How To Grow Cilantro Indoors: Complete Care & Growing Guide

Learning how to grow cilantro indoors will keep this delightfully tasty herb at your fingertips in the kitchen.

Potted Cilantro Herbs
potted coriander
(Image credit: Lena_Zajchikova)

Can I Grow Cilantro Indoors?

Cilantro seems to be a polarizing herb. Some people love it, and some can’t stand it. If you love cilantro, consider growing some for your kitchen. Like other herbs, cilantro is fairly easy to grow and will reward you with a regular harvest of fresh, tasty leaves.

Cilantro and other herbs are relatively easy to grow in containers, but can you grow cilantro indoors easily? When you provide it with the right care and conditions, you can definitely grow and enjoy cilantro as a kitchen herb.

Although there are some challenges compared to growing it outdoors, cilantro will grow and potentially thrive in an indoor pot. The tricky part is giving it the same conditions it thrives on outdoors, which include plenty of sun, good drainage, and moderate temperatures.

How to Grow Cilantro Indoors

Successfully growing cilantro indoors depends on providing it with the best growing conditions possible:


One of the trickiest aspects of growing cilantro inside is getting enough light. It needs at least six hours per day of bright, direct light. Place it near a sunny, south-facing window and supplement with a grow light if necessary.


Water cilantro regularly as the soil begins to dry at the top of the container. It’s best to err on the side of dry with cilantro. It does not tolerate soggy soil.

Temperature & Humidity

Cilantro does best in cool and warm temperatures, which works well for indoor growing. Temperatures should be between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 27 Celsius). Temperatures over 85 will cause it to bolt (flower), which ruins the spicy flavor.


Soil that drains well is a must for cilantro, which will not tolerate standing water or soil that gets too wet. Choose a light potting mix designed for vegetables and herbs. Compost and vermiculite make a good blend.


Use a dilute solution of balanced fertilizer, like 20-20-20, every couple of weeks during the growing season.

Problems, Pests & Diseases

You are unlikely to see any pests on your indoor cilantro, especially if you start it from seeds. The biggest issue you are likely to encounter is rot from too much water or a pot that doesn’t drain well. Choose a container with good drainage and avoid overwatering.

How to Start Cilantro Indoors From Seed

Cilantro does not transplant well, so avoid moving one from an outdoor bed to an indoor container. Instead, start new indoor plants from seed. Set up a container with good drainage and light potting mix. Moisten the potting mix.

Sow several seeds in the container to a depth of about three to five times the size of the seeds. Place it in a warm spot and keep the soil moist. Thin the seedlings once they have grown a couple of inches. Allow one to three robust seedlings to remain, depending on the size of the pot.


Pinch off leaves as the young plant grows to encourage bushier, denser growth. You can use the pinched-off leaves as you remove them.


The best way to grow cilantro is by seed. You can let your plant bolt and collect seeds, or you can buy more seeds, which are not expensive.


A single cilantro plant doesn’t last long, so you won’t need to repot it at any point. Reuse the container with new seeds to grow a new plant for additional harvests.

How to Harvest Cilantro Indoors

Cut stems at the base once they are four to six inches tall. Cilantro is best used fresh, but you can also dry the leaves. Don’t remove more than 30% of the plant at one time if you want to keep harvesting it.

Best Varieties of Cilantro To Grow Indoors

Any variety of cilantro should grow well indoors. Look for “Santo” for plenty of leaves to harvest. Both “Santo” and “Indian Summer” are slow to bolt, even in hot conditions. Vietnamese cilantro has a more unique flavor if you can find it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Cilantro Alive Indoors?

Cilantro should thrive indoors with full sunlight, adequate water, and good drainage. Be aware that cilantro plants do not last long. They are generally grown as annuals.

Harvest no more than 30% of a cilantro plant to keep it healthy, but don’t expect it to last more than one growing season.

How Do You Harvest Cilantro So It Keeps Growing?

Harvest no more than 30% of a cilantro plant to keep it healthy, but don’t expect it to last more than one growing season.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.