Cilantro is a spicy herb that is an excellent addition to many dishes (both herbal and seed). How to grow cilantro in a pot?
It iseasy to grow at home, in nature, in the countryside, in a greenhouse or on a windowsill. Also there’s some rules to follow with so it will be more easy to care.
Many people think the skill of growing cilantro is too complicated that it is impossible to grow this plant on the windowsill.
This plant is an excellent “green doctor” and the growing process will not only provide delightful culinary “dividends” but also health benefits.
Cilantro (or parsley) is one of the most popular greens used to prepare a variety of dishes, so many gardeners grow the plant on their land.
But few people know that cilantro can be grown on the windowsill of the average city apartment, even in winter.
Growing cilantro from seeds at home on the windowsill is becoming increasingly popular. In this way, it is possible to get fresh vegetables and various nutrients needed by the body in winter. Cilantro is a unique seasoning used in the culinary arts of different countries.
We will discuss in this article how to grow cilantro on a windowsill at home, these step-by-step instructions for sowing seeds and caring for the plant, as well as a botanical description of cilantro and harvesting rules.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GROW CILANTRO ON THE WINDOWSILL
Traditionally, this popular greenery has been grown by gardeners. However, any grower can easily plant the cilantro from seeds on a windowsill.
All you need to do is provide proper care and sow the seeds correctly. Cilantro has the same taste and aroma as the one which sown on outdoors.
It is an annual crop, so growing green on a windowsill is not a complicated agricultural skills.
Cilantro prefers fertile soil with adequate watering and light.
If grown in shady, poor soil, they will appear dull and stunted, and the essential oils responsible for cilantro will be kept to a minimum, no matter how much effort is expended.
The soil in which cilantro is grown should be slightly alkaline or neutral, with a sufficient substrate fertilizer, ideally a heavy border mowing with superphosphate since autumn. For growing herbs in pots in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, a mixture of garden soil, sand, mulch, and wood ash can be taken.
Whether planted in a flower bed or indoors, regular watering is necessary, at least twice a week, to help the green matter grow well.
If you plan to grow herbs in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, choose a southern exposure so that the plants get enough light. Or consider adding lighting to make cultivation and maintenance easier and get the best herbs.
Lighting: Diffused light is preferred, but should withstand direct sunlight. In the summer, use natural light for south, west, and east windows. In winter, fluorescent and LED lighting is used in the home.
Temperature: The temperature requirement is not high. Withstand significant temperature changes. Seeds can germinate even at 6°C (42.8°F). When it rises at about 30°C (86°F) and above, the pedicels begin to form rapidly.
Moderate room temperatures are ideal for growing parsley.
Watering: Water a lot, especially if the plant is in a sunny southern window.
STEPS FOR PLANTING
It is best to choose a rectangular container, 40-45cm (15.7-17.7inch) long and 25-30cm (9.84-11.8inch) wide, as such plants cannot tolerate transplants and their roots, so a fairly large pot is needed.
Important! If you decide to grow cilantro in a clay container, it is better to choose a pot without enamel.
Soil and fertilizer
When you decide to grow cilantro, you need to choose a nutritious substrate for your plants. Cilantro prefers loamy or sandy loamy soils. The soil structure must be loose.
Make the soil mixture light and fertile, pH 6.5-7.5. A mixture of lawn, humus, sand, coconut fiber (peas), etc. ratio is ideal.
A common reason for growth failure is that the soil is too acidic and contains a lot of peat. When using purchased soil, special attention should be paid to its acidity.
If the soil is fertile, no fertilizer is needed because cilantro has a short growing season and has enough nutrients to grow.
If there is any doubt about the quality of the soil, a mineral complex fertilizer with increased nitrogen content can be added to it within 2-3 weeks after germination to create a green mass. During the seed maturity stage, fertilizers should be based on phosphorus and potassium.
Did you know? To make the plants feel better, it is best to heat the soil in an oven before sowing, which removes harmful bacteria and microorganisms from the soil.
For cilantro, a specific watering algorithm has been developed. It should be abundant from the moment the seeds are sown to the appearance of the first leaves.
Then the intensity needs to be reduced and the soil should be moderately moistened for 1-1.5 weeks. As soon as the active growing season of cilantro begins, you can return to adequate watering.
If cilantro seeds are required to mature on bushes, then reduce the water again as they mature. It is important not to allow the soil to dry out and to maintain a watering rhythm.
Fifteen minutes after irrigation, it is recommended to drain the excess water to avoid powdery mildew. In hot weather with increased dry air, you will need to spray the leaves with warm water.
