How to Plant Cilantro in 5 Gallon Buckets


Cilantro, also called Chinese parsley, is the leaf portion of the coriander plant. Popular in Asian and Mexican cuisine, cilantro is a pungent herb that evokes strong feelings of love or hate in those who try it. The roots, stems, leaves and seeds of the coriander plant are edible. Choose slow-bolting varieties when growing coriander seeds for cilantro to increase length of harvest. Coriander plants go to seed eight to 10 weeks after planting, and extremely warm soil temperatures can cause bolting, which drains cilantro of its intense flavor.

Step 1

Drill evenly spaced holes over the bottom of the five-gallon bucket to create adequate drainage and place gravel, coffee filters or pieces of broken pottery in the bottom to prevent soil from falling through the drainage holes.

Step 2

Fill the bucket at least 3/4 full with potting mix and add water to lightly moisten but not over-saturate the soil. Use a wooden spoon or stick to incorporate water. If soil is soggy, gradually add more potting mix until the right consistency is achieved.

Step 3

Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep, spaced 2 inches apart, and cover lightly with soil.

Step 4

Place the container in a location that offers full sunlight and constant temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination typically occurs after seven to 14 days.

Step 5

Water cilantro regularly during growth to keep soil moist but not saturated.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't set cilantro buckets outdoors until all chance of frost has passed.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Gravel or broken pottery
  • Organic potting soil
  • Cilantro (coriander) seed
  • Water


  • WSU Clark County Extension: Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, Apiaceae
  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Container Vegetable Gardening: Healthy Harvests from Small Spaces
  • Crestone Solar School: Make Your Own Self-Watering Container
  • Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Cilantro/Coriander in the Garden
  • Container Gardening Tips: Growing Cilantro In Containers

Who Can Help

  • Gourmet Sleuth: Cilantro
Keywords: Cilantro in containers, planting cilantro seed, Growing cilantro herb

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.