantro is an easy and delicious herb to grow. You can begin harvesting when your plant is at least 6 inches tall. Keep on a regular water and fertilizing schedule and you will have happy healthy plants.