How to Grow Coriander (Cilantro) in a Pot at Home?

Growing coriander might seem like a very simple or rather effortless task given the assumption that its all about scattering the seeds in a pot and letting them grow by themselves.

Nonetheless, for you to be able to grow healthy coriander, you need to be observant of a number of things as they are going to be addressed in this article.

Additionally, it’s also important to note that coriander is a sensitive herb, and for that following the steps below is important for you to end up with a fruitful harvest. So let´s get started!

What Do I Need For Growing Coriander?

In order to Grow Coriander successfully you will need the following:

  • Well-drained, loamy soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7.0.
  • A container with the minimum bottom of 5 inches with drainage holes
  • Your chosen coriander variety

More Information about the individual things, that you need can be found below.

What Soil Do I Need For Growing Coriander?

Soil happens to be among the most important things for growing coriander and for that; it’s important to choose the best soil to grow your coriander.

Coriander will always do perfectly in well-drained, loamy soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7.0.

The soil has to be neutral and rich in organic matter and most especially aged manure or rather a compost as it provides a steady supply of nitrogen among other trace elements and this way promoting vegetative growth.

The soil should be crumbly in texture as it is also important to helps the plant to grow well.

How Much Light Does Coriander Need To Grow?

Just like any other plant, light is very crucial for the growth of coriander as it facilitates the process of photosynthesis, which is crucial in the creation of food for the plant.

Coriander does well in the presence of fair levels of sunlight.

The plant is extremely sensitive to extreme sunlight, and as a survival mechanism, it quickly sends up flowers and goes to seed. To ensure that your coriander thrives the unpredictive nature of the sunlight, it’s advisable that you place your pot at a location where it will only receive the sunlight indirectly.

In case you lack a location where you can place your pot to receive sunlight indirectly, you can erect a shelter above the pots to prevent direct sunlight. It is also important to note that the shelters also prevent the occurrence of soil erosion, which is as a result of rain droplets.

Additionally, coriander does well in a partial shade where the emphasis is done on receiving the least sunlight requirements.

How Much Water Does Coriander Need?

Water is also crucial for the growth of coriander as well when it comes to fostering the vegetative nature of the plant.

The plant likes evenly moist soil, and at this point, good drainage is crucial given the fact that coriander has deep roots.

It’s also important to make sure that the soil is regularly wet and not soaked as the stem of the plant is susceptible to a lot of water, and for that, it can easily break.

Again, the frequency of watering coriander will ultimately depend on the soil moisture content; more reasons why well-drained soil is a condition for growing coriander.

Temperature and Humidity

It’s important to note that coriander withers easily and especially in warm weather and for this reason it’s important to grow coriander within favorable temperatures and humidity.

Ideally, coriander is a cool-season crop which does best at temperatures of between 50-80 degrees Celsius. The plant can also tolerate temperatures of below 10 degrees Celsius; however, it can not tolerate temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Celsius, and in the case of such temperatures, the plant will start to bolt.

Once your coriander bolts, it loses the flavor. Temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Celsius will greatly hasten flowering which translates to the plant done growing.

What Is The Best Container For Growing Coriander?

One of the major mistakes that people end up doing when growing coriander is choosing the wrong container, and this calls for a careful and creative decision when choosing your container.

Ideally, anything can be used to grow coriander, given the idea that it can hold the soil as well as drain properly without getting soil soggy.

If the container you select doesn’t have enough drainage holes, make sure to drill sizable holes.

Nonetheless, while selecting a container to plant your coriander, it’s important that you consider growing. As stated earlier on in the text above, coriander has deep roots, and for that, its important that you choose a container that will foster the growth of the plant.

You can choose a container with a minimum bottom of 5 inches as long as it’s going to allow proper drainage of water.

With small containers, the plant can quickly become rootbound as the soil is not able to hold enough moisture, thus causing your coriander to wilt becoming unproductive.

On the contrary, if you have a large container, this might also be an issue for your coriander since it will spend much of its energy on root development and less energy on growth thus been unproductive.

Generally, planters and pots are normally available in different sizes, materials as well shapes; therefore, whatever kind of container you decide to use for your coriander, consider the size and how well it can facilitate drainage. Some of the variety of containers you can choose from include;

Terra-Cotta Pots

These pots are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

They are normally made of porous clay soil which is rich in iron. They are designed in such a manner that they have the ability to breath; thus, keeping the soil in the pot cool and in excess of moisture, thus keeping the plant healthy.

This pot can be a perfect choice for your coriander, given the fact that coriander prefers a cool and moisturized environment which this pot enhances.

The main problem with this container is the idea that its relatively fragile and thus can break easily.

Again, the container can dry out quickly and most especially in sunny locations, thus losing moisture from the outside. However, this problem of losing moisture from outside can be solved by lining the interior of the pot with a gaze to limit the amount of moisture escaping through the pot.

Plastic Containers

These containers can also be used to plant and grow your coriander.

