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Edibles Grow Sheets


  • Scientific Name
    Coriandrum sativum
  • General Information

    Cilantro is a cool season annual herb also known as Chinese parsley. The flowers are very attractive to small beneficial insects, including syrphid flies and parasitic wasps. The leaf, flower, root, and seeds are edible. It is used as a garnish in many cuisines.

  • When to Plant

    Sow seed in early spring or fall.

  • Planting

    Plant in full sun. Slow to germinate (up to 25 days) but easily grown from seed with patience. Because of taproot, it is best to direct seed.

  • Soil Requirements

    Cilantro prefers well composted, loamy soil.

  • Water Requirements

    Keep evenly moist but do not overwater.

  • Fertilizing

    Amend  soil with compost.

  • Pollination

    Cilantro is pollinated by insects.

  • Harvesting

    Harvest outer leaves about one month after sowing seed. New growth emerges from center stem. Harvest seed as it turns from green to tannish color in the morning before dew dries to minimize seed shatter. Leaves do not dry well

  • Storage

    Store dried seeds in glass jars to use until next season.

  • Good Varieties for Marin

    Home gardeners usually grow cilantro for its leaf. Slow to bolt varieties include ‘Calypso’, ‘Santo’, and ‘Slo-Bolt’.

  • Helpful Tips

    Pick fresh leaves any time after plant is 6 inches tall. Cut stems can be stored in water in the refrigerator. 

  • Common Problems

    This annual herb is quick to bolt. Leaves can develop bacterial leaf spot, a seedborne  pathogen. Use reliable seeds and avoid overhead watering as bacteria can move from plant to plant. Also practice crop rotation. (refer to UC IPM Bacterial Leaf Spot management notes.)

  • Pests- Diseases & More

    Relatively pest free.