My Kitchen Garden

How To Grow Coriander : Growing Cilantro In Pots

Coriander, also known as dhania, cilantro or Chinese parsley is a herb in the family Apiaceae. It is an annual fast growing herb with feathery leaves and large white umbrella flower heads.

Growing coriander or cilantro in pots or garden is easy starting from seeds if you instructions including plant's care, fertilization and harvesting.

It grows to a height of 50 cm. Its leaves are broadly lobed when young and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems when the plant flowers.

All parts of the coriander plant- leaves, seeds and roots are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are mostly used in cooking. The roots have a more intense flavour than the leaves and are commonly used in Thai dishes like soups and curry pastes.

One herb, two names! Cilantro or Coriander?
Is there any difference between coriander and cilantro? Cilantro and coriander are the two names of the same herb Coriandrum Sativum.

In some countries, the fresh leaves are known as cilantro and the seeds are called the coriander, while in some countries like India, the name coriander (dhania) refers to fresh leaves and the seeds as well. Some calls coriander and Chinese parsley. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander.

Growing Coriander From Seeds

Coriander grows well in pots or in garden beds. A pot of size about 25 cm is adequate. The advantage of growing coriander in a pot is that the pot can easily be shifted in sun or indoors. Also the pot can be placed in the kitchen to have easy access to cilantro.

Position and Soil for growing coriander

Coriander grows better during autumn, winter and spring, although it is also
grown during summer but the plants change quickly to seeds known as ‘bolting to seed’.

If you have very hot weather, grow your cilantro plants in partial shade. In cooler places, grow the plants in full sun.

Coriander Seeds
Coriander Seeds

Coriander Leaves
Coriander Leaves

Coriander Flowers
Coriander Flowers

Young Coriander Seeds growing on plant
Young Coriander Seeds

Matured Coriander Seeds on plant
Matured Coriander Seeds


  1. Soil: Plant in a freely draining rich soil. Add some cow manure in the soil before planting. Read on how to prepare garden soil.
  2. Seeds or Seedlings: Coriander is grown directly from seeds, as it does not grow well if transplanted. However, seedlings are sold at most garden centres. Buy the smallest seedlings, rather than big ones. Separate the seedlings and plant them spaced 20 cm apart.
  3. Sow about 1 cm deep, cover the seeds with soil, and keep damp. You can spread the seeds and rake in the soil. Apply mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
  4. It is important to keep the seeds moist during their germination. The seeds take about two to three weeks to germinate.
  5. I generally sow the seeds in rows for easy harvesting.
  6. If you buy cilantro from a nursery in a pot, don't re-pot the seedlings. Just use the leaves in your dishes and harvest the seeds for next season.

General Care For Coriander Plants

  1. Mulch the plants to prevent the weeds from growing.
  2. Water the plants regularly.
  3. If you have sown the seeds by spreading the seeds in the soil, then thin the seedlings to about 15 cm apart.
  4. Watering: Do not overwater the plants, just keep them moist. It is important to ensure that the cilantro plants never dry out. Otherwise, they will bolt and grow  flowers prematurely.
  5. Fertilizer: No fertilization is required, although some dilute liquid nitrogen fertilizer like fish emulsion can be given every third week.
  6. I sow cilantro every few weeks during the growing season so that I can have a continuous supply of coriander leaves fresh from the garden for a longer period of time. 
  7. Coriander has a habit of bolting to seed if the weather turns from hot to cold or cold to hot. There are several ways to grow strong and healthy coriander without bolting to seed.
    1. Choose the seeds or plants that are labelled as slow bolt. 
    2. Sow the plants directly from the seeds. This is a very fast and inexpensive process.
    3. If you buy your coriander seedlings, then select very young plants, just a few centimetres tall so that they are more likely to be transplanted successfully. Growing seedlings


Coriander plants do not have any pest and disease problems. Sometimes, aphids, mildew, leaf hoppers and fungal wilt can be a problem. The insects can be controlled by washing with an insecticidal soap solution.

Harvesting Coriander

  1. Coriander Dhania should be harvested often by taking the outside leaves from the base of the plant. The best flavour comes from the younger leaves.  
  2. I snip off as many coriander leaves as I need, they will regrow quickly. 
  3. After sometime, the plants will start flowering. Once they start developing flower stalks, they stop making more leaves. I therefore chop the branches which are starting to flower. This way the plants go bit longer. 
  4. When the plants flower, I stop harvesting the leaves and leave the flowers alone to set seeds. When the seeds become dry, I store them for sowing in the next season.
  5. However, the cilantro grows itself in the next season because many seeds that fall on the ground get germinated.


Ravi PP May 27, 2015 5:23 PM

Beautiful discription; it relly helps, thanks !!

Anonymous July 22, 2016 8:46 PM

I'm so glad I chanced upon this website. I'm a novice and you give great advice. Hope to put it to good use and start a herb garden in my balcony.

mohan1948 July 31, 2016 4:40 PM

Good guidance. Vermicompost used around forty days gives excellent foliage. Mag. Sulph. About 200 ppm is also useful when sprayed a month after sowing

Nancy July 30, 2017 11:23 PM

Please let me know how much time does it takes to grow cilantro or coriander?

P. Mehta August 08, 2017 7:38 AM

The coriander leaves can be harvested quite early, in 4 weeks or less. You can cut out the leaves as they grow a bit longer.

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