Lightweight, strength, and flexibility are some of the advantages that come along with plastic containers.

Plastic pots or rather containers are excellent choices for moisture-loving plants such as coriander as they can hold water for a long time without losing it to the outside.

However, avoid using black or even dark-colored plastic pots if your location is very sunny as they tend to absorb heat and get very hot, thus damaging the tender roots.

Light-colored containers, on the other hand, reflect the heat and that way keeping the roots cool.

Another limitation about plastic pots is that they are not durable and for that, they have a very short lifespan.

Wooden Containers

These containers happen to be the most practical as well as natural containers for planting as well as growing coriander and for an overall gardening practice.

Wooden containers are actually the best as they look great; they are relatively lightweight and retain water well.

They are durable as they don’t tend to crack during cold weather and are very slow to dry out which are perfect growing conditions for coriander given its moisturized nature.

The only disadvantage that comes along with wooden containers is, that they tend to rot after some time; nonetheless, this challenge can be solved by lining the interior of the pot with a gaze to limit the amount of water been absorbed by the pot.

Metal Containers

One outstanding feature about metal pots is that they are completely durable and metals such as aluminum and iron can offer ganders with the durability of the pot with some of them been lightweight thus making it possible for the gardener potable move the container.

Some of these metal containers are designed to grow plants as they come with sizable drainage holes which facilitate the growth of the plant.

Therefore, you can choose metal containers to plant and grow your coriander.

Notable, be keen to choose an aluminum pot as it hardly rusts compared to other metals like zinc, iron, and copper, which can affect the growth of your coriander.

Concrete Containers

The great thing about this container is it´s durability as they last for a long time.

They are designed in such a way that they can facilitate the planting and growing of plants. Nonetheless, they are expensive and are highly preferred for large plants. They are also difficult to move around.

To this effect, when considering pots or containers to grow your coriander, its perfectly clear that wooden, plastic and terra-cotta containers will be a perfect choice.

Given the nature of coriander, these types of pots will be perfect as they will create a more adaptive environment for the growth of the plant.

What Variants Of Coriander Are There?

After familiarizing yourself with the various conditions for the growth of coriander and the best container to use for planting and growing the herb, its important that you understand the various types of coriander and choose which one you’d prefer to plant and grow.

There are various variants of coriander like:

Calypso Coriander

This is a type of coriander that is highly characterized by its slow bolting nature which is relatively lower compared to that of other types of coriander.

It’s highly resistant to extreme sunlight and consistently holds for about three weeks longer than other common varieties of coriander.

If you are situated in a location with high levels of sunlight, then you should consider planting and growing this type of coriander.

Cruiser Coriander

This type of coriander is highly characterized by large leaves and full stems with an upright plant habit.

Its also a tremendous bolt resistant plant this is making it one of the best variants to consider planting and growing in containers especially if you are located in an area with high levels of sunlight.

Leisure Coriander

It’s highly characterized by its pungent leaves that are extra-large. It’s also bolt resistant.

Nonetheless, this herb attracts more pests and thus its prone to several diseases compared to other types of coriander.

Santa Coriander

This is the other type of coriander which is characterized by its slow bolting nature and bushy leaves.

How to Plant Coriander

Coriander can either be planted using seeds or replanting the plant; however, its best grown through sowing seeds directly due to a number of reasons but mainly because it grows a bit faster and since it naturally has taproots, it doesn’t like to be transplanted.

Step 1: Prepare The Seeds!

Before planting the seeds, you must prepare the seeds so as to increase their chances of germinating.

To prepare the seeds, gently crush the husk holding the seeds, then soak the seeds in water for about 24 to 48 hours. Soaking the seeds in water helps to break the seeds defenses against what is expected from mother nature, which allows the seeds to germinate.

Again, soaking the seeds in water will help leach away any inhibitors that might prevent the seeds from germinating. After soaking the seeds, remove them from the water and allow them dry.

Step 2: Fill The Pot With Soil.

After the seeds are ready, fill your pot with loam soil mixed with manure and ensure you mix the soil and manure evenly after which you are expected to water the soil so as to hold the soil and manure together.

Ensure you pour enough water to hold the soil and manure together and not a lot of water to make the soil soaked up.

Step 3: Plant The Seeds!

After the seeds and the soil are ready, you can now sow the seeds in rows which is highly recommended that is for easy harvesting.

Alternatively, you can spread the seeds all over the container and rake them in, but this alternative depends on how much seeds you have.

How To Care For A Coriander Plant?

One of the greatest challenges of growing coriander is caring for the plant since it requires an extra keen level of care.

For starters, coriander responds to the length of daylight, and as a result, it starts bolting ending up being unproductive. However, it’s much easier to plant and grow coriander in pots at home because the whole process will be under controlled conditions.

Right after planting your coriander, its advisable that you keep the soil or rather compost moist as it tends to run to seed if exposed to extreme sunlight thus drying out. Keeping the soil moist doesn’t mean you over water the plant as this will make it soaked up and thus resulting in rotting of the plant.

