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The coriander it is an annual, aromatic and fast-growing herb that grows best in the cool of spring and autumn. If you've ever wondered how to grow coriander and how to harvest it you're in the right place: take a look at our guide to get a complete overview on how you can manage yours coriander cultivation, a herb often used to flavor many recipes, and which not everyone knows is edible in its entirety!
Cilantro or coriander?
The first thing we want to clarify is the difference between cilantro and coriander, considering that it is often spoken of in a substitute way… wrongly.
In fact, the reality is that cilantro and coriander are different parts of the same plant.
Cilantro usually refers to the leaves of the plant, which are used as a herb. And this describes the vegetative stage of the plant's life cycle.
Coriander instead refers to the seeds, which are typically ground and used as a spice. And this happens after the plant blooms and develops seeds.
In short, this is precisely the difference between a herb and a spice!
How to plant cilantro
After this brief introduction, we can get to the heart of our in-depth study.
Generally it is advisable to plant coriander in spring, as soon as winter ends. Either way, the exact moment when it is advisable to plant coriander it should be customized according to the place where the cultivation and growth of this plant will take place and, therefore, it is always worth remembering the good rule of talking about it with a good farmer who can suggest how to proceed in this direction.
For this purpose it is better to choose a sunny place that allows the coriander to develop more effectively. It can be useful to plant it in a herb garden or in the corner of a vegetable garden. As the weather warms up, the plant will quickly finish its life cycle and leave a long stem as a reminder that will produce the next flowers and seeds. During the season and the following spring, therefore, seedlings will sprout thanks to this work of "self-seeding" of the plant.
It is important to keep the seeds moist during germination, so remember to water the plants regularly!
To get you coriander care it is important to remember to water the seedlings regularly throughout the growing season. Once the seedlings have settled, they don't need too much water per week. It will therefore be sufficient to remember to keep them humid, but without watering them too much.
It is also necessary to fertilize once or twice during the growing season with nitrogen fertilizer. Also in this case it is very important to proceed in a balanced way, avoiding over fertilizing the plants.
To prevent weeds, use a mulch around the plants as soon as they are visible above the soil. It is also possible to go deep, to help prevent weed damage to the roots.
Diseases of Coriander
The coriander it is subject to some diseases such as withering due to fungi, aphids, mold.
In any case, a good part of these prejudices are fortunately controllable through the use of appropriate countermeasures. For example, insecticide can be used to control insects once they are identified under the leaves.
To avoid wilting and mold, it can instead be useful to clean debris and residues under the plants.
Collect the cilantro
The large leaves of the cilantro can be cut individually from the plants, while the smaller leaves should be cut just above the crown.
It is also possible to remove the entire plant at once, but this means that it will not be able to continue harvesting for the rest of the growing season.
To store coriander seeds, you can cut off the seed heads when the plant starts to turn brown, and put them in a paper bag.
The bag can therefore be hung until the plant dries up and the seeds fall off. At this point you can store the seeds in sealed containers.
To store coriander leaves, you can choose to freeze or dry them. To freeze them, place the leaves in a resealable freezer bag and store them in your freezer. To dry them, hang the plant in a warm place until completely dry, then store the leaves in a resealable bag or container.
Many people say they don't like cilantro because it tastes like soap. Well, some studies show that this reaction can be influenced by genetics, while others believe that the flavor is due to a molecule called aldehyde, which occurs naturally in coriander, but which is also used in some soaps.