Cilantro is a ‘love it or hate it’ plant and those who love it often want to add the herb to every meal. This decision might be a good one for health as well as taste, with cilantro potentially linked to brain health, reduced anxiety, and even blood sugar management. Luckily, access to fresh cilantro all year long is made easy with the iHarvest®. Before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Germinating Your Cilantro:
First, cilantro is a difficult seed to germinate. That doesn’t mean it is impossible, but it does require a bit of extra work. Our Seedling Starter Kit is a great option to make the process as easy as possible. Many growers in our community have also suggested using the ‘paper towel’ method to kick start the germination process. Regardless of the strategy you choose, consider gently ‘cracking’ the husk that holds the two cilantro seeds together and then soaking them in water for between 24 to 48 hours.
Germination takes a bit of time with cilantro, with the plants beginning to emerge after seven to 10 days in most cases.
The Right Lighting To Grow Cilantro Indoors
Cilantro requires steady and even light for 12 to 14 hours per day in order to thrive. This isn’t a factor you want to leave to chance – invest in quality LED growing lights to give your indoor garden the best chance for success.
Plants require plenty of nutrients in order to thrive, and you can measure how much they are getting with a parts per million (PPM) tester. As a comprehensive gardening solution, every iHarvest® system comes with a PPM tester to ensure accurate readings. Keep the range between 600 and 1000.
Good pH Range For Growing Cilantro:
Another iHarvest® feature to ensure plants thrive is its pH tester. The right pH level ensures that plants absorb the nutrients they need in the optimal timeframe. Keep the pH of your cilantro between 5.5 and 6.5.
Learning to grow cilantro successfully requires the right nutrient mixture to flourish. A nutrient solution like MaxiGro can take some of the guesswork out of growing cilantro in a indoor garden system and can even lead to bigger yields.
As you do decide to take some leaves off, make sure you take from the outside of the plant only. Leaving the inner leaves alone will encourage the plant to keep growing. If your cilantro begins to flower, try removing the flowers early to preserve your cilantro’s taste.
Harvesting Cilantro Plants:
Cilantro plants are fairly easy to harvest. Use clean, sharp scissors or shears to cut about one-third of the way down the plant. You will use the top one third for cooking while the bottom two thirds will continue to produce new leaves. Once the plant is growing well, harvest it about once per week and freeze or dry any leaves you can’t use right away.
An indoor garden is a great way to make sure you always have access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It doesn’t have to be difficult, either, especially with tools like the iHarvest® at your disposal. Make growing easy and fun with our growing system and join our Indoor Garden Works community of avid and informed growers on Facebook!