Different types of coriander and their various tastes and uses in cooking.

Different types of coriander and their various tastes and uses in cooking.

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a versatile herb that is typically used to spruce up various dishes with its unique flavor and aroma. Whether you substitute it for chadon beni or recao, or use it as a garnish in your favorite Mexican or Asian cuisine, you can never go wrong with adding a touch of cilantro to your meals.

Coriander belongs to the Coriandrum genus and is grown for its leaves, seeds, and roots. The yield of cilantro depends on the bolt-resistance of the variety, with some cultivars called culantro that tend to bolt less quickly than others. This is why selecting the right coriander variety is crucial if you want an endless supply of this flavorful herb.

Growing cilantro is relatively easy, although it does require some care. The seeds should be sown directly into the soil, as the root system doesn’t like to be disturbed. Cilantro prefers well-drained soil and at least six hours of sunlight per day for optimal growth. The seedlings should be thinned to around two inches apart to allow for proper air circulation.

In terms of temperature, cilantro prefers cooler weather and can be planted as early as March in colder countries. It thrives in moderate humidity levels, making it ideal for gardens in Europe. Some varieties of cilantro are more tolerant of higher humidity levels, making them suitable for planting in regions with more tropical climates.

When it comes to pests, cilantro is relatively pest-resistant but can be susceptible to black spot disease. To mitigate this, keep the plants well-spaced and provide good air circulation. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests or disease, and address the issue promptly to prevent damage to your crop.

Overwintering cilantro can be a challenge, as it tends to bolt and go to seed quickly in cold weather. However, with proper care and the right cultivars, you can prolong its lifespan and enjoy fresh cilantro year-round.

In conclusion, cilantro (or coriander) is a flavorful and versatile herb that has been used for centuries in various dishes around the world. Whether you’re a veteran gardener or just starting out, incorporating cilantro into your garden can bring a bright and fresh flavor to your meals. With thousands of varieties to choose from, selecting the right cilantro for your climate and taste preferences shouldn’t be a question. So go ahead and plant some cilantro today – your taste buds will thank you!

How to Grow Cilantro Coriander

Growing cilantro coriander is a great way to enhance your culinary plantings. This herb, which belongs to the coriandrum family and is native to Mexico, is known for its versatile taste and uses in various dishes. Whether you love or hate its earthy flavor, cilantro coriander can be a valuable addition to your garden.

When selecting a site for growing cilantro coriander, it’s important to choose a location with full sunlight. This herb thrives in cool weather and tends to bolt in hot conditions, so afternoon shade can help prevent premature flowering. Additionally, cilantro coriander prefers well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.

Once you have chosen the right spot, you can start propagating cilantro coriander. The easiest way to do this is by sowing seeds directly into the soil. Cilantro coriander seeds are suitable for both spring and fall plantings, but if you want a continuous harvest, it’s recommended to sow seeds every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season.

Cilantro coriander seedlings should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart to allow enough room for growth. It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist, as cilantro coriander doesn’t tolerate drought well. Adding organic matter to the soil and using a balanced fertilizer can also promote healthy growth.

Cilantro coriander plants can be harvested when they reach a height of 10+ inches. Both the leaves and the seeds are used in cooking. The leaves, known as cilantro, have a vibrant fragrance and are commonly used fresh in salsas, sauces, and other dishes. The seeds, known as coriander, have a warm and slightly citrusy taste and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

If you want to dry cilantro coriander for later use, simply harvest the plants when they are in full bloom and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place. Once the plants have dried, you can collect the seeds and store them in an airtight container.

While cilantro coriander is an annual plant, it has been known to overwinter in mild climates. To increase its chances of survival, you can provide a protective layer of mulch around the base of the plant. Cilantro coriander also tends to attract beneficial insects, making it a great addition to any garden.

Now that you know how to grow cilantro coriander, it’s time to explore the many culinary uses and health benefits of this popular herb. Whether you use it as a fresh garnish or a flavorful ingredient, cilantro coriander can add a unique touch to your dishes.

Note: Cilantro Coriander is also commonly known as coriander, Chinese parsley, or dhania.

