How to Care for a Cilantro Plant

Henry A Castillo

November 23, 2022

close up of a green cilantro plant

Cilantro is a Mediterranean annual herb with bright green, serrated leaves that can grow to about 2 feet high. It’s also known as coriander, Chinese parsley and Mexican parsley. Like many other herbs, cilantro can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Cilantro plants are relatively easy to grow from seed but require several months before they produce flowers and seeds so patience is required when growing them yourself. The plant requires full sun in order to thrive; however, it can tolerate partial shade during its first year of growth. We’ll go over some key things to grow and care for a cilantro plant.


Cilantro is a Mediterranean annual herb with bright green, serrated leaves that can grow to about 2 feet high.

Coriander is an herb native to western Asia and southern Europe. It is also known as Chinese parsley or dhania (in Hindi). The name coriander derives from the Greek word koris meaning bedbug. This may be due to the smell of crushed coriander which resembles that of bugs or it could refer to its use as an insecticide in medieval times when people used dried coriander seeds instead of commercial insecticides.


Mildly acidic soil with a pH level between 6 and 6.5 is ideal for cilantro plants.

The ideal soil pH for cilantro plants is between 6.0 and 6.5, but you can grow them in slightly acidic soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. The best way to determine the current soil’s pH level is by using a soil test kit; these are available from many garden centers and hardware stores and are generally inexpensive (approximately $10). If your cilantro plant’s roots begin exhibiting signs of nutrient deficiency such as yellowing leaves or poor growth, it may mean that your soil’s pH level is too high or low—a common problem when growing herbs in pots indoors where there isn’t much sun exposure to help naturally lower the pH level over time.

If your potting mix contains both peat moss and perlite (or another type of lightweight material), then adjust its water content so that it has about 30 percent more moisture than usual before placing it back into its container after the transplantation process is complete; this will allow any excess minerals from the old potting mix to settle at the bottom before being mixed into new soil upon re-potting while still allowing time for new roots to develop on top before they’re exposed again later on down below where they’re more vulnerable against insects like thrips which feed off nutrients found within leaf tissue itself rather than just surrounding areas only accessible through direct contact as some other pests do like spider mites do.


Water cilantro deeply once or twice a week depending on the weather and your climate.

Watering cilantro is important because your plants will not grow well if they don’t have enough water. How much water to give your cilantro plant depends on the climate, soil type and weather in your area. If you’re growing a cilantro plant in a dry climate or sandy soil, you may need to water deeply once a week or even twice a week. If the soil is more moist and fertile, you can skip watering every few days and just give it some supplemental water when it looks like it needs it.


Place cilantro in full sun to partial shade.

Cilantro will grow in full shade, though it may need more water if you live in an area with hot summers. If you’re growing cilantro indoors, keep your plant near a window that gets lots of natural light.

If you have a lot of shade in your yard but want to grow cilantro, consider placing a large pot outdoors where it can get sunlight and using the land for another type of plant instead.


Fertilize cilantro regularly.

Fertilize cilantro once a month with a slow-release fertilizer.

  • Use a balanced fertilizer, such as an all-purpose fertilizer or an organic liquid fertilizer.
  • Apply the slow-release fertilizer at half the recommended rate for optimal results.


Harvest cilantro when the plant is 8 to 10 inches tall; harvest it often to prolong its life.

Harvest cilantro when the plant is 8 to 10 inches tall; harvest it often to prolong its life. Cilantro is at its sweetest and most tender when harvested young. The more you pick, the more new growth will arise from the roots, allowing you to continue harvesting for longer periods of time.

Cilantro also likes frequent watering (1 inch per week) and regular fertilizing with compost (1/2 cup per plant). When using fertilizer, remember that cilantro grows best in soil that drains well—if your soil doesn’t drain well, add some peat moss or vermiculite to give it a boost.

In order for cilantro plants not to bolt too soon after flowering begins, don’t over-water them—crisper leaves indicate adequate moisture levels within the soil.


Pinch back the plant when it gets too tall to encourage new side growth.

Once you’ve got your cilantro plant growing well and have harvested a few bunches, the plant may start to get tall and leggy. You can pinch back the plant to encourage new growth along its sides. This way, you’ll be able to harvest more cilantro throughout the growing season.


Cilantro needs well-draining soil, lots of sunshine and moderate moisture to be healthy.

When you’re growing your own cilantro, it’s important to care for the plant in several ways. First, you want to make sure that the soil is well-draining—the roots will rot if they are left sitting in water or wet soil. Next, you need to provide moderate amounts of moisture (but not too much) for optimal growth. Finally, try to add organic materials like compost into your soil; this will help keep your plants healthy and strong!



Cilantro is a wonderful addition to any garden. It’s easy to grow, it smells great and it tastes delicious! But if you want your cilantro plant to grow big, sweet and healthy then follow these tips: make sure that the soil drains well so that there is minimal waterlogging in the soil; be sure that cilantro gets plenty of sun and not too much shade; keep it watered but not overwatered—remember that wet feet will rot roots; keep pinching back the stems when they get too tall so new side shoots appear at every node. With these tips, you’ll be enjoying fresh cilantro from your own garden all summer long!

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