CilantroCilantro, or coriander as it's known in Europe, is a hardy annual relative of parsley, grown for its seeds and leaves.In the US, this herb is known as cilantro when grown for its seeds and cilantro when grown for its leaves.
To say that cilantro has been around for a long time is an understatement. Coriander seeds discovered in a cave in Nahal Hemar Israel date back 8,000 years.
An amazing self-seeding coriander plant that does well in a wide range of conditions, including indoors in pots.This makes it a perfect addition to your indoor herb garden even if you are new to indoor gardening.
If you know cilantro, you know what a delicious addition it makes to all kinds of cuisines and dishes.I love adding it to rice dishes, mixing it with lime juice as a salad dressing, and as a garnish for stir-fries.
No matter how you use cilantro in your cooking, there is something very special about the smell of fresh herbs like cilantro when you cut them out of your pot and add their deliciousness to your cooking.
In this guide, I'll show you how to grow cilantro indoors so you too can enjoy the magic of this wonderful herb. You'll even discover the amazing health benefits of cilantro as well as my simple yet delicious guacamole recipe.
Grow cilantro indoors
Because it is a short-lived annual, it typically takes 8-10 weeks to harvest indoor cilantro.
It's a good idea to plant new seeds every three to four weeks to ensure a constant supply of fresh foliage throughout the growing season.
Coriander produces strong-smelling, light green leaves that closely resemble Italian parsley before developing clusters of white flowers.
The coriander plant grows from a single taproot and doesn't like being disturbed or transplanted.
Growing coriander with other herbs is not usually a problem as it gets along well with most herbs, with the exception of fennel.
A great way to start your indoor herb garden is with aIndoor-Starter-Kitwith grow light
For best results, place or use your potted cilantro in full sunlight for 5 to 8 hoursartificial plant lights.
In general, being indoors will protect your cilantro from conditions that can harm it, such as: B. severe frost and high heat and humidity.
As with most grasses, the main growing season is in the warmer months.
In winter, try to keep your plant as warm as possible by avoiding drafts and direct contact with window frames.
Coriander watering indoors
Always keep the soil moist but not constantly wet. Little and often is probably the best way to water cilantro indoors.
Too much water can lead to root rot, which tends to be fatal to both plants and weeds.
Overwatering is the number one killer for houseplants in general.
During the hottest months, use your finger to test soil moisture levels. When the first centimeter of soil is dry, the plant must be watered.
Earth for cilantro
Like many indoor herbs, cilantro grows best in loose, well-drained soil.
Choose a quality organic product that drains well.soil mixfor best results.
Cilantro is a really low maintenance plant, requiring little fertilizer except perhaps during the warmer growing months.
During periods of heavy growth, use an organic,Liquid plant fertilizer, every 3-4 weeks. Avoid overfeeding with mint, as the tips can darken, indicating burnt roots.
Seaweed-based foods are also ideal as they are rich in nutrients.
As with basil and mint, try to avoid fertilizers high in phosphorus (P) or potassium (K). These fertilizers encourage flower growth that competes with leaf growth.
That's fine if you're looking for coriander seeds, but not great if you're looking to harvest fresh coriander leaves.
How to harvest cilantro indoors
Be sure to harvest cilantro before the leaves become feathery and the plant begins to flower.
The coriander harvest usually takes place in summer and autumn.
Cilantro has a tendency to grow like crazy in the summer and then germinate.
Unfortunately, once cilantro starts flowering, its leaves become bitter and less palatable.
Keep in mind that like many herbs like basil and mint, cilantro is best eaten fresh as its flavor is lost when it dries.
If storage is required, freezing cilantro in airtight bags is probably the best route.
Growing coriander from seed generally gives the best results indoors.
Use a deep pot to make room for the long taproot.
It usually takes between seven and twenty days for the seeds to germinate.
If you're growing cilantro for the seeds rather than the leaves, it's best to space the plants about 10 cm (4 inches) apart in a sunny spot.
The seeds usually appear about 90 days after sowing. Collect the seeds by cutting the plant and hanging to dry.
Then shake the plant, collect fallen seeds in a paper bag, and then rub the plant dry to extract any remaining seeds.