How to Plant Cilantro

Planting cilantro, also known as coriander, is a relatively easy task that can be accomplished by following a few simple steps. Below are some guidelines to help you successfully grow cilantro in your own garden:

  1. Selecting a suitable spot: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Cilantro prefers a partial shade in the afternoon, especially in hotter weather.
  2. Preparing the soil: Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork or spade. Remove any weeds or debris that may hinder growth.
  3. Planting: Sow cilantro seeds directly into the soil, spacing them about 6 inches apart. Alternatively, you can start cilantro indoors in pots and transplant the seedlings outdoors once they are stronger.
  4. Watering: After planting, water the seeds thoroughly and keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Cilantro requires consistent moisture for optimum growth.
  5. Maintaining: Cilantro is a fast-growing herb and has a tendency to bolt (produce flowers) quickly. To prolong the harvest, continually sow cilantro seeds every few weeks. Additionally, regularly pinching off the flower buds can help prevent bolting.
  6. Harvesting: Cilantro leaves can be harvested once the plant reaches about 6 inches in height. Cut the outer leaves first, leaving the inner ones to continue growing. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for later use.
  7. Propagating: Cilantro can be propagated by division or using seedlings. To propagate by division, gently separate the clumps of cilantro plants and replant them in new areas. Seedlings can be transplanted once they have grown to a suitable size.
  8. Pollination: Cilantro flowers attract bees and other pollinators. Allowing some of the plants to flower will help support the local pollinator population, but be aware that once cilantro flowers, its taste may change.
  9. Recommended varieties: Some popular cilantro varieties include ‘Globe’, ‘Slo-bolt’, ‘Moroccan’, and ‘European’. When selecting a variety, consider factors such as taste, flavor, bolt-resistance, and growth habits.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy an endless supply of fresh cilantro in your garden. Whether you use it in Indian or Mexican cuisine, or simply enjoy its aromatic taste in various dishes, cilantro is a herb that is well worth cultivating.

When to Plant

Coriander, also known as cilantro or coriandrum sativum, is a versatile herb that is widely grown for its culinary uses.

In Europe, coriander is mostly known for its leaves, which are commonly used in Indian and other cuisines. The leaves have a distinctive taste that can add a fresh and citrusy flavor to dishes. The seeds of the coriander plant are also edible and have a slightly different taste, with a hint of citrus and spice.

When it comes to planting coriander, it’s important to choose the right time. The ideal planting time depends on the climate and the specific variety of coriander you’re using. In general, coriander is a cool-season crop that prefers moderate temperatures.

If you’re starting coriander from seed, you can plant it directly in the soil in early spring or late summer. Coriander seeds are quick to germinate, usually sprouting in 7 to 10 days. However, if you want to ensure a successful crop, it’s best to start coriander seeds indoors in pots or containers.

Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil properly. Coriander prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. You can improve the soil quality by adding compost or well-rotted manure. The pH level of the soil should be between 6.2 and 6.8 for optimal growth.

When planting coriander seeds, make sure to give them enough space to grow. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and keep them about 3 inches apart. If you’re planting multiple rows, make sure to leave a distance of at least 12 inches between the rows.

In terms of sunlight, coriander prefers a spot with partial shade, especially in hot climates. Too much direct sunlight can cause the plants to bolt, meaning they will flower and produce seeds prematurely. To prevent bolting, you can provide some afternoon shade or plant the coriander near taller plants that can provide some shade.

When it comes to watering, coriander plants require consistent moisture. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods, but make sure not to overwater them, as this can cause the roots to rot. It’s a good idea to water the plants in the morning or early in the day to allow the leaves to dry off before evening.

As the coriander plants grow, you can start harvesting the leaves when they reach about 6 inches in height. Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors, being careful not to damage the stem or other leaves. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for later use.

If you’re planning to harvest coriander seeds, wait until the flowers begin to turn brown and dry out. This usually happens around 3 to 4 months after planting. Cut the entire stalks and place them in a paper bag. Hang the bag in a dry and well-ventilated area to allow the seeds to dry completely. Once dry, shake the bag gently to release the seeds from the pods.

It’s worth noting that not all coriander varieties are the same. Some are bred for specific characteristics, such as bolt-resistance or certain flavors. If you’re a veteran coriander grower, you may already have your favorite varieties. If you’re new to coriander cultivation, it’s a good idea to do some research and choose a variety that suits your needs.

In conclusion, coriander is a versatile herb that can be grown for its leaves and seeds. By choosing the right planting time, providing adequate care, and selecting the appropriate variety, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this flavorful herb.

✿ Read More About Herbs.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.