3 Ways to grow coriander
The coriander herb (or cilantro) is one of the most popular herbs in the world – used in many different recipes.
But if you grow coriander indoors you will need to decide how you want to use it. Because all parts are edible but your growing technique will be different.
With coriander you can:
- Grow coriander for it’s leaves – for example when cooking Chinese stir-fry, Mexican Salsa, etc.
- Grow coriander for it’s seeds – for example Indian curries, German Sausages, etc.
- Grow coriander for it’s roots – for example Thai soups, etc.
In this article we will cover:
- 3 Ways to grow coriander indoors
- How to select your growing method
- How to prepare coriander
How to grow coriander indoors
Coriander is quite easy to grow and you can use
But there is a difference in the way you grow them, depending on which of the above method you use and the type of results you want.
Method 1 – Growing Coriander for it’s leaves.
If you want to grow coriander indoors from seed using soil (i.e. in a pot) then all you do is.
- Sow the seeds thinly in a pot
- Cover the seeds with 6mm sieved compost
- The seed will germinates in 7 to 14 days
- The thin the seedlings 23 to 30cm apart
Make sure you place the pot on a window sill, terrace or balcony in a sunny position, ideally with some shade during the hottest part of day.
Using hydroponics or aquaponics
Alternatively coriander is an ideal herb to use in your hydroponic or aquaponic system.
All you do is:
- Sow your seeds in rockwool planting cubes
- Make sure you keep them moist
- When they start to germinate put the cubes in your hydroponic or aquaponic system
- And then grow as above, making sure you provide light 12 hours per day.
Either way if you want to use the coriander for it’s leaves then you will be able to use the leaves in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Method 2 – Growing Coriander for it’s seed
If you want to grow coriander for it seed then you will need to get the plant to bolt i.e. flower so you generate seeds.
If you are growing your plant in soil then the easy way to get them to bolt is to transplant the young plants, as the stress will cause them to bolt.
Or if you are using hydroponics or aquaponics is to
- Use the same method as above
- But simply replant the young plants when moving them to your hydroponic or aquaponic system
- As the shock will cause them to bolt (flower)
Method 3 – Growing Coriander for it’s Roots
The roots taste great – but only the newer younger roots – large roots from older plants are not very nice (tough and bitter). Which is why hydroponic or aquaponic will be great when growing coriander for it’s roots.
Three Ways to Grow Coriander at home
How to select your coriander growing method / typical recipes & usage
As mentioned above how you grow coriander will depend on how you want to use it.
Growing coriander for it’s leaves
This is probably the most popular method when growing coriander indoors.
Coriander leaves have a very distinctive lemon & lime taste which (when added to recipes or salads) provide a real flavour.
If you want to grow coriander for it’s leaves then there are 3 varieties you can use:
- Leaf Coriander – If you live in the UK, Europe or USA most of the coriander (cilantro) seeds sold will be ‘leaf coriander’. With the leaves looking a bit like parsley with flat, delicately toothed leaves. Simply grow as per above.
- Vietnamese Coriander –If you are purely growing the coriander for it’s leaves then Vietnamese coriander might be a better choice as it is less likely to bolt and will be easier to grow for it’s leaves. However, do note that the leaves look slighly differently but have the same flavour.
- Spiny Coriander – The seeds might be more difficult to find but the usage is the same as above – with the advantage of that it will grow in more shady locations. (Needs less sun)
Growing coriander for it’s seed
Coriander seeds are great for many recipes -and just follow the advice above on how to get your coriander to bolts.
If you want to grow coriander for seed then avoid Vietnames Coriander as well as varieties like Jantar or ‘Slow-Bolt’ seeds. But instead try varieties like Santos.
Growing coriander for its roots
If you like the taste of coriander than you will love it’s roots – which have a much more intense flavour than the leaves.
How to Prepare Coriander
If you are growing coriander for it’s leaves then the first stage will be to harvest the coriander. The video below shows how.
Next you will be using the coriander in your recipes. The video shows how to cut coriander.
As the video’s show harvesting and chopping coriander leaves is pretty straightforward and obvious.
If you want to harvest the coriander seeds then use the methods described earlier to get your coriander to bolt. Then simply
- Wait for until the plant turns brown,
- Then hang it upside down by its stem
- And tie a paper bag to the stem to catch seeds.
After a few days, all of the seeds will have fallen to the bottom. The video provides more details
The next stage will be to get them ready for use in the kitchen:
Hopefully our guide showing how to grow coriander indoors has helped.