Growing Coriander In Containers (Cilantro)

Growing Coriander In Containers:

The following article is all about Growing Coriander in Containers.

Introduction to Coriander 

Coriander is an herb that comes from the family of Apiaceae. Its botanical name is Coriandrum Sativum and the common name is cilantro.

Now you may doubt, what is the difference between cilantro and coriander?

Fresh leaves of the plant are called cilantro and seeds are called coriander seeds. And in some countries of Asia, the name coriander refers to both leaves and seeds as well.

It would be a great idea to have fresh coriander growing in our terrace or corridor next to the kitchen. Growing coriander is not that difficult, coriander yields a fast crop; plants barely up before they try to flower and set seeds. These tasty leaves with wonderful aromas aren’t around long, especially in warm weather. Coriander plants prefer full sun, low humidity, and fertile, well-drained soil with pH levels ranging from 6.2 to 6.8.

All parts of coriander are used in cooking and medication. The leaves used in many dishes and salads. Coriander seeds used in both sweets and savory dishes.  There are several varieties of coriander, one is grown in garden centers grown for its dark green foliage and good aroma, and in some cases, is a slow bolt strain making it longer lasting.  Slow bolt coriander will grow up to 60 centimeters tall. There are also varieties grown just to harvest the seed for cooking as they have less leaf and will bolt very quickly to produce flower heads.

Coriander plantations can be planted in spring or fall. If you grow coriander over the summer, you can still expect to harvest a few leaves, but the growth of leaves slows down as the plant’s flower and produce seeds. If you plant seeds in high summer, you can produce coriander in as little as four to six weeks.

You can grow coriander by directly planting the seeds into the soil or can use seed germinating trays to pop the leaves from the seeds. But should be careful while transplanting as these coriander plants are very delicate.

To get leaves regular, you can sow seeds every two to three- weeks. You can sow seeds thickly in a wide, or shallow container; as soon as plants are 3 to 4 inches tall and sporting a couple of cuttable leaves, use scissors to cut off some foliage for cooking as shown.

Growing Coriander in Containers from Seed

Coriander Seeds.
Coriander Seeds.
  • Coriander seeds are a fruit that containers two seeds in them. Each seed will grow into a coriander plant. This seed can be sown directly or can be split and sown. When the seeds are split and sown the chances of germination are high.
  • Coriander is split with a hard surface and sown. You can even sow the whole seed.

Varieties of Coriander plants for growing coriander in containers

  • Lemon: This variety is grown for its leaves and seeds.
  • Leafy Leisure: This variety is grown for its citrus-flavored leaves

Choosing Containers for growing Coriander in Containers

  • Coriander is the best plant to grow in containers, Coriander plant doesn’t transplant well.  So chooses the containers that are big to grow many plants. It best to use trays or tubs to grow them, as the soil surface is more in tubs so that you can grow more rows of plants.
  • Many people choose shallow containers for growing corianders but these plants need pots that are deep and wide. For growing coriander in pots, choose the container 18 inches wide and at least 10-12 inches deep.
  • Containers should be moved around to get the maximum lighting.

Problems in Germination of Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are germinated easily. You just have spread them in the ground and they will be germinated in a week. But there will be some problems with germinated coriander seeds. Due to the following reasons:

  • Seeds don’t germinate due to poor seed quality.
  • Check the seeds, as some seeds are not for sowing.
  • If seeds are old or expired they don’t germinate.

How to Sow Coriander Seeds when you are growing Coriander in Containers?

  • Coriander seeds are sown directly.
  • Plant the seeds in a freely draining rich soil.
  • Planting and sowing should be done at a time.
  • Take the tray to fill it with potting mix to half an inch from the top. Make rows by drawing a line with the stick. Leave at least a 10cm gap between the plants and make sure that every plant enough sunlight.
  • Now plant the seeds in the rows about 1 cm deep and cover the seeds with coco peat and keep damp.
  • Sow for every three or four weeks for a constant supply of leaves.
  • Water it as required.
  • Move container where it gets good lighting.
  • Coriander seeds are usually very fast in germinating. Coriander seeds germinate somewhere between 5 to 7 days.

