Growing Cilantro ~ Coriander Seed

Cilantro, or coriander (also known as Chinese parsley). An ancient global cuisine flavor and nutritional powerhouse. The feathery herb with a light sharp lemony flavor you either love or hate. The ground coriander seeds mimic that flavor with an earthy, slightly bitter finish (best toasted or warmed quickly in a hot pan before crushing or grinding).

I happen to love it and figured it’s flavor would be best if it was freshly grown. I have tried three years in a row to grow cilantro from seed and could never get the seed to germinate. It was either too hot and dry for the seeds to germinate before the birds got to them, or it was too cool and wet for the seeds to germinate at all.

For this year, I have a hot tip graciously given by my niece’s Mother-In-Law. Her tip is to crush the seeds with a rolling pin before planting.

That opens up the hard outer coating so the seeds germinate more quickly. It worked like a charm! I now have a planter full of cilantro seedlings. I’ll thin these as they grow so I’m just left with two or three plants in my planter.

If it gets too hot too quickly with our Georgia summers (cilantro doesn’t like hot temperatures), I’ll just keep growing successive batches of sprouts.

sprouted cilantro

When thinning, don’t throw the sprouts away. They are trendy little flavor powerhouses all on their own! Snip them and use them to garnish your dishes.

To start your own cilantro, simply place about a tablespoon of cilantro seeds on a paper towel, fold it over and go over it with the rolling pin.

whole coriander seed

Apply enough pressure to crush the seed coat.

crushed coriander

Strew the contents of the paper towel over a soil filled planter and top with 1/2 inch of light planting soil or seed starter mix. Water thoroughly and don’t let soil dry out. You should have cilantro shoots in 8-10 days.

cilantro sprouts

Bird Deflecting Tip: I was afraid of the birds getting my newly planted seeds so I covered the planter with my kitchen splatter guard. I moved it to water my seeds and took it off completely once I began seeing sprouts pop up.

Another tip! I had cilantro seeds in my spice basket that I had bought in the International spice section of the grocery store. These are the seeds I used. I think they were the least expensive seeds I’ve ever planted!

Not interested in growing cilantro, but have loads of coriander seeds? Make this Spicy Coriander Mustard to spice up your summer recipes!

Mustard