How To Grow Cilantro Indoors?
Seems like the world has gone cilantro-crazy. And why not? This cuisine-friendly herb is just at home in salsa as it is in citrusy marinades, as well as all sorts of soups, stews, and salads. And if you’re a curly cilantro-lover ready to take your love affair to the next level, good news — you can grow cilantro indoors in a few simple steps, and with arguably little effort. Here’s how to do it.
Harvest fresh herbs and greens, straight from your living room or kitchen nook. Treat yourself to top-quality meals with Gardyn’s Home Kit 3.0.
DAYS TO SPROUT
5 - 21 DAYS
50 - 90 DAYS
TASTE IT FOR
4 - 8 WEEKS
Table of Contents
Care & Harvest
Cilantro thrives in cooler temperatures ranging from 60 to 70°F. When exposed to higher temperatures, it may become bitter and undergo bolting.
🔎 Plant Health
Regular harvesting is beneficial for extending the plant’s lifespan. Once the plant reaches a height of 6 inches, you can initiate pruning by removing the larger outer leaf stalks at the base of each stem. Additionally, you have the option to pluck individual leaves or use sanitized shears to cut stems above growth nodes. To promote continuous growth, it is important not to harvest more than one-third of the plant at a time.
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Why Grow Cilantro Indoors?
Cilantro, aka coriandrum sativum, belongs to the same family of aromatic plants as dill, parsley, and carrots. Its green, feathery leaves are used as aromatic herbs, but the dried seeds, also known as coriander, are employed mainly as a spice.
With a bit of commitment, an indoor cilantro setup can provide endless benefits — and the freshest, most flavorful leaves you can imagine.
Local And Fresh
Having an abundant supply of cilantro right in your kitchen means that you’re always picking your herbs at their peak of flavor (and nutritional value).
With an indoor setup, you’ll never have to worry about seasonal changes taking away your access to cilantro. Enjoy your favorite herb of choice at any time of the year.
Great For The Planet
Reduce your environmental footprint by avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store and eliminating the waste created during shipping and packaging processes.
No harsh chemicals, no pesticides, no herbicides — just a clean, sustainable source of cilantro, grown right in your own home.
The more you grow, the less store-bought produce you need to buy, and the more you save.
Want even more savings? A fully automated indoor gardening system from Gardyn literally pays for itself — plant once, and harvest 8-10 pounds of fresh, pesticide-free produce each month. Season after season. You’ll never have to pay (or toil) for overpriced, organic produce ever again.
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Bite sized superfood packed with nutrients and loaded with flavor. Go from seed to harvest in just one week.
What do You Need to Grow Cilantro Indoors?
Cilantro is a great plant to grow indoors since it doesn’t require much space to thrive. It can be a little fussy, sure. But with the right amount of light, moisture, plus attention, there’s really nothing stopping you from enjoying fresh cilantro year-round. Yum, yum!
For maximum yield, you’ll need:
For best results, buy seeds labeled “slow-to-bolt”. These are specially designed to resist bolting (premature flowering) and can produce flavorful leaves for longer. A cilantro plant that bolts will become bitter — not the best for cooking with!
All harvest, no toil. Gardyn’s turn-key indoor garden system uses patented Hybriponics™ technology paired with your personal AI gardener, Kelby, to make the process of growing your own food easier and more enjoyable than ever before. Go from seed to harvest in as little as 5 weeks! No mess, no fuss. Get Gardyning today.
Cilantro benefits from a hefty amount of direct sunlight. Aim for up to 8 hours of morning light each day. Position your plant near an unobstructed south- or west-facing window to get the most sun exposure.
If you cannot provide natural lighting, invest in a grow light (like a broad-spectrum LED or fluorescent bulb). Place the light a few inches above your plant and expose it for at least 14 hours per day. This will help your cilantro thrive without becoming “leggy”. This feature is standard across our indoor gardening Home Kits, which come with automatic, full-spectrum LED lighting to ensure optimal plant growth.
Important: Pale green leaves instead of a deep, lush shade is an indication that your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight. If so, consider adding grow lights to supplement its light intake.
Cilantro is not a particularly fussy plant when it comes to humidity; normal indoor humidity levels should be sufficient for most to-be gardeners.
But if your home is especially dry (such as during the winter), you may want to mist your plants occasionally with a spray bottle, or even consider investing in a humidifier. Additionally, you might want to keep windows open or use an indoor circulation fan to provide adequate airflow for your plant.
Cilantro is a cool-season crop that loves temperatures between 50 to 75°F.
A major advantage of growing cilantro indoors is that you’re in full control of its environment. During warmer spells, cilantro tends to bolt easily, sending up flower stalks, which can quickly sap the flavor from your leaves. Indoors, you can easily avoid this issue by moving the plant to a cooler, shadier location.