Steps to be taken Post Germination for growing Coriander in Containers

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Growing Coriander in Backyard.
Growing Coriander in Backyard.
  • Once seeds start germinating, make sure that they get good sunlight that makes leaves healthy.
  • If seeds are sown thickly, they should be watered thoroughly.
  • If there are more leaves in the container, water in the container will be lost through transpiration. So, you need to keep up with them.
  • If you want to trim them or remove some plants, cut the stems with scissors or a knife, don’t pull them out as they will bring the adjacent plant up with them.
  • Coriander plants are harvested at the 4th week of planting, even earlier also recommended.
  • Once the plants start growing, you should take care of pests and diseases.

How to Care the Coriander plants in the Container

  • You should keep the soil and compost damp. Insufficient water can cause the plant to bolt.
  • Avoid overwatering of plants.
  • It is recommended to feed to plants occasionally with the liquid feed of a balanced fertilizer for healthy leaves.
  • Weeding should be done regularly for good seed production.

The Sunlight requirement for growing Coriander in Containers

Coriander grows well with a good amount of sunshine. During the germination, the seeds will require a good amount of sunlight only for a couple of hours every day but once they start germinating, they will need 5 to 6 hours of bright light.

The Temperature requirement for growing Coriander in Containers

Coriander is a sensitive plant, it cannot resist extreme temperatures either cool or hot. In cool winter or hot summer, the coriander plants bolt soon. An ideal temperature of 25 degrees Celsius is best for coriander seeds to germinate and grow.

The Watering requirement for growing Coriander in Containers

  • You should water the seeds after sowing thoroughly till they germinate.
  • After germinating water, the plants only when they require.
  • Make sure that the water doesn’t stand for long hours which can damage the roots of the plant.

Bolting in Coriander plants:

What is Bolting?

Bolting is the formation of the flowering stalk to initiate flowering of the plant to produce seeds and reproduce.  Bolting is a survival mechanism of the plants when it is presented with conditions that are not suitable for their growth.  Bolting is a common problem when plants bolt prematurely.  Bolting has a great impact on production or harvest in a big way.

What are the Main Causes of Bolting

Bolting is a very natural process in plants which not a big issue.  Plant bold at the start of its flowering cycle. In the case of coriander, we don’t use flowers, we use only leaves. So, when the coriander plant bolts the leaf size becomes small.  So, you should harvest before they start bolting. But premature bolting is a big problem.  Premature bolting is caused due to stress, stress in the plants can create many problems.

  • Coriander plants have grown well in warm weather, and high temperatures can cause bolting. So high temperatures cause premature bolting, so keep your container in shade.
  • Poor watering can cause bolting in coriander plants. So make sure the soil in the container gets a sufficient amount of water.
  • Another main problem with bolting is poor quality soil. You should always use a good quality potting mix and should have the right proportion of peat and manure. The potting mix should drain well and not stagnate water.
  • Insufficient nutrition in the plants can cause bolting in plants. You should feed plants with a good quality potting mix is the best way to give them good nutrients for the plants.
  • Use a normal fertilizer or a hydroponic blend to feed the plants.

Pest Control Steps for growing Coriander in Containers 

Coriander plants are affected by tiny bugs or aphids when it starts growing. Coriander plants are generally affected by aphids, mildew, leafhoppers, and spider mites. There both pests are controlled by preventive sprays of neem oil with some emulsifier. Or can also be controlled by washing with insecticidal soap.

Harvesting in growing Coriander in Containers

Harvesting Coriander.
Harvesting Coriander.
  • In about 20 to 30 days coriander leaves will be ready to harvest.
  • If you delay in harvesting, you can spot yellow color flowers a coriander seed sprouts.
  • If plants are grown for seeds, they are allowed grown-up for long stalks with white flowers followed by small size seeds.
  • These seeds should be picked when they are ripe and cut entire stems and allow to dry on paper.
  • Once they get dried store them in containers.

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