Once the seeds sprout and are a couple of inches tall, you should start watering your coriander regularly. Again, after the plants have flowered, and start to set seeds, you can begin to water less often.

Weeding is also part of caring for your plant as it facilitates the growth of the plant. Normally, weeds are very competitive plants which reduce the useful crop yield by acquiring space, nutrients, and fertilizers from the soil, which are very necessary for the growth of coriander.

To this effect, its important that you weed your coriander often that way you will create more space to grow your coriander as well eliminate the competition that weeds bring about of competing on the crucial elements with your coriander.

Again, caring for your coriander can also be achieved through the use of fertilizer, which helps boost the yields as well as fight a number of related diseases.

Fertilizing coriander plants can be best done using a balanced and water-soluble fertilizer. Given the fact that you will be watering your coriander regularly, it’s convenient that you use soluble fertilizers.

Once you are set to fertilize your coriander follow the instructions on the package. As the flowers start to appear, and plants begin to set seed, you can stop applying fertilizer.

If you prefer growing coriander organically, you can work around with some compost or even choose from a wide range of organic fertilizer available at your local garden center.

Common Coriander Pests and Diseases

Coriander has serious issues with pests as well as diseases which can be a serious issue on the growth and yield of the plant on the overall; luckily, these pests and diseases can be easily managed.

Some of the diseases that extensively affect coriander include:

Powdery Mildew

This is a common disease that appears as small, white and powdery patches on parts of the stem, buds, and leaves which increases in size and tend to cover the entire area of the leaf surface.

The affected leaves get distorted and reduce in size. Premature sterility is also common, and in serve cases, the umbels dry up.

The disease is highly favorable in areas with high humidity and moderate temperatures. To fight this disease, avoid excess fertilization, apply protective fungicides application. The sulfur application can also be utilized in the early stages of the disease.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

This disease appears as small water-soaked spots, in between the leaf veins which enlarge and turn from dark brown to black, the stems elongate into dark streaks and water-soaked lesions on fruits.

The cause of this disease is a bacterium, and it’s transmitted through infected seeds, and at times it can be transmitted through splashing irrigation water or rain.

This disease can be very difficult to control, but it can be fought through the use of pathogen-free seeds and avoiding over-irrigation.

Soft Rot

This disease is caused by a bacterium, and its symptoms include small water-soaked lesions at the base of the petioles which become soft, sunken, and ultimately brown.

Ideally, this disease can be fought by avoiding conducive conditions of bacterial infection, ensuring the soil is well-drained, allowing plants to dry before irrigating again, avoid wounding plants during weeding and harvesting as this causes a breeding ground for bacteria and disinfecting all equipment regularly.

Damping-off

This disease is caused by fungal infections.

Some of the associated symptoms include soft and rotting seeds which fail to germinate, rapid death of seedling before emerging from the soil and collapsing of seedlings after they have emerged from the soil.

The fungi are highly transmitted in water or contaminated soil/equipment. The disease can be controlled through avoiding planting in poorly drained soil, treating seeds with fungicides prior to eliminate fungal pathogens as well as planting quality seeds that can germinate quickly.

What Pests Could Be An Issue For My Coriander Plant?

Aphids

Some of the symptoms that indicate the presence of aphids include the presence of tubular structure that project backward, aphids do not move quickly when disturbed, small soft-bodied insects on the leaves and stems of the plant that are usually green or yellow in color.

You can manage the insects by using tolerant varieties if available, the usage of reflective mulches and spraying insecticides.

Armyworms

Some of the symptoms that indicate the presence of these pests include closely grouped circular to irregular-shaped hopes in foliage; skeletonized leaves and shallow dry wounds on fruits.

They can be managed by the use of organic methods inclusive of parasites.

Root-Knot Nematode

It´s caused by nematode pests and its presence can be identified by the availability of galls on roots which can be up to 3.3 cm, reduction of the plant vigor and yellowing plants which end up wilting in hot weather.

These pests can be managed by solarizing the soil as well using nematode plant resistant varieties.

How To Harvest Coriander?

From the time of planting, coriander can be harvested in about 3-4 weeks.

Its highly advised that you harvest coriander either in the morning or in the evening so as to harvest them while they are fresh.

You can harvest coriander by, softly cutting the mature stems a few centimeters from the base and ensure you don’t wound the rest of the plant to avoid creating a breeding environment for bacteria and fungi.

Also avoiding harvesting about three-quarter of the plant since doing so can make the plant weak, thus affecting its growth.

If at all you want to harvest the seeds you can do so after 45 days or when the plant is 3-4 inches tall.

Harvesting the seeds can be done by clipping the seeds heads and putting them upside down in the paper bag. Give it a couple of days for the husks to dry, split, and release the seeds inside.

So if you want to grow coriander then let me warn you! This plant will need quite some attention and care to grow healthy and yield a good harvest. It is easy to do but it will take some time! But trust me, it is well worth it!