Cilantro growing in an herb garden
image by Photo by Linda Batey
Coriander is the seed from a cilantro plant. You can use the leaves as the cilantro plant is growing, and when it goes to seed collect the seeds as coriander. The seeds and leaves have totally different tastes and recipe uses. Cilantro is often used in Mexican and Asian dishes; coriander is often used in Indian dishes. Its warm, nutty orange flavor blends well with other Indian spices.
Growing cilantro/coriander is a full-circle growing cycle, as you can continually plant the seeds indoors and enjoy both the leaves and the seeds.
Fill the pots to the top with potting soil.
Coriander seeds are large enough to easily place where you want them. The seeds should be quite close to one another in order to provide a good crop.
Cover the seeds with about 1/2 inch of soil. Press down to make sure the seeds have good contact with the soil.
Water the soil from above, as watering from the bottom typically does not give the seeds enough moisture to germinate well. Keeping the soil warm will help the seeds germinate. Try placing the pots on top of your refrigerator. Put plastic wrap over the top of the pots to seal in moisture. The seeds should germinate within 10 days.
There is no need to thin the seedlings; you want them to come in thickly.
Keep the seedlings watered but not overwatered. Overwatering can cause damping off, which is a mold that kills the tender seedlings. A spray bottle with a "mist" setting can water your seedlings more gently than a heavy flow of water.
Place the pot in a sunny warm place. You may need to turn the pots around if the direct sun causes the seedlings to grow toward the light. Give them all the light they need is to build a "fence" of aluminum foil to reflect the light evenly.
You'll need to wait until the plant goes to seed to harvest the coriander. The plant will blossom and then seed. Let them dry on the stems before collecting.
Now you're ready to start the entire process over again.