Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an herb used for cooking in many regions around the world. Cilantro is frequently grown for its flavorful roots and leaves that become mature after about 100 days of growth. The plant flowers during spring, but the inconspicuous blossoms are easily overlooked, and the plant is not considered ornamental. Cilantro seeds are easy to sow and grow to maturity by providing routine care.
Spread 1 inch of organic compost over the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil to increase moisture retention and fertility. Choose a planting site that receives direct sunlight throughout the day.
Plant cilantro seeds during early spring in rows spaced 12 inches apart. Space each cilantro seed 2 inches apart to allow plenty of room for growth.
Water immediately after planting to initiate germination and compact the soil around the seeds. Continue to water once per week until the seedlings emerge from the soil.
Thin the cilantro seedlings to one plant every 6 inches. Remove the weakest seedlings to eliminate competition for nutrients. Spread a 1-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding the cilantro to stunt the growth of weeds and increase moisture retention.
Water the cilantro once per week until flowering begins. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every 10 days thereafter. To prevent fungal diseases, water early in the morning so excess moisture can evaporate during the day before temperatures decrease at night.
Feed cilantro twice per year, once in late spring and again in midsummer, using a high-nitrogen 21-0-0 NPK fertilizer to increase the growth rate. Water cilantro both before and after applying fertilizer to prevent root burn. Apply according to the manufacturer's directions.
Harvest cilantro by picking fresh leaves from the plant anytime after it has reached 6 inches in height. Remove the older, outside leaves to encourage the growth of fresh, new leaves. Do not remove all of the leaves from a single plant, as it may not recover.