As with most herbs, cilantro hates sitting in water-logged soil, which can catalyze root rot and inhibit healthy growth. To avoid this issue, make sure to choose a planter or pot with adequate drainage holes. Additionally, ensure you’re using a container that is deep enough to accommodate the length of the cilantro’s deep roots. A container that is at least 8 inches deep should suffice.
You can also upcycle plastic containers — such as those that come with pre-packaged produce and foods — as planters. Just make sure to poke a few holes at the bottom for drainage.
Indoor cilantro grows best in a growing medium with excellent drainage properties, such as a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite.
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How to Plant Cilantro Indoors
When it comes to growing cilantro, seeds are really the best way to go. The long taproots of cilantro make transplanting difficult, and may also lead to lower-quality crops.
Growing Cilantro From Seed
- Find a warm, sunny spot for your cilantro plant (ideally where the ambient temperature is at least 70°F).
- Prepare your growing media in a container and pre-moisten it.
- Plant cilantro seeds about half an inch deep, and cover with a thin layer of soil.
- Lightly water to help your seeds settle into the soil.
Tip: Consider putting plastic wrap over the top of the container to help create a greenhouse environment for your seeds. This can be extremely helpful for germination. Remove when your seeds start to sprout.
- Your cilantro leaves will be ready for harvesting after a month, or when the plant is around 4 – 6 inches tall.
There’s another easier way to grow and care for cilantro indoors, and that’s with Gardyn’s lineup of hydroponic indoor garden kits. You’ll find everything you need in yCubes (our starter pack includes 30) containing non-GMO, locally sourced, and pesticide-free seed varieties sourced from all around the world. All you need to do is pop a yCube into any open receptacle of your Gardyn unit, and our app will take it from there.
From lighting to water, and even plant food — your Gardyn indoor herb garden does everything for you. All you have to do is hit “on”. Learn how it works.
How to Care for Your Cilantro
Cilantro is a hearty herb that’s not only easy to grow and enjoy, but also to maintain. Follow these simple tips and your cilantro will flourish:
When growing cilantro indoors, you want your soil to be moist, but not waterlogged. Too much moisture in the soil can lead to root rot, mildew, and aphid infestations. A good drainage system is key here. Stop watering as soon as water begins to leak from the drainage holes.
When watering your cilantro plants, you want to aim for around 1 inch of water per week. However, you should adjust this to the humidity of your home and the weather outside. If you’re experiencing a heatwave (or relatively warm summer temperatures), you may need to water more often.
Spritz bottles are perfect for watering your cilantro seedlings. If you don’t have one, you can easily improvise using a water bottle with small holes poked into the lid.
Cilantro grown indoors requires more nutrition due to its rather restricted root system, which limits its ability to access soil nutrients. Pump up your cilantro’s growth by fertilizing it with a balanced liquid fertilizer or controlled-release pellets once every two weeks during the growing season. As with all herbs, make sure not to overfertilize, as this can alter the taste of the plant and cause leaf burn.
Other Tips For Growing
Cilantro is an annual herb, with a short life cycle (about 2 months, or slightly more). Nonetheless, you should still be able to get a couple of harvests out of it provided you time your planting correctly.
To ensure a steady supply, sow fresh seeds every few weeks. And as your plant matures, pinch it regularly; this encourages the plant to branch out and produce more leaves for harvesting.
Harvesting and Using Your Cilantro
To harvest, simply cut off the top few inches of stems. You can also pick off the leaves one by one. Be sure to remove the outer stems first — which are the oldest — to encourage new, compact growth. You can use your harvested cilantro immediately for cooking or store it in a sealed container.
To harvest the seeds of your plant, snip off the seed heads then place them in a paper bag, ensuring they face downwards. Give it a few days and the husk will split open. Shake the resulting seeds into the bag, sift any debris and store in an airtight container.
To prolong the harvest period, harvest (in essence, prune) regularly. A general rule of thumb is one third of the plant each time; picking off too much at once can weaken the plant.
Cilantro And Its Many Uses
So what can you do with cilantro? The most popular use is to make salsa, but cilantro can also be used for making chutneys, curries, as well as other traditional Mexican dishes. It adds a nice touch to tacos, salads, and sandwiches, and is commonly used to garnish soups and stir-fries.
A Cilantro Eden for Your Home
Cilantro is an easy-to-grow herb that thrives in indoor conditions just as well as it does outdoors. To ensure success:
- Keep the soil moist;
- Place your container in a sunny spot;
- Water regularly;
- And top-up with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks.
Trim cilantro as needed to encourage new growth, and harvest before it bolts to maintain a longer supply of younger and tendered leaves.
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Welcome to the future of produce. Gardyn isn’t just an easier way of gardening — it’s a healthier, better way of living. Shop our latest indoor gardening kits here.