Cilantro is one of the most popular herbs in the world. Many people love it for its tasty flavor and its versatility in the kitchen. However, growing cilantro isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of patience and determination. Cilantro seeds usually take anywhere from two weeks to a month to germinate. Once your cilantro plants start growing, you can expect them to mature after four to five months. Some seeds may fail to germinate because of improper planting techniques or unfavorable environmental conditions.
So, are you waiting for your cilantro seeds to grow? What should you expect? You need to know that cilantro seeds may take several weeks to germinate. Your primary responsibility is to ensure the conditions are right for germination. The seedlings prefer full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Consider spacing your seedlings 6 to 8 inches apart for optimal growth. You can harvest the cilantro leaves 2–3 times throughout the season. Harvesting must be done before the flowers open because the leaves lose flavor once the plant flowers.
This blog post discusses everything you need to know about cilantro growing and how to take care of your herb. Read on to learn more.
Growing Cilantro from Seed: Overview
Cilantro typically flowers in late spring or early summer after it has reached a certain height and maturity. The plant will produce small, umbrella-like clusters of delicate white or pink flowers.
The flowers are not only visually appealing but also play a crucial role in the production of coriander seeds.
Cilantro flowers attract different pollinators, including bees and other insects. These pollinators play a vital role in the herb’s reproductive process by transferring pollen from one flower to another.
Once pollination occurs, the flowers gradually wither and produce small, round seeds. These seeds are green when fresh but will turn brown as they mature and dry.
To harvest coriander seeds, wait until the flowers have completely dried up, and the seeds have turned brown. This usually occurs several weeks after the flowers have bloomed.
To collect the seeds, you’ll need a pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut the entire flower head from the plant.
Use a paper bag or a container with a lid to catch the seeds as they fall. This prevents unnecessary scattering.
Hold the cut flower head over your container and gently shake it to dislodge the seeds from the flower head. If some seeds remain attached, gently rub or pick them off the flower head with bare hands.
Before storing, ensure that the harvested seeds are completely dry. You can spread them out on a clean, dry surface for a few days to air dry.
Don’t forget to label the container with the harvest date to keep track of freshness. Ideally, you should sow the seeds within a year for a higher germination rate.
Germinating Cilantro Seeds
Cilantro seeds require specific conditions to germinate. The soil temperature must be maintained between 70-75 degrees F and the potting mix must be kept relatively moist. There must also be plenty of light.
The absence of any of these conditions will hamper successful germination. Consider using a seedling mat to maintain the ideal temperature for your cilantro seedlings.
When sowing the seeds, sow them about 1/8 inch deep in the soil and ensure adequate space between them.
Water lightly after sowing and keep the potting mix moist by misting it with water regularly. However, be careful to avoid waterlogging the soil because cilantro seeds won’t germinate if the soil is too wet.
Check the soil moisture level by sticking your middle finger into the soil. If the soil feels too wet, stop watering until it dries up.
How Long Do Cilantro Seeds Take to Germinate?
Cilantro seedlings usually germinate within two weeks but may take up to four weeks. However, the timeframe varies depending on your area’s climate and growing conditions.
Check with your local seed supplier or gardening center for more specific information. This way, you will know when to expect your cilantro seedlings to appear.
Many people prefer soaking their seeds before sowing, even though it doesn’t guarantee a higher germination rate. So, don’t be forced into soaking if you are not for the idea.
In fact, soaking cilantro seeds before germination can be a real pain because it is an extra step in the process. Furthermore, spreading wet seeds is time-consuming and not fun at all.
Using a typical shaker bottle to spread the dry seeds is easier and faster. Feel free to do whatever you are comfortable with.
Once the seeds have been sowed, they require plenty of light and warm temperatures to germinate.
If you do everything right, you should start seeing signs of germination after three or four days. However, the seeds may need one or two weeks to germinate fully.
You can speed up the germination process by covering the container or pot containing the seeds with a plastic wrap. Position the container on a south-facing windowsill to ensure the seeds get plenty of sunlight.
Wrapping the container with plastic wrap creates a relatively humid environment that encourages germination.
What Is the Best Time to Sow Cilantro Seeds?
The best time to sow cilantro seeds is early spring when the temperature is still relatively cool. The seeds should be sowed indoors in trays or containers and transferred to the garden when they are about four inches tall.
If you’re growing cilantro for its leaves, don’t bother transferring it to the garden because you can just grow it in a container or pot.
Remember that the seeds may not germinate until late spring or early summer in warm climates.
Be extra careful with the timing if you live in a colder area because sowing seeds earlier may affect the germination rate massively.
What Type of Soil Is Best for Cilantro Seed Germination?
Cilantro seeds can germinate in almost all soil types but will do exceptionally well in soil rich in organic matter. You can improve the soil quality by adding some compost or aged manure to it.
The soil should have a slightly acidic pH of 6.5, and the moisture level should always be maintained.
Overwatering is not recommended because it can cause root rot in cilantro seedlings, something that you don’t want to deal with.
How to Grow Cilantro Seedlings
The seedlings you get after germination can thrive in an outdoor garden or a pot. If you don’t have enough space in your outdoor garden, transplant them into a pot. The herb is excellent for container gardening due to its small size.
The best pot for cilantro should be at least eight inches wide and five inches deep. Ensure your preferred pot has plenty of drainage holes, or make your own by drilling several holes on the sides and bottom.
The pot should also be made of unglazed clay to allow excessive moisture to escape through the porous walls.
Cilantro plants also need plenty of light, so position them in a sunny spot outdoors or near a south-facing window indoors.
Water the soil when it feels dry and fertilize it once every two weeks using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. You can also put some aged manure or compost on the surface of the soil to keep it well-nourished.
Harvesting cilantro is relatively easy. You can harvest individual leaves as needed or trim off the entire plant when it reaches a height of 12 inches.
Don’t forget to leave several basal leaves behind because they will eventually grow into new plants.
Caring for Young Cilantro Plants
Once your cilantro seedlings are in the containers or garden, you will need to look after them closely.
The plants need plenty of water to thrive. Ensure you water them whenever the soil feels dry. Young plants should be watered two to three times a week.
It’s also important to fertilize your cilantro plants once every two weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer or aged compost. Use a slow-release fertilizer or all-purpose liquid manure for best results.
Cilantro is susceptible to various pests and diseases, so look out for signs of infestations or infections.
Common diseases that may affect your cilantro seedlings are bacterial leaf spot, verticillium wilt, and fusarium wilt.
Bacterial leaf spot causes water-soaked spots on the leaves, which will eventually turn yellow and drop off. You can avoid this by ensuring the soil is well-drained, and your plant is not overwatered.
Common pests that affect cilantro seedlings include aphids, flea beetles, and cutworms. Handpicking or using insecticidal soap are effective ways of getting rid of them.
Growing cilantro from seeds is not as hard as it seems. It requires patience and effort to get the best results.
With the right soil, warmth, and moisture, you can have your own cilantro garden in no time.
Just ensure you keep a close eye on them for pests, diseases, and other issues that may hamper their growth.
Last update on 2024-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API