When growing cilantro on a windowsill, it is necessary to fertilize the soil. The regularity of feeding is 1 time in 14 days.
It is better to use complex mineral ingredients and prepare the solution strictly according to the instructions. After the outlet is formed, you need to start feeding the buds.
You can replace the compound with a biological complex. In this case, it is necessary to combine any fertilization with watering.
For active green growth, a compound with a high N (nitrogen) content is needed. When cilantro seeds mature – phosphorus and potassium.
It is not recommended to fertilize cilantro on the windowsill with excessive enthusiasm. Dressing every 2-3 weeks is enough.
In addition to watering and nutrition, when growing cilantro from seeds on the windowsill, it is necessary to perform other important steps.
It is not always possible to accurately calculate the number of plants per pot volume. To obtain lush cilantro, you need to thin out the seedlings in time. Sowing at too high a density will result in insufficient lettuce volume and distillation of flower stalks.
Plants on the windowsill must compete for light, water, and nutrients. The first interplanting must be done at the stage of 1-2 true leaves.
Of several cilantro seedlings growing nearby, the most developed and sturdy one should be retained. For normal development of a bush, the area is 35 m2 area.
Weeding is another prerequisite. There should be no weeds around the plants to reduce the intensity of green growth. This campaign also reduces the occurrence of cilantro diseases and pests.
Loosening prevents the soil from increasing in density. Cilantro prefers loose soil, especially when grown on a windowsill.
If seeds are not needed, perform extrusion of flower stalks. Then the cilantro greens will become richer.
You do not need to cut off the stems at the root, you just need to pick the cilantro leaves and eat them.
WHERE TO PUT THE POT
In order for the cilantro on your windowsill to please you all year round, it is important to place a pot of seedlings in a room where the air temperature does not fall below 15°C (59°F).
Cilantro should receive 12-14 hours of light per day, and you may need additional lighting in the form of fluorescent or special plant lights, so it is best to place the pot in a well-lit area. The south or southwest side of the house is most suitable.
CULTIVATION PROCESS OF CILANTRO
To sow seeds, take fresh seeds and sow them immediately in a permanent place: transplanted cilantro is not tolerant. The sowing depth is 1-2cm (0.39-0.78inch) and 2-3 seeds are placed in each hole.
The distance between the holes is 7-10cm (2.75-3.93inch). Cover with transparent mulching material to increase humidity. Sprouts will appear in 2-3 weeks in the open ground and even faster at home.
When the sprouts have grown a little, remove the weak ones, leaving 1 plant per well.
Good quality tender vegetables are obtained with sufficient moisture, otherwise, the leaves will be rough and the taste will deteriorate.
It is mostly fresh when used, as the taste becomes very different when dried.
When the leaves reach 15-20cm (5.9-7.87inch) high, they can be harvested in 30-50 days (depending on the variety).
There are three methods of harvesting: picking the leaves, cutting the rosettes before the stem stage, or pulling the plant out of the ground by the roots.
The harvesting period of bok choy can be extended slightly by regularly removing the flower arrows. Changes in taste and pungency are signs that cilantro is unfit for human consumption.
The seeds mature after 90-120 days: they turn brown in color and shatter badly.
At home, it is easy to adapt to the way they are harvested, but you can follow the habits of the trade and change the way.
The fruits are harvested at the wax ripening stage, spread in the shade, and left to dry for 2 weeks. During this time, they are fully ripe and can be planted again.
Cilantro has a short growing season, during which it acquires green leaves, and to keep it properly supplied, sow seeds every 2-3 weeks. Artificial light must be provided in winter, otherwise, it will be stretched and grow slowly.
Start sowing parsley in pots as early as mid-March. You can buy seeds for sowing or you can collect seeds from plants.
It is important that the seeds are not older than two years, otherwise, the cilantro may not germinate at all.
It is a good idea to submerge the seeds in water for 1-2 hours before sowing so that the seedlings will emerge more quickly.
Cilantro should be sown at a depth of 1-1.5cm (0.39-0.59inch). Considering the fact that cilantro seeds are quite large, you can sow 3 to 10 seeds in a medium-sized container.
The seeds are sown in pre-prepared pots with a continuous “sprinkling” of soil on top, tamped and slightly moistened.
Then pour the parsley very richly. The container with the crop must be placed in a dimly lit place until the first germination occurs.
Important! It is necessary to water the sown material from the spray bottle and regularly “ventilate” the container.
HOW TO GROW CILANTRO FROM SEEDS
- The roots of cilantro are woody and not very developed, so you can plant one, two, or three clumps in a medium pot.
