Growing Coriander Step-by-Step
Growing Coriander Step-by-Step

Growing Coriander Step-by-Step

2 July 2023

After meticulously following this step by step guide to growing coriander, you will never fail to grow coriander again!

Botanical Name: Coriandrum sativum

Family: Apiaceae

Common Name: Coriander

First things first:

Coriander is one indespensible herb in Indian kitchens. Without this fragrantly nutritious herb, south Indian cousine in particular isn't complete.  The wise say - “ Eat food as medicine, or else you will have to eat medicine as food”. Coriander fits perfect to this wisdom adding great medicinal value to the daily food. Its cousins cilantro and parsley are more popular in Europe and in the USA. In this blogpost however, we focus on growing coriander.


Nutrition Tidbits:

Loaded with anti-oxidants, coriander when included as a part of daily diet, improves immunity, shields us from cancer and reduce inflammations. This herb is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.


Growing Conditions:

Sowing Period:

All year round. Best during Winter-Spring and late summer.

Sowing Climate:

Germination Temperature: 15o - 30o C

Soil pH: 6.5 – 7.5

Sunlight: About 4-5 hours in summer & full sunlight during winter.

Growing media:

Loamy soil rich in nitrogen. For container gardening, I would recommend redsoil 30%, Cocopeat 30% and compost 40% as the base mix(% by volume). Red soil is a refernce. In its place, the soil native to your region could be used which might need tweeking of the base mix ratio to restore loaminess. Depending on region specific availability,; perlite, vermiculite, peatmoss or similar could be used as alternative to cocopeat. Feel free to experment a bit to find your balance with locally available resources.

Sowing container:

coriander is za shallow rooted plant. A container with a minimum 5” depth is sufficient. In general, for growing greens, a rectangular container or bed is my personal favorite. Since the harvestable part of greens is mainly foliage, larger the aeriel space, better is the yield potential.

Seed Spacing:

The seeds can be sown at fixed spacing, evenly spread in rows or just scattered. My recommendation is to make 1/2”deep grooved rows 4” apart. You will learn more on this in sowing method.

Growth Phases:


Sow the seeds in the groove and cover it back with soil. Drench the soil soon after sowing to wet the seeds and activate them. Or they will become food for insects. Cover the top soil with shredded dry leaves up to 1/2” thick. This will create a micro greenhouse very close to the soil surface fostering better seed germination. Are you worried whether seeds can grow past the leaves? Don't! they will find their way in between shredded leaves. Just ensure that you don't cover the soil with unshredded or too finely shredded leaves or heavy wood matter.

Coriander seedings approx. two weeks after sowing.


I often receive these two common questions from my clients:

1) Can I sow the store bought seeds to grow coriander?

Idealy yes. However, the packaged seeds are most likely passed through steam in order to improve shelf life. This will drastically reduce the seed viability and germination %. You could give it a try, if time lost when the seeds fail to germinate is not of big concern. But if they do, you got it!

2) Should I split the seed in to two or sow as a whole?

Works either ways. A whole seed is actualy a pair of two seeds joined at the seam.Splitting helps in spacing better.

Sowing Method:

The key to bountiful yield is following the right method. The best place to start following the correct method is at the beginning! If you sow right, you can harvest a fortune!! (provided, the steps thereafter are also followed right :-)

Three sowing methods with hints and notes are presented below. This should help you in adopting what suits you most. Do not hesitate to try each method and find out which works best for you.

Row sowing

This is how they germinate when you sow the seeds in rows. This raised bed is drip irrigated. Those black pipes are drip pipes and the blue parts are the drip emiters


Pocket sowing

This is how they germinate when you sow the seeds in pockets



4” between plants is an optimal spacing requirement for coriander. After about a week or two from germination, it is good time to thin the patch down. Or you may want to wait until the saplings have grown to atleast 2“ tall, making it easy to pull them out. You may pullout weak or poorly grown saplings to provide the recommendd spacing for those plants left to grow. The pulled out plants can be added in salads as microgreens for breakfast! Thinning is not required when you have sown in pockets already taking care of the spacing needs.

Growing: Growing greens is like running a 100m race. Speed is of essense. Sowing to harvest and all in betweeen happens in just 4 weeks! About a week is gone in germination. In the remaining 3 weeks, the plant has to grow leaves big and dense offering you a bountiful harvest. This requires maintaining best growing conditions at all times.

First of all, soil moisture. Ensure the soil is adequately moist at all times but not wet. Coriander is particularly sensitive to soil moisture. Consistent dry spells induce quick bolting. This is even more pronounced during summer. Therefore, soil surface moisture at the top 2” depth is paramount.

Secondly, starting from first week after germination, apply any liquid nutrition rich in nitrogen such as Compost tea, Bokashi brew, Fish emulsion, Panchagavya, Jivamrut etc. Use that which is easily and localy available. You don't have to move mountains to get the stuff coz, its written here!

Thirdly, look for weeds and uproot them. In simple terms, any plant other then coriander in that patch or container is a weed unless you have intentionally planted as a part of companion planting or multilayer gardening.

Lastly, observe the plants daily as a routine for any attack by pests. Aphids are the main pests in coriander.  Look for the on the stems,  underside of leaves and new shoot tips. Water jet spray for early onset is mostlysuffecient to dislocate them. Also observe for cutworm, wilting and blight. Take appropriate remedial measures to control at the early stage itself.


Coriander is ready for harvest after about 35 – 40 days from sowing. Unless you have sown multicut arietyseeds, pull out the entire plant. Once ina while sparinly harvesting few sprigs wouldn't affect the yield. If you are growing a multicut variety, you could only harvest the mature leaves by cutting each one of them using a pruning shear or scissors or even just pinching with your fingers. Leave the baby leaves which will be ready to harvest in a week. By this method, you can enjoy 3-5 smaller harvest portions until the plants start to bolt (Flowering).

As a thumb rule, you could expect about 120g of coriander per sqft of growing area when you pull out the plants after 4-5 weeks of sowing. If you harvest leaves and let the plants grow, cumulative harvests in a span of next 3 weeks could be doubled!!

Happy Gardening!

About the Author: Krishna Kumar is a Leadership Mentorcoach and a humble gardener. He helps development of people within both in body and mind, unleashing their true potential.
About the Author: Krishna Kumar is a Leadership Mentorcoach and a humble gardener. He helps development of people within both in body and mind, unleashing their true potential.

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