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.
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.
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.
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.
Water the planting area well and allow it to drain.
Plant the seeds 1/4 inch into the soil and space them 6 inches apart.
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.
Watch carefully for aphids, thrips and mites. Apply neem oil at the first sign of pests.
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.