Are you planning to grow cilantro indoors?
Did you know that you can do it?
Get to know how you can grow cilantro indoors and how you can harvest them and use them as ingredients is ideal, for you to make the most out of them.
Cilantro is also known as the coriander and one of the common plant in indoor herb gardens. The reason behind this is because they can be grown quickly.
A cilantro looks like that of a parsley simply because it is part of the parsley family. It is an annual plant, which only means that you need to grow another plant once the cilantro matures or starts to seed.
You can easily access the herb if you start growing cilantro indoors. For people who don’t know, a fresh cilantro has a pungent flavor, compared to dried cilantro.
Another good thing about planting them indoors is the design that it adds to your interiors while it is growing.
The first thing that you need to do is to purchase your cilantro seed packets in the supermarkets, nurseries or any garden shops. This is of course if you want to start from scratch.
If not, then you can purchase a starter cilantro pot, which has already germinated and developed a root. This is by far the fastest way that you can grow your cilantro indoors.
If you purchase a starter pot, then you should expect your plant to be 2 to 3 inches in height, and they need to be healthy.
A pot or a container that is 6 inches in width will help you plant the cilantro seeds that you have. You may say that your pot or container may be too big, but it is not. The width will help your cilantro to have plenty of rooms to grow healthily.
There are different pots today, but the best would be the Terra-cotta pots since it provides excellent ventilation and will help the soil to avoid becoming moldy or waterlogged.
For containers, you can use mason jars or cans depending on your preferences. Just make sure that the container will have a proper drainage.
Once you have the pot or container, you need to make sure that they have drainage holes. If there are none, then you can create them yourself by drilling a small hole.
After drilling the hole, fill the bottom with glass gems, pebbles, or rocks, as these things will help drain the water. The reason why proper drainage is important is that the water that won’t drain will cause for the roots to start rotting.
The best soil to use is the one with perlite or vermiculite as this is known to drain water better. There are also gardeners who are recommending getting a soil that is meant for vegetables as it can help produce healthier and bigger leaves.
It would be nice to plant a lot of seeds all at ones, but it is best just to sprinkle a few to avoid overcrowding your pot. But remember to avoid sprinkling only a little because there are chances that not all the seeds will sprout. Once you are done sprinkling, you can add a thin layer of soil to cover them up.
Whether you are using a pot or a container, it would be best to position it to a place that is sunny. You also need to water the cilantro but with just enough water to let the soil be damp. Avoid soaking them as this can cause problems.
Of course, just like any other herbs, cilantro is also vulnerable to diseases and parasites, including mildew, aphids, leaf hoppers, and fungal wilt. The good news is, controlling insects is easy since all you have to do is to use an insecticide soap the moment you start seeing them under the cilantro leaves.
You also need to clean the surroundings and the debris on the plant to avoid mildew and wilt. You can try cleaning it every single day to ensure that there will be no reason for your plant to get mildew and any other types of diseases and pests.
It is best to collect your cilantro once they reach at least 6 inches in height. This is the time where the leaves are tender and less bitter.
You can include the leaves and the stems since all the parts of cilantro are edible, but you should know that the stems are more pungent than the cilantro's leaves.
Let the cilantro plant bloom and start sprouting. In most cases, there will be more seeds in each of the head, and you need to make sure that you are harvesting something that is brown in color.
This color will tell you that the cilantro has reached the stage where it is finally ready for harvesting.
Before using the harvested seeds, it would be best to dry them first. You can do this in an oven at the lowest possible temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Always remember that they need to be dried only and not roasted as this will only make the seed dense to the touch. You can store them in a paper instead of a plastic bag until you are ready to use them.
Cilantro seeds can be flavorful when they are freshly cut. For you to be able to use this as an ingredient, you can use a pestle and mortar to gently mash the cilantro seeds and create a fine powder out of it.
There are recipes where the whole cilantro seeds are used, including fish, poultry, and meats. Powdered cilantro seeds are often used in dessert, cakes, bread, and sauced.
When storing cilantro leaves, it would be best to dry or freeze them depending on your preferences. When drying them, you can hang the cilantro plant in a place that is warm until it gets fully dry.
Once done, you can store the leaves in a container or a resealable bag. You can also freeze them by storing the leaves in a container or a resealable bag and place it in the freezer.
You can save the cilantro seeds once they turn brown in a paper bag. You can then hang the bag till the plant starts to dry and when the seeds start to fall. Once the seeds fall off, you can then store them in a container that is tightly sealed.
Everything that you need to know about growing cilantro indoors and harvesting them are mentioned above. All you have to do now is to start deciding whether you are going to get a seed or a starter pot.
Follow the tips above, and you will surely be able to have a full grown and healthy cilantro ready at the comfort of your home.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.