Many fresh herbs will regrow if you snip a root stem and propagate it in water or directly in soil, and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is no exception. Whether you're growing cilantro from seeds or stem cuttings, it's an easy herb to grow indoors and outdoors.
Growing Cilantro Cuttings in Water
Since cilantro is a plant that grows at a rapid pace, propagating cuttings in water is an easy way to establish roots. Prune off a few healthy-looking stems, trim to about 3 inches long, and remove the lower leaves. These cuttings can be taken from your own cilantro plant or even the fresh herbs you may find at the grocery store.
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Grab a transparent container, like a small glass vase or jar, and fill it with water. Place your cilantro stems in the water and situate the container in bright, indirect sun. When the roots have grown to about 1 inch in length, you can plant the cuttings in a pot filled with moistened, well-drained potting soil.
Growing Cilantro From Seeds
You can also start the plant from coriander seeds. If you confuse cilantro and coriander, you're not alone; however, coriander is essentially cilantro seed. Once the seed develops stems and leaves, it is referred to as cilantro.
To grow cilantro from seed, mix the seeds with sand in a 3-to-1 ratio so they can be evenly dispersed. Then sow the seeds over moistened potting soil, covering them with a thin layer of soil. Mist the seeds and cover the container with a piece of transparent plastic, a ziplock bag, or a plastic dome to trap moisture inside. Keep it in a place with no bright or direct light.
Water the seeds regularly, as needed, making sure the soil stays moist but not flooded. Once you see the seeds begin to sprout, in approximately seven to 10 days, remove the plastic covering and move the pot to a sunny location. Cilantro matures in 45 to 70 days following seeding.
Cilantro has a long tap root and doesn't like to be transplanted, so once it's growing in a container or in your garden, your best bet is to start more cilantro in another location rather than attempting to transplant established plants.
Growing Cilantro Outside
If indoor space is limited, cilantro can also thrive in an outdoor herb garden. Start seeds every few weeks to ensure a bountiful supply of cilantro all season long. Plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep in well-drained soil in a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. Once the seedlings sprout, thin the plants to at least 4 inches apart to encourage the development of strong, healthy root systems.
Cilantro plants can reach a height of about 2 to 2 1/2 feet if their growing requirements are met. They tend to be gangly looking and sparsely leaved when they get this tall, but you can pinch the growing tips to encourage fuller, bushier growth. Water your plants when the top inch of the soil is dry, but avoid overwatering, which may drown the plants. If your area is very hot or has harsh afternoon sunlight, consider shielding the plants during this time so their leaves don't burn.