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CORIANDER/CILANTRO


  How To Grow Coriander/Cilantro


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Coriandrum sativum
ZONE / HARDINESS: Annual - not applicable
MATURE PLANT SIZE: 12 to 36 inches high x 6 to 8 inches wide
LIGHT: Sunny, sheltered location
FLOWERING PERIOD: June to August
KNOWN PESTS: None
KNOWN DISEASES: None


OVERVIEW:

Cilantro/Coriander is the most difficult herb to grow because it is so short lived. Try growing in early spring or fall when the weather is cooler and you'll have greater success.

The leaves are used extensively in Chinese and Indian cookery. They are great chopped and added to salads or used in homemade salad dressing.

Sow seeds directly in the garden 1/2 inch deep and 5-8 inches apart after all danger of frost has passed. Does not transplant well. Weeding or mulching coriander is important early in the season. Do not overfertilize; too much nitrogen in the soil produces a less flavorful plant. Harvest coriander as soon as the leaves and flowers turn brown and before the seeds begin to scatter. Cut the whole plant and hang to dry. Seeds should be dried and then stored in a sealed jar. When harvesting fresh leaves cut only the small immature leaves for best flavor. Dried leaves store poorly, but can be frozen.


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Sow seeds directly in the garden 1/2 inch deep and 5-8 inches apart after all danger of frost has passed. Does not transplant well.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Grown near anise, coriander helps the seeds germinate, but grown near fennel, it hinders germination. It grows well with chervil. Honey bees are attracted to the flowers.


CARE & GROWING:

Protect the young plants from prevailing winds by planting seeds in a sunny, sheltered location. Work the soil until fine and crumbly, adding a little lime if the soil is too acidic. Sow the seeds in April or May in 1/2-inch-deep drills. Cover, pack the soil down, and keep it moist until seedlings appear. In hot, dry weather, water regularly in late afternoon or evening. As the plants grow, they may need to be staked or supported.


HARVESTING:

Cut the whole plant and hang to dry. Seeds should be dried and then stored in a sealed jar. When harvesting fresh leaves cut only the small immature leaves for best flavor. Dried leaves store poorly, but can be frozen


USAGE:

Aromatic, culinary, decorative, and medicinal. Ripe seeds have a pleasant citrus scent and can be used in potpourris. The leaves, seeds, and roots are used in cooking salsas and curries or as a garnish. Coriander combines well with onion, sausage, clams, oysters, and potatoes. Whole ground seeds are used in salad dressing, cheese, eggs, chili sauces, and guacamole. The plant can be grown in containers as an ornamental. It is said to have some medicinal qualities.












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Cilantro is a cool weather loving herb and a lacy looking annual whose leaves are used in Mexican and Asian cooking. The seeds are the spice known as coriander.






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