- Pots should preferably be clay, not covered with enamel – cilantro is very sensitive to drainage and fertile, loose soil.
- Sow seeds without soaking, not deep, up to one and a half centimeters.
- Cover with film until the first buds, at the stage of the first true leaves you can thin out the buds, leaving the strongest and densest ones. In winter, watering should be reduced.
- It needs more than 4 hours of light per day.
- Cilantro seeds that germinate in a week or two can be eaten as greens in a month. In order to make the stems suitable for eating, the flower house should be trimmed.
- The top ovary can be cut off for better growth and to prevent the stems from stretching.
- Cilantro do not need to transplanted.
In addition to the recognized rules for growing cilantro on the windowsill, summer residents know a few secrets and tricks. This allows you to get high-quality results faster and easier.
- Cilantro should be sown regularly every other month. Thus, fresh herbs will be set out all year round.
- You can reuse the soil by adding a small amount of compost and sterilizing it in any convenient way.
- Do not dry cilantro. Neither the taste nor the smell will please you. It is best to dry and grind the seeds into a powder before use.
- Add the powdered cilantro to the dishes before the end of cooking to avoid losing flavor.
- When flowering cilantro, the green color smells like bedbugs. Then, this smell is replaced by citrus. You just need to wait.
- It is recommended to plant more than one variety of cilantro at a time. Under the same conditions, they behave differently. Tastes will be more diverse and you can choose your favorite variety for further planting.
- Pinch off the peduncle in time to prevent unpleasant odors on the leaves.
Another tip is to avoid sprinkling cilantro in the pot with other herbs. She doesn’t like her neighbors very much.
Introduce the practice of growing cilantro all year round
- planting seeds in multiple containers at intervals of 2-3 weeks.
- when replanting seeds, use the same containers as the soil in which the previous crop of greens was grown.
- in order to enrich the soil with useful substances, it is recommended to add compost to the substrate before reuse
- the soil should be pre-sterilized in an oven before each planting of seeds
- To prolong the harvesting period of fresh greens, the tops of the stems should be removed.
Care includes removing unwanted plants and weeds, careful watering, and providing extra light (if cilantro is grown at home).
The main thing in caring for cilantro on the windowsill is timely thinning. If the plants are too dense, they will not gain green mass and will kick out stalks.
So leave a few plants for the strongest one. The optimal area for feeding a plant, whether in a country house, in a greenhouse, or in a box, is thirty-five square centimeters.
Weeding is similar to thinning the vegetables – if too much grows around the cilantro, it kicks off the flower stems and the green leaves become lighter and unattractive.
Of course, though, weeding needs to be done more often in the vegetable garden than in a greenhouse or a box on a windowsill. For watering, cilantro has its own algorithm.
From the time of sowing to the appearance of the first leaves, watering should be sufficient. Then watering is reduced and for a week and a half, the soil should be just moderately moist.
When the transition is made to active vegetation of leafy greens, the cilantro is then watered sufficiently. Except for the plants from which you are going to get seeds – when the seeds are mature, water again moderately.
Also, drain excess water from the trays (if growing greens on a windowsill). It is also not advisable to water too much in the greenhouse, as too much water can provoke powdery mildew.
Care of cilantro in a greenhouse or vegetable garden includes loosening the rows and mulching for better moisture retention. When growing cilantro on the windowsill of your home, always remember to increase the light issue.
To prolong the period of building green mass, cilantro is pruned from flowering stems, especially important when planted in pots in the home or cottage.
Cilantro is harvested after the emergence of 5-6 true leaves (usually harvested 90-120 days after planting) and before the flower stalks appear. After the flower stalks appear, the greens become coarse and lose their taste quality.
It is common to cut greens in the greenhouse. On the windowsill, it is best to pluck the leaves yourself in different pots.
It is also recommended to pluck the ovaries from above. In this way, you can always have fresh cilantro in the country for meat dishes, salads, soups, marinades, or kebabs. The herbs can also be dried.
First, wash the cut stalks and lay them out to dry under a shed or in a place in your house not far from a window.
The main rule for drying cilantro – in the shade, but with the entry of fresh air. After drying the greens are shredded.
If desired, you can leave the stems until they are ripe, but this is easier to do in the vegetable garden than at home.
The ripe seeds of cilantro can be used for the next year’s planting and for cooking, and it is the spice of all known cilantro.
As you can see, it is not very difficult to grow and care for cilantro at home. With a little effort, you can enjoy harvesting green on your windowsill all year round.