CILANTRO, CORIANDER

FAMILY: Apiaceae | GENUS: CORIANDRUM sativum

TYPE
  • Annuals
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

Mediterranean native grows 11 feet high, 9 inches wide. Delicate, parsleylike foliage; flat clusters of pinkish white flowers in summer. Both fresh leaves and seeds are widely used as seasoning. Leaves (usually called cilantro) are popular in salads, salsa, and many cooked dishes; crush the aromatic seeds (called coriander) for use in sausage, beans, stews, baked goods.

Cilantro is taprooted and transplants poorly, so start from seed (including coriander seed sold in grocery stores). Sow in fall in Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South. Elsewhere, sow in early spring. Grow in good, well-drained soil. Cilantro grows and flowers extremely quickly ('Delfino', with finely cut leaves, and 'Calypso' are slower to flower). Keep it coming by succession planting every couple of weeks, and trim flower heads as soon as they appear. Or, sow densely in bands 812 inches wide and use scissors to shear off leaves (almost to the base of the plant). Plants will regrow. You can also sow in pots.

If you are growing cilantro for seeds only, two or three plants is all you need. To collect seeds, pull up whole plants when seed heads begin to turn gray-brown; then put the plants headfirst into bags and shake them, or hang them over paper and let the seeds drop.

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