How to Grow Cilantro From Seeds in Michigan


Cilantro is an herb in the parsley family. A very useful plant, the seeds are harvested and sold as coriander, while the leaves are used as a flavoring, especially in Mexican dishes. Cilantro plants will grow 18 to 24 inches in height and bloom with white to light pink, fragrant flowers. The roots of the cilantro plant don't like to be disturbed so it's best to direct-sow the seeds into the garden. Cilantro is a very easy plant to grow in Michigan, as long as you wait until the soil has thawed and all danger of frost has passed prior to planting.

Step 1

Choose an area of the garden that gets the appropriate amount of sunshine: all day if you are growing the plant for the seeds, and morning sun with afternoon shade if you are growing it for the leaves.

Step 2

Dig up the soil in the planting bed to a depth of 6 inches. As you dig, crush any large clumps of soil and remove any roots, rocks and other debris.

Step 3

Add a 3-inch layer of compost to the soil and, using the gardening fork, work it into the soil, mixing well. If you live in one of the areas in Michigan that is prone to clay soils, add a 4-inch layer of compost and a 4-inch layer of coarse builder's sand. It's important that the compost and the sand be coarse, as fine grains will just make the soil compact.

Step 4

Water the planting area well and allow it to drain.

Step 5

Plant the seeds 1/4 inch into the soil and space them 6 inches apart.

Step 6

Water the seeds until the soil is moist, but not soggy. Don't allow the soil to dry out during germination. Once the plant is established, cut back watering to once a week unless the weather is particularly hot.

Step 7

Watch carefully for aphids, thrips and mites. Apply neem oil at the first sign of pests.

Step 8

Remove the flowers from the plant if you are growing it for the leaves. This will redirect the plant's energy into producing stronger leaves.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you live in one of the areas of Michigan with clay soil, don't work it while it is wet, as you will compact the soil. Wait until the soil is dry to prepare the planting bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening fork
  • Compost
  • Builder's sand (optional)
  • Neem oil


  • Michigan State University Extension: Cilantro, History and Growing Tips
  • "Your Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardener's Guide to Growing Over 50 Herbs Plus How to Use Them in Cooking, Crafts, Companion Planting and More"; Miranda Smith; 1999
Keywords: grow cilantro in Michigan, planting cilantro seeds, herb gardens in Michigan

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.