How to grow coriander
Also known as cilantro, coriander is an aromatic herb that is used extensively in Asian cuisine. Best grown outside of summer in New Zealand, it thrives in the cooler seasons. In the cold Southern regions it could be kept in a glasshouse in the cooler months. All parts of the plant can be used, leaves, stalks, roots and seeds.
When to grow
- Sow – February to October
- Plant – February to October
- Harvest – year round
Varieties to grow
Choose slow bolting varieties that don’t go to seed as quickly.
Grow your plant
Sow seeds in pots filled with a quality seed raising mix such as Scotts Osmocote Seed Raising and Cutting Mix. Cover seed and water gently.
Lightly cover seed, water gently and leave somewhere warm to germinate. Thin out the seedlings as they grow, space out to 5cm apart.
Keep the seedlings damp. As they grow, harden them off by taking the pot outside during the day and bringing it in at night. Do this for 7-10 days, then they are ready to plant.
Plant out into garden beds prepared with Scotts Performance Naturals Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Mix. Before planting, soak the plants in a bucket of water until the bubbles top rising to the top. Allow the plant to drain.
Dig a planting hole twice the diameter of the root ball. Remove the plant from its pot, avoid disturbing the roots as coriander doesn’t like a lot of root disturbance. Place the plant in the planting hole and back fill around the plant, firming in as you go, and water well.
Keep well-watered and don’t allow to dry out. Inconsistent watering can cause plants and cause them to go to seed.
Remove any flower heads that appear, this will prevent the plants going to seed.
Protect plants by applying Scotts Quash Slug and Snail Killer to keep slugs and snails away from the fresh new shoots and leaves.
Coriander seeds can be sown directly into the garden in well prepared soil rich in organic matter. Keep seeds moist at all times during germination and space out plants once they're 10cm high and easy to handle.
Planting in pots and containers
Choose a container with drainage holes in the bottom and part-fill with Scotts Performance Naturals Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Mix.
Soak the plants in a bucket of water until the bubbles top rising to the top. Place the coriander seedlings in the centre of the container and fill until 3cm from the top of the container, firming as you go. Water in well.
Place pots in a sheltered semi-shady spot close to the kitchen for easy access.
Coriander thrives in shade, so avoid planting in all day full sun. Make sure plants are consistently watered - don't let them dry out.
Avoid planting coriander in December/January, the hottest months of the year, as it will likely go to seed.
Feed coriander with a nitrogen rich liquid fertiliser such as Scotts Performance Naturals Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Liquid Fertiliser every 2 weeks to encourage new leafy growth.
Pick the leaves when they are large enough, the more you pick the more the plant will grow.
If you let a few plants to go to seed you can use them in cooking and save the seed for next year’s crop.