By Molly Lavins
Growing cilantro indoors can be as successful and flavorful as growing cilantro in your garden if you give the plant a little extra care.
When planting cilantro indoors, it’s best not to transplant plants from your garden. Cilantro does not transplant well. When you grow cilantro indoors, start with seeds or starter plants. Ultimately, make sure that your plants are 3 to 4 inches apart.
Tips for Growing Cilantro Indoors
It is best to use an unglazed terra cotta container when growing cilantro inside because it allows for greater moisture and air to pass through the plant. Make sure that you have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the container so that water can pass through when watering.
Cilantro growing indoors needs more nutrition because the root system range is limited and can’t access as much soil for nutrients as it would in your garden. The soil when planting cilantro indoors should be a mixture of potting soil and sand to allow water to move more freely. In addition, you can use a fertilizer of liquid fish emulsion or chemical formulation of 20-20-20 to add additional nutrients. Use 1/2 concentrations of the fertilizers bi-weekly during the active growing periods.
Thorough watering is more important than frequent watering when growing cilantro inside. Water the plants until the water comes out the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Check the soil frequently, but cilantro growing indoors should only be watered when the soil is dry to the touch. This will be more often in the summer months.
To grow cilantro indoors, it is important that the plant have full sun four to five hours per day. If you also use a growing light, growing the cilantro inside will be more successful.
Harvesting Cilantro Growing Indoors
When you grow cilantro indoors, it is important to harvest it with care. Indoor herbs naturally reach for the light and can, therefore, become spindly. Pinch them at the growing tips to force a bushier plant.
Keep in mind when planting cilantro indoors that it will grow less abundantly than when grown outside in your garden. However, with added care and attention to sun exposure, soil mixture, moisture and gentle harvesting, you will be rewarded with this flavorful and aromatic herb year round.