Cilantro grows best in a well-drained, moist soil. Plants should be spaced about 12 to 18 in. (30 to 45 cm) apart. We recommend staggering your plants, planting one every couple weeks in the spring to ensure continuous, fresh harvests.
• Choose a sunny location (6+ hours of sun) and dig a hole about two times as wide as your pot.
• Remove your plant from the pot by loosening the soil and tipping it out into your hand. Place your plant in the soil about as deep as it was in the pot.
• Refill the space around your plant with soil and press lightly to compact the dirt, keeping your plant firmly in the ground.
• Water immediately to settle the soil, and add more soil as needed, bringing it level to the rest of your garden.
When growing cilantro, the aim is to maximize foliage. Pinch back young plants an inch or so to encourage fuller, bushier plants. Snip off the top part of the main stem as soon as it appears to be developing flower buds or seedpods. Cutting off the flower heads redirects the plant's energy back into producing leaves, and not flowers or seeds.
Watch the plants carefully as the weather gets hotter. Cilantro has a short life cycle and bolts quickly (develops seed) in hot weather. Once it sets seeds, the plant quickly starts to degrade.
If seeds are allowed to develop, you’ll notice how easily cilantro self-sows when you see delicate, lacy-leaf seedlings growing up around mature plants.
The leaves can be cut at any time. Use the upper, new, finely cut leaves in cooking, but not the mature, lower ferny-type leaves. Cilantro is not normally saved and dried like other culinary herbs since it loses almost its entire flavor when dried.
Cilantro has been used for many centuries in the cooking of Mexico, India, Africa, Spain, Russia, China, many areas of Asia especially Thailand, and the Middle East. It is thought to be native to North Africa or the Middle East. In addition to its many culinary uses, the seeds were used medicinally especially as a sleep and digestion aid.