Common name: Coriander
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. It has green and cut leaves, as well as small white flowers grouped in umbels. Coriander is grown for its leaves, which are used in cooking for their fresh, lemony aroma, and for its seeds, which are used as a spice.
Cilantro prefers temperate to warm climates, but can be grown in a wide variety of regions. It needs partial to full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. It can tolerate a slight drought, but the cilantro crop thrives best with regular watering.
Coriander seeds can be sown directly in the ground in the spring, when all danger of frost has passed. They can also be started indoors a few weeks before the last frost date and then transplanted. For a good culture of coriander sow the seeds at a depth of about 1 to 2 centimeters and space them about 15 to 20 centimeters.
Cilantro requires little maintenance. Be sure to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Remove weeds that may outcompete the plant for nutrients and space. Cilantro is generally disease and pest resistant, but watch for signs of infestation and act quickly if necessary.
Coriander leaves can be harvested about 8 to 10 weeks after sowing, when the plant has reached a height of about 15 to 20 centimeters. You can harvest the leaves as you need them by cutting the stems near the base. Coriander seeds can be harvested when the flowers start to dry out and turn brown. Cut the umbels and let them dry in a warm, dry place. Once dry, shake the umbels to release the seeds.
Diseases and pests:
Cilantro is generally disease and pest resistant, but it can be prone to infestation by aphids or mites. If you see signs of infestation, you can use natural solutions like a mixture of water and insecticidal soap to control the pests.
Coriander propagates mainly by seed. Seeds can be harvested and used to sow new plants. Sow fresh seeds in spring or fall to get new plants.
To take full advantage of cilantro, you can plant it several times per season, as it tends to bolt quickly, making the leaves less flavorful. To extend the harvest of leaves, make staggered sowing every two to three weeks.
Additionally, cilantro can be grown in pots or planters, which is ideal for small spaces or for those who prefer to keep it close at hand in the kitchen. Be sure to use quality potting soil and a pot with good drainage.
Cilantro is often used in Asian, Mexican, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. You can add it fresh in salads, soups, meat and fish dishes, as well as in sauces and marinades. Coriander seeds can be used whole or ground to add flavor to dishes.
Remember that cilantro is an annual herb, which means it completes its life cycle in a single season. Be sure to collect seeds for your future sowings and enjoy this wonderful aromatic plant throughout the growing season.
By following these cilantro growing tips, you will be able to successfully grow your own cilantro and add a fresh, citrusy flavor to your favorite dishes. Enjoy this versatile herb in your garden or on your balcony!