Question: Can You Grow Cilantro/Coriander in a Pot?
Cilantro, like most herbs, perform very well grown in pots, which mean that you can grow this herb indoors all year long.
Choose a pot that is at least 10-12” wide and as least as deep. Fill the pot with a fast-draining potting soil. Before adding the seeds, moisten the soil with a spray bottle filled with water. Sow the seeds and cover ¼”- ½ ” with soil.
Place the pot in a sunny windowsill but make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Cilantro/coriander will flower and bolt if the roots reach 75°F.
Mist the soil and germinating plants lightly to keep the soil moist. Do not overwater. Cilantro/coriander does not tolerate wet conditions well.
Germination will begin in 7-10 days. Evenly thin the plants. A 12-inch pot should contain no more than 8-10 plants that are evenly distributed throughout the container.
Harvest cilantro leaves when the plant is 6” tall and at least once per week to keep them coming.
If You Want an Even Distribution of Both Cilantro and Coriander
The above directions should give you an even distribution of both cilantro and coriander.
If You Primarily Want to Harvest Cilantro
If you are not interested in harvesting coriander, the trick to primarily growing cilantro leaves is to never let the plant mature. This can be accomplished by growing the plants more like lettuce. First, use a container that is long, shallow, and wide. Prepare the soil as you would normally.
The seeds can be sown more thickly because the goal is to keep them immature. As soon as the germinating plants reach 4” and have at least 3-5 leaves, you should begin cutting a few leaves from a small section of your container at a time. Rotate your cuttings so that there is always a section ready for cutting. Always choose first areas that are beginning to mature.
If You Primarily Want to Harvest Coriander
In the case of planting cilantro plants primarily to harvest coriander, you will want to plant as normal but will keep the plant as warm as possible to allow the soil and roots to reach 75°F, which will cause the plant to bolt faster. As soon as it has gone to seed and you have harvested your seeds, repeat throughout the season.
Several Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Transplant Cilantro
What you do not want to do is to grow cilantro in a pot to transplant. First, cilantro plants germinate and grow very quickly and do well when seeds are sown directly into the garden.
Another reason is that in many cases, the purchased pots from the local nursery have reached temperatures over 75°F, which means they will very quickly flower and bolt so unless you are specifically attempting to harvest coriander seeds quickly, this option isn’t great. Also, the taproot of the cilantro plant is extremely sensitive and when disturbed, such as attempting to transplant it from a pot to the garden, will cause damage to the plant.