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Growing Cilantro [split from General Topics]

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  • Val Mar 15, 2009 11:46 AM

kc, I live in FL too...south of you in Naples...have had the hardest time growing cilantro...parsley no problem; I have 2 plants growing beautifully now and the rosemary, forget about it--it's like shrub in such abundance...do you grow your cilantro in a pot or in the ground? Thanks!

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  1. Hi Val, I grow mine in a pot, but I do have much better luck in the ground. I have 3 small planters for my herbs. Window box like containers. They like sun but not as hearty as parsley and don't like winter much (the cold) They also have a very short life span unlike parsley, oregano and rosemary especially. It is heat tolerant to a degree, but I think that has to do with the varieties that are grown here vs shipped in. So spring and early summer does well, but a protected and semi shaded area should make them grow just fine. My small pot I have on my lanai table but gets 1/2 sun/shade. I have to water often. I fertilize with just a water based safe fertilizer just every couple of weeks nothing much. Human friendly. One note. I cut mine back because they do flower often. I continue to cut but they will not last as long as other herbs, a short life poor babies :). They are harder than some. They like to be well drained also. No setting water, Even my stone planters I have up on 2 small bricks and drilled holes in the bottom so they can drain properly. Just a good well drained organic soil is fine, nothing too special. If they yellow and wilt. Too dry, Yellow and upright too much or not enough drainage. Not growing and lightly brown, not enough light, looking pale and sick. Once you find the right spot. I just stick in the ground water and let go. Check now and then to see is moist enough but worry free.

    Sort of like orchids, I grow those too. The right spot ... they are happy campers, the wrong, sickly. Put the pot around in a few spots and see what does best.

    And for Rosemary, I can eat, dry or give away quick enough!! Ditto on that. Same with my oregano. Do you grow Tropical Oregano, big white and green leaves, very moist. Great flavor, much milder. Some people have a hard time with oregano, this is so mild and sweet, great with fish and chicken easy to grow and very very heat tolerant. Hence the name. I love it. Dill FYI, No summer, won't grow, too hot. Fall and winter and early spring Inside I don't have much luck either, likes misting or natural dew, hates to get too wet too. Not that we have that problem in FL, LOL.

    Good luck, let me know how you do, or ask me whatever, glad to help.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kchurchill5

      Yeah, trying moving the pot in different locations sounds best...thanks...haven't done oregano...I like it but not sure if I'd use it up if I was growing fresh but thanks for that tip, too.

      1. re: Val

        i grow rosemary, marjarom, cilantro, dill, parsley 3, 2 thyme and 1 lemon thyme, 4 basils and lavender and catnip (for the kitties) Also tropical oregano, dill at the right time and others when the time is right, red, sweet and Italian basil.

    2. it can't take too much sustained hot sun, like you get in naples. i've been unsuccessful growing it in fort myers.

      3 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        It is hard at times. I grew it in one spot and it didn't do well moved it to the back and it thrived. Both same amount of sun but for some reason just liked one vs another. I usually can grow for most of the summer, but they do need water and drainage is key. Also too much shade is not good. and they like air movement. Once you find the right spot it does great. It does have a short life span compared to other herbs so use it while you can.

        I built myself 2 large planters for herbs. I made the box 4' long by 2 1/2' deep and 10" high. Just pressure treated wood. No bottom just sides. I also drilled holes close to the bottom of the wood for drainage along each side. Set the open box on existing soil and covered with some small stone for drainage, then just a good potting soil it all. Planted my herbs staggering and then topped with mulch. This keeps them moist and good drainage. Even at the apartment I have a similar set up. It is movable but grows great herbs. Just don't plant directly by a sprinkler, they like water but not drowned.

        1. re: kchurchill5

          just saw a garden show where they were making an herb container. they put gravel on top of the soil once the plants were planted in the soil. keeps soil moist, keeps moisture away from leaves and stems, and keeps water from splashing out the soil when you water. i thought it was a good idea.

          ps, i hope you got a chance to read my "vampure" comment on that other thread before it got axed.

        2. re: alkapal

          Up here in Boston it reseeds itself and spreads like crazy. Fortunately it's very easy to uproot.

        3. Hi,

          Have you guys had any luck growing cilantro indoors (at a sunny window) in the summer? Mine goes to seed after 2 days of warm weather here and I would love to grow it since it is one of the herbs i use the most. What about growing cervil or other cool weather herbs?

          Thanks!

          1. I put it in the ground.

            I've found that after cilantro flowers, even if the plant is still growing and hardy, the flavour in the leaves deteriorates. Still looks like cilantro, but starts to taste more like grass.

            1 Reply
            1. re: phoenikia

              Yup! Although growing up in a Mexican household where we grew a good amount of our own food and we use it CONSTANTLY, my mother stopped growing it after a while. It's a bit more fincy it HATES to be over watered... loves shade. It also tends to SPREAD a lot... IME, it truly is more like a grass than an typical herb plant...
              --Dommy!

            2. In the south you should grow it as a cool weather crop, ie when you would grow lettuce.