Store the seeds in an airtight container and use them whole or crush them in a mortar and pestle to make a powder.
Coriander for pots
It is important to choose a pot that is at least 20cm in diameter, at least as deep if not deeper, and has drainage holes in the bottom.
high quality plantsoil based mix with good drainage.
recommendedvarieties of coriander
CilantroIt is by far the most popular variety of coriander grown as a variety called 'Leafy Leisure'. It is chosen for its number of leaves and the fact that it rises more slowly than regular cilantro.
It's fun to experiment with different types of cilantro, like adding a hint of lemon flavor to the leaves.
Coriander for health and beauty
Coriander is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.This means that not only does it taste good, but it is also a healthy food.
Coriander is high in vitamins A, K, C and E. Eating ½ cup of cilantro daily provides 16% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K [a group of vitamins important for functions such as blood clotting, bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels].
It is also a supplier of essential minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and a source of dietary fiber.Coriander is commonly consumed in many European countries, where people believe it lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels and heart disease.
There are numerous studies demonstrating a variety of health benefits associated with cilantro. Some of these cilantro health benefits include:
- Removes Harmful Heavy Metals: Studies show that coriander binds toxins like lead to help prevent heavy metal poisoning. watchhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19902160
- Supports Heart Health – The phytochemicals in cilantro appear to reduce oxidative stress in the heart and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Balances Blood Sugar Levels: Research suggests that adding cilantro to your diet may help maintain steady blood sugar levels. For more informations. watchhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22671941
- Reduces Anxiety and Helps Sleep: A study by the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found that coriander extract had the same effect on anxiety levels as valium, without the negative side effects.
- Prevents Food Poisoning: The International Journal of Food Microbiology published a study showing that cilantro is particularly effective at fighting listeria. watchhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11929164
- Reduces Neurological Inflammation: Research published in Molecular Neurobiology found that a diet rich in ginger, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, turmeric and coriander helps with inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. watchhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21360003
- Protects against colon cancer: Research shows that coriander lowers cholesterol and increases the secretion of bile compounds and sterols.
This, in turn, reduces toxicity levels in the colon, which helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. watchhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10940583
Other health benefits of cilantro include:
- Soothes skin irritation caused by sunburn, hives and poison ivy
- Calms the stomach, reduces gas and bloating.
- Prevents urinary tract infections
In addition to its many health benefits, being rich in antioxidants like vitamins A and C, cilantro has a number of benefits as a beauty ingredient.
Cilantro is a powerful antiseptic with antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
This means it can be used to cleanse and disinfect as it refreshes and soothes your skin.
Troubleshooting: Common cilantro care issues
Cilantro is a fairly hardy plant and generally quite difficult to kill. When grown indoors, cilantro is unlikely to be heavily affected by pests or disease.
These are some of the most common problems when growing cilantro;
Problem:Grow studs that reduce harvest time and speed up flowering
Solution: Seek "Pod reducing varietiesfrom your daycare
Problem:Leaves turn yellow and droop
Weil: Aphids, fungus gnats or whiteflies
Solution:Bathe the plant to kill insects or use insecticidal soap.
Problem:dry and colorless appearance
Weil: there is not enough water
Solution:Keep watering, especially in summer.
Problem:Stunted growth, lack of color.
Weil: Lack of full sun
Solution:Move your cilantro plant to a sunnier spot or use a small grow light.
My guacamole recipe
Every cook has their own favorite version of guacamole.
This is mine and I love to serve it with a freshly made tortilla (or toasted pita triangles work great too!)
If you want something special with the guacamole, you can use it as a side for a crab salad or as a filling for a hollowed-out baked potato with grilled chicken.
Note: I don't use tomatoes, but many cooks do!
2 perfectly ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
Juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh chili
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Mix avocado with lime juice
Add coriander, chili, salt and spring onion
Serve immediately or as soon as possible
How to Grow Herbs Indoors: The Series
Romero:how to grow rosemary indoors
Oregano:Grow oregano indoors
Chives:Growing chives indoors
Lemongrass: Grow lemongrass indoors