The fresh taste of cilantro delights many chefs. Another aspect of cilantro equally as rich in flavor is the seeds, also called coriander. Whether you want to harvest cilantro seeds for planting next year or use them for culinary purposes, the process is the same. Cilantro is a quick annual, so watching the plant for flowering will tell you when it's almost seed collection time.
Collect your seeds three to four weeks after your cilantro flowers. When the small green pods that develop on the ends of the stem turn brown and dry, the seeds are ready.
Clip the stems from the plant with herb scissors or a sharp knife near the base of the plant and slip the stem's seed pod first into a paper lunch bag. Write “cilantro” on your bag with a pen in case you are collecting other seeds at the same time.
Fold the top of the paper bag over by an inch to close it. Set the bag in a warm, dry location to remain undisturbed for one to two more weeks, allowing the seed pods to dry fully.
Pull the individual seeds off the stems after they are dry and store in a well-labeled glass jar or plastic container. They can be planted ¼ inch deep the following spring after the threat of frost is gone, or lightly toasted for storage and use in the kitchen to spice up meals.
Fill flower pots half full with potting mix. Create a small well in the center of the potting mix to create a cup for the cilantro plant's root ball.
Use a hand trowel to carefully dig up the earth around a bunch of cilantro. The plant's root system is very thin and delicate. It is impossible to keep all of the roots unbroken, but with careful digging, most roots remain healthy and intact.
Shake excess soil from the roots of the cilantro plant. If the soil was unusually hard and clay-like, rinse the roots in a pot of water to remove the hard soil deposits.
Place the root ball into the potting and mix well in the center of the flower pot. Use your fingers to fan out the roots evenly.
Fill the rest of the flower pot with more potting mix. Do not tamp the potting mix down. Water to moisten the potting mix. Rewater when the potting mix feels dry to the touch.
Select the type of pot you want to use. Because cilantro has a large tap root, the pot should be large enough to support it. Make sure that you get a pot that is about 8 to 10 inches deep so that the cilantro's roots will be able to reach their maximum depth without getting damaged. Also, as your cilantro matures, it can grow to be roughly 8 to 12 inches wide, so make sure you plan accordingly to meet its needs.
Choose a fast-draining soil. Choosing the correct type of soil will help to ensure that your cilantro gets the proper nutrients right from the start. Make sure it has some organic granular fertilizer, which helps the seed mature quickly and healthily.
Plant your cilantro from a seed. Cilantro plants are very easily damaged, especially when you are trying to replant them. When you attempt to repot an already mature cilantro plant, it will more than likely go straight to seed and die. Bury your seed in a shallow hole and cover it with 1/2 inch of potting soil, then water. Each seed grows one cilantro plant.
Place your cilantro plant in direct sunlight. Placing it outside or in a very sunny window will work best. Your cilantro should germinate in about two weeks, providing that the soil stays around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As your cilantro begins to mature, it will grow a lot of foliage, so make sure that it gets plenty of water.
Cilantro, an annual which is similar in appearance to flat-leaf Italian parley, does not handle the hot Florida summers well. Plant seedlings or direct-sow seeds in fall for late fall, winter and spring harvesting of leaves. Seeds may also be started indoors in July for transplanting outdoors in fall.