Organic Gardening: How to Grow Organic Cilantro

I find it odd that some people just detest cilantro, considering my strong feelings for this delightful herb. Sometimes called Chinese parsley, cilantro is a mainstay of ethnic cuisines the world over, from Mexican to Indian to Thai. The leaves are used as typical cilantro, and the seeds are known as coriander. In truth, cilantro is not the easiest herb to grow. It’s delicate. But that’s part of the reason we have to grow it: finding decent cilantro in a supermarket is a challenge. Still, I find the Mediterranean herbs to be much easier to grow, and cilantro can be downright difficult to start from seed. Yet next to basil, I grow more cilantro than anything else and don’t regret one second of time I’ve put into learning how to grow this delicious herb.

Growing Conditions:

Light: Cilantro do likes the bright light, but it shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. The foremost option is morning sunlight. While placing, make sure that cilantro doesn’t get direct sunlight.

Water: Keep the soil regularly moist, but not soaked. Good drainage is essential as cilantro has deep roots.
Temperature: On the cool side. Cilantro tends to bolt easily, especially in warmer weather. Keep your plants around 70˚F and you’ll extend the harvest time. Once cilantro bolts, the flavor changes. Keeping the plant over 75˚ will greatly hasten flowering.

Soil: Airy, light, fast-draining soil with plenty of perlite or sharp sand mixed in to increase drainage.
Fertilizer: Use liquid fertilizer, or supplement the soil with controlled-release pellets. For organic cilantro, use an organic fertilizer or fortify soil with compost.

Propagation:

Cilantro is easily available at garden centers, but you it can also be started from a seed. Cilantro produces seeds when it gets too mature, so if you want to harvest the seeds for your next season, you can let it get mature enough. Since it is a short-life plant, you need to sow seeds after a couple of weeks to have a steady supply of cilantro.

If you have decided to grow the cilantro from seeds, crush them a little and soak in water for about 24 hours before you plant them. The dried seeds can last for a couple of months.

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Repotting:

Cilantro is a deep taproot plant. It doesn’t like repotting and can bolt at the slightest provocation. So, you need to make sure that you repot your plant only once after purchasing it. Cilantro can be repotted to another pot before it gets mature because it is an annual plant. When it get completely mature, it will become 24 inches tall.

Varieties:

Cilantro is a native to Europe and North Africa, but it has spread all over the world now. Its leaves are quite similar to parsley. Normally, the flowers are small and white or maybe pink in color. All cilantro is Coriandrum sativum. The original cilantro is quite different as compared to culantro (Eryngium foetidum), which is better in taste.

Grower’s Tips:

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Cilantro is best grown in a relatively cool, bright area with steady water and a deep container. Even then, the race is on to harvest leaves before the plant flowers and the flavor profile changes. To extend your cilantro harvest, regularly snip soft stems, rotating the plant as you harvest to encompass the whole plant. Although this is anecdotal, this type of harvesting seems to slow the flowering and extend the plant’s useful life. Overall, expect your individual cilantro plant to live only for a few months before it flowers.

Read original article here: http://houseplants.about.com/od/More_Plant_Profiles/p/Cilantro-Growing-Cilantro-Inside.htm

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