Growing and Harvesting Cilantro

You will normally find cilantro in Mexico or South Western dishes and it is a plant which falls under the herb category that also has a strong and unique flavor. Apart from that, the cilantro plant is also being used to season food. In order to grow your own cilantro plant, you have to put extra attention and care because it is a fast growing kind of plant that enables you to have a quick harvest.

What you need:

  1. Cilantro seed
  2. Suitable location for planting the plant
  3. Mulch or compost



  1. Cilantro plant is a very fast growing plant and once the roots consistently reach 75 degrees, the plant will start to seed. The cilantro seeds need to be planted a few inches apart from each other in the area that you have chosen to plant it. The area should be able to receive both sun (morning) and shade (afternoon) and by planting them close together will enable your plants a little bit of extra shade that keeps the roots cooler and longer. The cilantro seeds should be planted at least 1/4 inch deep into the ground.
  2. The best time to plant cilantro is during the spring and fall because of the summer heat that enables the faster process of growing and the plants will bolt to seed very quickly. In order to get the optimum growth, your soil should be well-drained and moist.
  3. The next step is to add some mulch or compost onto the cilantro bed in order to provide nutrients to the soil and also work as an extra layer of protection for its roots.
  4. Once your cilantro herbs begin to flower, you should trim off its flower heads in order to prolong the plants leaf growth. By doing this, the plants energy will be directed back into the leaves instead of the flowers and seeds. Besides that, if you allow the plant’s seed heads to mature, they will re-sow themselves into the garden and in a few weeks time, you will be having another new crop of cilantro plant.
  5. With careful monitoring and the condition is good, cilantro plants should be ready to be harvested after 8 weeks. You also would be able to cut the plant during its growth period, but it is recommended that you wait until it reaches at least 6 inches tall for a more optimum leaves.
  6. Always cut the outer leaves first so that the smaller leaves close to the stalk able to continue its growth and mature.
  7. You can harvest the cilantro plant’s leaves at least two or three times before allowing the plants bolt to seed and once they begin to seed, you can collect the seeds. This can be used as coriander or you can save them to dry out and be replanted back again. Cilantro leaves are usually used fresh because when the leaves dried, it kind of loses its flavour.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Growing, Harvesting, And Preparing Herbs For Use In Home Cooking

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners