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Guide to Growing Cilantro, Coriander, & Chinese Parsley

Coriander is often used in cooking, with both its seeds and leaves being used in many dishes.

Coriandrum plants are hardy annuals and grow to a height of 30 to 60 cm. They bloom with petite flowers of white, lavender or pink in the early summer.

Common names for Coriandrum genus plants include Cilantro, Coriander, and Chinese Parsley

Coriander setting seed picture

Coriander
Coriander by Henrique Vicente; Creative commons.

Quick Coriandrum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Coriander, Chinese parsley, Cilantro.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual.
Height: 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm).
Native: Southern Europe, North Africa, Southwest Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, pink. Umbels.
Foliage: Broadly lobed, feathery, hairless.
Fruit: 5 mm globe.
Sow Outside: 1/2 inch (12mm). Sow regularly from the last frost to summer. Spacing 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Use Peat pots. Germination time: nine days to two weeks in the dark. Temperature 60°F (10°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 6.5 to 7.5. Good drainage. Rich soils. Regular watering. Grow in area protected from the wind. Does not do well in rainy areas. Do not transplant as Coriandrum have delicate taproots. Only harvest leaves before flowering occurs.
Miscellaneous: Well used culinary plant. Leaves have a citrus taste and are a popular ingredient in Asian and Mexican dishes. Due to genetics many people describe the taste as soapy. Fruits are usually crushed and have a spicy, citrus and nutty flavour.

How to grow Coriander / Cilantro (Coriandrum)

If planning to grow Coriandrum / Cilantro outdoors from the off it is best to sow out the seed every two weeks at a depth of 1 cm from the last frost of spring until the autumn. Coriander likes to grow in an area that has plenty of sunlight, and prefers a rich soil of pH 6 to 7. If you plan to grow seedlings of coriander indoors then they should be grown in peat pots and prepared about 6 to 7 weeks before you plan to put them out, from early spring onwards. Alternatively you can grow them indoors all year around.

Harvesting Coriander / Cilantro

Both the leaves and seeds of Coriandrum can be used in cooking. Coriander seeds should be harvested by covering the stalks and seeds in a paper bag, tape the bottom of it, and allow the coriander seed to set. When ready simply snip the stem and remove the bag, and rub the fruit to release the coriander seeds. If you are harvesting the leaves then simply snip them off when required and use fresh.



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