When I was a child, my mom told me I shouldn’t eat too much coriander because she thought it’s harmful for the brain.
Today, studies have shown that coriander can actually protect the brain (sorry mom).
Not only that, but cilantro can also protect your heart, skin, and gut health.
To get all the benefits of this herb, you must consume it fresh.
The best way of achieving that is by growing your own coriander at home.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about growing coriander in pots!
Growing Conditions of Potted Coriander
Coriander can tolerate many soils, but it grows best in a fast-draining growing medium.
The potting soil you’re using must also be rich in nutrients.
Keep in mind there are a lot of cheap brands of potting soil out there that are full of pests and weeds.
So, always use premium brands of potting soil for your herbs.
I recommend the popular Foxfarm potting soil for your potted coriander.
Foxfarm soil is well-drained, rich, and pH balanced.
It also has a very strong texture that doesn’t break down over time.
You should water coriander moderately.
Avoid over-watering your coriander plants but also don’t underwater them.
Water your potted coriander plants whenever the soil becomes dry.
Keep in mind that if your coriander plants become too dry, they might bolt.
In hot weather, you might need to water the plant few times per day.
Be consistent with how often you water your coriander. Don’t change your watering schedule too many times.
Coriander can easily bolt under stressful conditions such as hot weather.
Bolting is the process by the which the plant produces seeds prematurely.
There are many ways to prevent bolting of your coriander (you check them here), but the best way is to keep the temperature under control.
Although coriander prefers warm climates, it’s actually very resistant to cold weather.
Studies have shown that the roots of coriander plants can withstand frosty conditions (down to -10°C).
The light conditions of coriander depend on the climate.
If the weather is too hot, grow the plant in partial shade (3-6 hours of sunlight per day at maximum) to prevent it from bolting.
Otherwise, the plant would thrive in full sun (6-8 hours of sunlight per day).
In case you’re growing cilantro indoors, you can use artificial light to supplement natural light.
If you want to increase the yield of your potted cilantro plants, you need to use some fertilizers.
Use organic fertilizers instead of synthetic ones to keep the soil healthy.
Coriander needs fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. (Check the best fertilizers for herbs).
When your coriander plants are fully established, feed them less often to prevent them from bolting.
Important Tips for Growing Coriander in Pots
Make sure your coriander plants are growing containers that have good drainage.
If your coriander’s pot traps too much water, it can suffocate and eventually kill the plant.
The container should also be at least 10 inches deep and 20 inches wide to allow the roots to grow freely.
Pruning your coriander regularly is very important.
Cutting back your coriander would slow its bolting and promote fresh growth.
Also, pruning prevents the overcrowdedness of stems and leaves. This makes the plant less susceptible to pests and diseases.
As soon as the plant becomes 4 to 6 inches tall, you can start pruning it.
Use sharp scissors to cut back at least half an inch (1 cm) of the most established stems.
If you can’t prune your coriander regularly, at least cut back the flowering stems as soon as they appear on the plant.
By pruning the plant, you’re technically also harvesting it.
Every time you prune your coriander, you’ll end up with a decent amount of leaves that you can store in the fridge.
You can also harvest your coriander on demand whenever you need to season or garnish a dish.
The most likely diseases to affect coriander are leaf spot, powdery mildew, and stem rot.
Those diseases are usually caused by fungal or bacterial organisms.
To prevent leaf spot, make sure that the air is circulating properly in the space where your coriander plants are growing.
Powdery mildew can also be prevented by proper air circulation in addition to proper spacing between plants and proper pruning.
Finally, you can prevent stem rot by not watering the soil too much and keeping the temperature under control.
Propagating Coriander (from Seed)
Propagating coriander from seed is the best way to grow the plant.
You need to make sure that the seeds you’re using are no more than two years old.
Coriander seeds are tiny, so to make it easier for you to disperse and sow them, mix them with sand.
Coriander dislikes transplanting so you should sow the seeds in their permanent containers.
Sow the seeds at least ¼ inch (1/2 cm) deep in the soil.
Gently water the soil so you don’t damage the seedlings.
Keep the soil moist but not too wet.
The optimal temperature for coriander seeds germination is around 65–68°F (18–20°C).
It’s important to place the seeds in a well-ventilated place to prevent damping off.
Provided the right conditions, coriander seeds need around 1 to 3 weeks to germinate.
After that, they will need a lot of light and water to grow.
Coriander seedlings need more water than adult plants.
You can boost the growth of coriander seedlings using liquid organic fertilizers.
Propagating Coriander from Cuttings
You can also grow your coriander from cuttings if you already have an established plant.
Cut a coriander stem that is at least 5 inches tall and immerse it in a glass of water.
Keep the glass away from direct sunlight and change the water every other day.
After a few weeks, you’ll have a fully rooted coriander cutting.
Transplanting the cutting is challenging because it may die due to shock.
So, harden off the cutting as you transplant it to its permanent home.
You can do that by keeping it in the dark for one to two days and protecting it from harsh weather.
Coriander is considered as an easy-growing plant.
So, don’t hesitate to start growing it.
And make sure to consume it regularly to get all of its medicinal benefits.
Enjoy growing coriander and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!