The beauty of growing the plant of coriander is that it is a 2 in 1 plant. The whole plant is generally referred to as the coriander plant but the leaves of this plant are eaten fresh and are known as cilantro. The seeds of this plant are known as coriander and both coriander and cilantro have numerous uses in day to day cooking.
Cilantro is popularly used for garnishing purposes all over the globe. Particularly in India, China and Mexico it is also used for cooking purposes on a very large scale but its use for cooking is not only limited to these 3 countries only. People from other countries also use cilantro in the process of cooking but the scale of use differs a lot.
The seeds of the coriander plant are mainly used as a spice or a flavor adding ingredient mainly in pickles and curries. Cilantro is sometimes also referred to as coriander leaves or coriander in some parts of the world.
Tips For Growing Coriander/Cilantro
The plant of coriander is an annual and for obvious reasons, it exhibits many features of the parent family as far as the growth of this plant is concerned. Ideally, growing coriander is really not a big deal as it is easy to grow compared to many other plants belonging to the same family.
But still, there are literally tons of ways by which the process can be turned into a difficult one from an easy just by making a few mistakes. Thus, it is important to be aware of the basic tit bits of this plant for growing it at the best.
- The plant of coriander grows best in the cool weather at a location where the plant receives partial shade and partial sunlight. Although having an ideal location of a partial shade is not compulsory as the plant can handle high sunlight exposure provided you keep it moist but still it is a better option to go for.
- When it comes to harvesting, the days to maturity for coriander and cilantro varies a lot. It takes almost double time for the coriander seeds to get mature enough for harvesting than cilantro. Normally, cilantro gets matured in 50 days and coriander gets matured in 100 days. These are usual timelines but in some cases, it may happen sooner or it may happen later.
- For an optimum growth of this plant, it is quite necessary to maintain its ideal soil pH level. Coriander plant grows best in the soil pH level ranging from 6.2-6.8.
- As the coriander plant grows its roots will branch out so it is essential to sow the plants at a good space from each other to avoid any unnecessary competition.
- Cilantro is a versatile short-lived herb which should be used immediately when detached from the plant. It is important to use it fresh in order to maintain its flavor. If it is to be used after some time then make sure to properly freeze it. Furthermore, it is to be noted that there may be a difference in taste and flavor in fresh and frozen cilantro. Coriander seeds, on the other hand, aren’t much delicate and can be used on an ongoing basis for a longer term. They can also be stored in the fridge just like cilantro.
- It is to be well noted that though coriander plant is cool weather plant but it is not frost proof. Frost problem can actually kill the whole plant so you must take proper measures to prevent it from destroying the plants.
- Lastly, this plant needs good regular maintenance in order to sprout out well. Make sure you don’t miss providing daily care to this plant and also do keep a look out for the pest problem although it happens rarely in the case of the coriander plants.