Cilantro / Coriander

Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow

When to Plant:  1 week after the average last frost date.

Days to Germinate:  10 days

Days to Maturity:  70 days

Planting Depth:  ¼” deep

Germination Temp:  50-85°F

Seed Spacing:  1” apart. Thin plants to 6-8” apart.

Rows: 1’ apart

Light:  Partial sun to partial shade with at least 4 hours of full sun

Soil pH:  6.5 pH

Water:  1” of water per week.

Soil Temperature:  55-68°F

Fertilizer:  10-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation:  Not required.  Amend soil annually.


Harvest Type

Cilantro is a snip-and-use type of crop, so it is continuous. There is always a race with cilantro to harvest before the plant bolts. Cut back sections of the plant often and allow the new leaves to emerge.

TIP: Cut and compost the cilantro you do not use so that the plant never reaches a flowering state. Cilantro is a plant that will bolt quickly.

Transplant / Direct Sow

Direct sow seeds as cilantro's taproot does not like to be disturbed.

When to Plant:

Sow seeds near the last average frost date. It is a cool weather-loving crop that can handle some light freezes but not a lot of heat. Cover as needed to protect from hard freezes.

Days to Germinate

Ten days. You may see earlier results if the weather is warmer.

Days to Maturity

It takes about 70 days for cilantro to mature. You can cut a few leaves when the plant is three inches tall.

TIP: Use successive planting to stretch your yield or harvest more than you need and dry the rest.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1/4" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Cilantro seeds will germinate at 50°F ambient temperature or when the soil temperature reaches 55°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Space cilantro plants 6-8" apart and sow seeds 1-2" apart and thin.

Growing Conditions

Cilantro is a short crop. Direct sow seeds in fertile soil when the outside temperature is 50-85°F. Cilantro will bolt if the temperature remains around 85°F, so plan to sow seeds when the weather is cooler.

Companion Plants

Parsley and basil are excellent companion plants for cilantro.  Pair cilantro with other herbs that like to be moist but not soggy.


Most people grow cilantro in a pot, so amend the soil with compost when you replant. If you grow in the ground, there is no need to rotate the crop as you can lightly amend the earth and then use a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer.  A 10-10-10 N-P-K ratio fertilizer is a good choice.

Anticipated Yields

Plan your garden yield at 2-3 plants per person. Each set of four plants should yield about a handful of cuttings per week. That is about 2/3 cup of cilantro per week. Plant 4-5 cilantro plants per person if you plan to use it fresh and dry it too. It is a short crop that will bolt when the weather warms, so harvest it often as summer approaches.  

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1 Pound Cilantro