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How to Start Cilantro Seeds Indoors

How to Start Cilantro Seeds Indoors

Jeena Lugo Jeena Lugo
6 minute read

Hello fellow gardeners! As a passionate gardener, I love growing various herbs in my indoor garden, and today, I want to share my knowledge on how to grow cilantro indoors. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a versatile herb that can be used in various dishes and is cherished for its unique flavor. Growing cilantro indoors ensures a steady supply of fresh cilantro all year round. In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to start cilantro seeds indoors, care for the growing plants, and harvest them for your kitchen.

1. Understand Cilantro Plant Characteristics

Before we dive into planting cilantro, let's take a moment to learn more about the plant's characteristics:

  • History of the Seed: Cilantro is native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions and has been used as a culinary herb and medicinal plant for thousands of years.
  • Days till maturity: 60-75 days from seed to harvest
  • Planting depth: 1/4 inch deep
  • Plant spacing: 6-8 inches apart
  • Days to germination: 7-14 days
  • Indoor or direct sown: Both options work, but starting indoors allows for better control over growing conditions.
  • Full sun or partial shade: Cilantro plants prefers full sun but can tolerate some afternoon shade.
  • When to harvest: When the plant reaches 6-8 inches tall and has multiple sets of leaves
  • Plant height: 18-24 inches tall
  • Plant width: 12-18 inches wide

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2. Choose the Right Cilantro Seeds

To start, you'll need high-quality cilantro seeds. Both cilantro and coriander seeds come from the same plant, so if you find coriander seeds, you can use them to grow cilantro.  We have high-quality cilantro seeds for sale in our online store as well as many different herb variety packs too.

3. Prepare the Potting Soil and Containers

Select containers at least 6 inches deep with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A well-draining soil mix is essential for healthy cilantro plants. You can either buy a commercial potting mix or make your own by combining equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.

4. Plant Cilantro Seeds

Once you have your potting soil and containers ready, follow these steps to plant cilantro seeds:

  1. Fill the containers with the potting mix, leaving about 1 inch of space from the top.
  2. Plant the cilantro seeds 1/4 inch deep and cover them with soil.
  3. Water the soil gently to moisten it without displacing the seeds.
  4. Label each container with the date and type of seed planted.

5. Ensure Proper Germination Conditions

Place the containers in a warm area between 65-75°F (18-24°C) to encourage germination. Cilantro seeds typically germinate within 7-14 days.

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6. Provide Adequate Light and Temperature

Once the seedlings emerge, move the containers to a sunny south-facing window or use a grow light to ensure the plants receive enough sunlight. Cilantro plants prefer temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and 50-60°F (10-15°C) at night.

7. Water and Fertilize Cilantro Plants

Water your cilantro plants regularly to maintain consistently moist soil but avoid overwatering. When the seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin them out, leaving 6-8 inches between each plant. Fertilize your cilantro plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, following the package instructions.

8. Monitor for Pests and Diseases

While growing indoors helps protect your cilantro plants from pests and diseases, watching for common issues like aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew is essential. Remove any affected leaves and treat the plants with appropriate organic solutions, such as neem oil or insecticidal soap.

9. Harvest Fresh Cilantro

You can start harvesting your cilantro once the plants are about 6-8 inches tall and have multiple sets of leaves. To harvest, snip the outer leaves with clean scissors, leaving the central stem intact for continued growth. Harvest regularly to encourage bushy growth and prevent the plant from becoming too tall and spindly.

10. Plan for a Steady Supply

To ensure a steady supply of fresh cilantro, sow new seeds every 3-4 weeks in separate containers. As the older plants begin to bolt (produce flowers), you'll have new plants ready to take their place.

11. Transition to Mature Plants

If you have the space and desire, you can transplant your mature cilantro plants outdoors when the weather is favorable. Choose a location with full sun or partial afternoon shade and well-draining soil. Gradually acclimate the plants to outdoor conditions over a week before transplanting to reduce shock.

12. Save Coriander Seeds for Future Planting

Allow some of your cilantro plants to flower and produce seeds. These seeds, also known as coriander seeds, can be harvested, dried, and saved for future planting or used as a spice in your culinary endeavors.

Now that you have a comprehensive guide on how to start cilantro seeds indoors and care for the plants, you're ready to grow your own cilantro Coriandrum sativum and enjoy the fresh, aromatic herb year-round. With proper care and attention, you'll have a thriving indoor cilantro garden in no time. Happy gardening!

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how to grow cilantro seeds indoorsFrequently Asked Questions - How to Start Cilantro Seeds Indoors

Here are some frequently asked questions related to growing cilantro indoors:

Q: Why is my cilantro plant growing tall and spindly?

A: If your cilantro plant grows tall and spindly, it may not receive enough light. Move the plant to a sunnier spot or use a grow light to provide the necessary light levels for healthy growth.

Q: Can I grow cilantro from store-bought fresh cilantro?

A: Yes, you can grow cilantro from store-bought fresh cilantro if it still has roots attached. Place the cilantro in a glass of water with the roots submerged, and once new growth appears, transplant it into a container with well-draining soil.

Q: How long does it take to grow cilantro indoors?

A: Cilantro typically takes 60-75 days to grow from seed to harvest. You can start harvesting the leaves when the plant is 6-8 inches tall and has multiple sets of leaves.

Q: Can I grow cilantro without a grow light?

A: You can grow cilantro without a grow light if you have a sunny south-facing window that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. However, growing light can provide consistent light conditions and promote healthier plant growth.

Q: How often should I water my cilantro plants?

A: Water your cilantro plants regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. The watering frequency will depend on the potting mix, container size, and environmental conditions, so check the ground regularly and water as needed.

Q: What can I do if my cilantro plant has powdery mildew?

A: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can affect cilantro plants. To treat powdery mildew, remove affected leaves and apply an organic fungicide, such as neem oil or a baking soda solution. Prevent future occurrences by ensuring proper air circulation around your plants and avoiding overwatering.

Q: Can I grow other herbs alongside cilantro in the same container?

A: It's possible to grow other herbs alongside cilantro in the same container, but it's essential to choose herbs with similar light, water, and soil requirements. Good companion herbs for cilantro include parsley, basil, and dill.

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