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Growing Cilantro: The 25 Dos and Don’ts


Lighting up the homes of many plant collectors all over the world is the Cilantro. It is a strong, distinctive-smelling herb and easy-to-care-for plant! You can easily grow it in your own garden. It is also a great plant as you can benefit from its continuous harvest that is usually twice a year— April harvest and November harvest. Rest assured that you have a steady supply of Cilantro!

In this post, we will talk about all the necessary care practices and growth behavior of the Cilantro to help you out. We’re also sharing some purchasing options if you’re looking for a place to buy this lovely Coriandrum!

What Is Cilantro?

Cilantro, commonly known as Chinese parsley, is popular among plant lovers for its antimicrobial composite that may help safeguard your body against infections and diseases.

This strong, distinctive-smelling herb is recommended to be placed in a bright light room for it to flourish indoors. Outdoors, it thrives in hardiness zones 8-11.

Origin And Family

Chinese parsley belongs to the Coriandrum genus in the Umbellifers family. Natively, it’s from the Mediterranean.

First identified in 6,000 BC, this strong, distinctive-smelling herb plant has gained popularity among indoor plant growers in recent years. In early summer, it yields small whitish-pink blooms.

Plant GuideCare Specifics
Botanical NameCilantro
Common NameChinese parsley,
Plant FamilyUmbellifers
Plant Typeannual
Leaf Shapebroadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems
Leaf Colorgreen
Recommended Home Placementbright light room
Growth Ratefast
Lightfull sun
Soillight, well-drained, moderately fertile loam or sandy soil
When To WaterWater if the top half-inch of soil is dried out.
When To Fertilizeevery 2 weeks during growing season
Preferred pH6.0-7.0
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include
Common Pests & Diseasesbrown tips, powder mildrew, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Where To Buy

Are you looking to buy fresh Cilantro plants? When purchasing most of our houseplants, we usually start with Etsy, which has a wide variety of plants and deals.

For fairly affordable prices, you can get Cilantro or coriander seeds.

Cilantro Plant Size

Indoors, the Cilantro reaches a height of 12-18 inches and a width of 1-1.5 ft for a mature plant. This Coriandrum sativum grows at a fast rate and beautifully thrives when placed in a bright well lit room.

Cilantro Care Needs

Your Cilantro, with its antimicrobial compound that may help protect your body against infections and illnesses caused by tainted food, will flourish if you take good care of it. This plant loves full sun or light shade in southern zones and relatively moist soil throughout the year.

Water your Coriandrum if the top half-inch of the soil surface is dried out. Make sure to give it a full drench, allowing water to run down the bottom of the pot. In terms of lighting, full sun is best for this plant.

Check out the additional detailed growth suggestions we’ve included below to keep your Cilantro happy and healthy!

Care Difficulty

This Chinese parsley is generally easy-to-care-for. The sun and well-draining soil with organic matter are the most important considerations for this beauty.

Growth Rate

The growing speed of a Chinese parsley is typically fast. Indoors, it reaches a mature height of 12-18 inches.

You can manage this plant’s height with proper pruning during the growing season in the late spring to fall.


In terms of material and size for your pot, it’s generally advisable to use a small to a medium-sized pot. The important consideration is for your pot to have at least one drainage hole. Chinese parsley does not like sitting in water. Otherwise, it may succumb to root rot.


This Coriandrum typically does not need to be repotted. Once planted, there is no need to repot, and you can keep it for the rest of its life in the same pot. However, you can still transfer the plant into a bigger pot. The roots will adapt easier when planted in the same light, well-drained, moderately fertile loam or sandy soil that it’s used to.


The Chinese parsley is an easy-to-care-for plant that needs light, well-drained, moderately fertile loam or sandy soil to stay healthy. If you plan to prepare your own soil mix, we recommend that you add in some organic matter.

Your Coriandrum will appreciate the soil being kept relatively moist at all times. Yet, drainage and aeration are essential for all soil types.

We recommend the following potting mixes:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.99 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.98 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.54
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


You’ll need a soil pH of roughly 6.0-7.0, which is slightly acidic, for the Chinese parsley. If you’re worried about acidity, you can check your soil using a simple pH testing tool you can purchase online.

If you worry that the pH is too high, add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to reduce it.

Meanwhile, if the pH of your soil is too low, add baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash.


Your Chinese parsley will want the soil to stay relatively moist in between watering intervals. Touch the soil with your finger and check if the top half-inch of soil is dried out. If this is the case, thoroughly drench your plant until water seeps out from the bottom of the pot.

Overwatering is one of the most common causes of plant death indoors. When in doubt, it’s usually preferable to underwater than overwater Chinese parsley. To make sure that you’re not drowning the plant’s roots, use a well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.


Coming from the Mediterranean, this plant is used to receiving full sun. In an indoor setting, at least six hours of sun per day or supplemental lighting is the recommended hours of exposure for your Cilantro.

If your plant is not getting as much light as it needs, it turns yellow or brown. In this case, you can move your plant closer to a window. You can also supplement it with grow lights. We recommend the following artificial lighting products:

Avoid clustering Cilantro.


Feed your Chinese parsley if you want to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a nitrogen-based fertilizer or water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during its growing season in the spring to fall.

Here are some plant food suggestions to consider:

Photo Title Price Buy
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Slow-Release Fertilizer by Perfect Plants - Resealable 5oz. Bag - Consistent Nutrient Enrichment - for Indoor and Outdoor Use on All Ficus Varieties $9.95 ($1.99 / Ounce)
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant...image Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb. $32.09 ($0.25 / Ounce)
EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer,...image EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer, Made with Recycled Nutrients and Organic Matter, Covers up to 2,500 sq. ft., 45 lbs. $31.32 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic...image Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic Slow Release Fertilizer - 50 Lbs.
Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12,...image Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12, Slow Release 3-4 Months, 50lbs. Bag

Propagating Cilantro

There are different ways to propagate Cilantro. Follow the steps below for each unique method to get a higher chance of success.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

The most convenient way to propagate a Cilantro is by making a cutting and planting it in soil. Early spring is the best time to propagate a Chinese parsley. Here are the steps for getting started.

1. Collect your cutting. Look for a healthy section of the Cilantro’s stem with fresh growth with one or two nodes. Cut just below the Chinese parsley’s nodes with clean gardening shears.

2. Plant your cutting. Directly plant the cutting into light, well-drained, moderately fertile loam or sandy soil.

3. Maintain your cutting. Keep the soil around your baby Cilantro moist and maintain a temperature of approximately 50-85°F.

4. Rotate your cutting. For an even growth on all sides of your plant, rotate the pot every now and then.

Stem Cuttings In Water

Chinese parsley can be propagated in water with six simple steps.

1. Cut. Cut a section from the stem with fresh growth and at least one node.

2. Submerge. To monitor root growth, you can place the cutting in a transparent container or a glass of water.

3. Maintain. Next is to store the cutting in a bright shaded area with good airflow.

4. Refill. Replenish the water every 3-5 days to avoid bacterial infection.

5. Transplant. After two weeks, check for progress; then plant the cutting into a sterile potting mix as soon as the roots have grown to an inch or longer.

6. Wait. It is normal that your plant will look wilted at first. This is because the roots need to adjust to the soil. During this point, avoid applying fertilizer or any treatments until your plant has gotten the chance to stabilize.


For the Cilantro propagation method known as division, you are separating the strong, distinctive-smelling herb plant at the roots – making two Chinese parsley plants.

You can divide the stem clusters of your Chinese parsley by following these steps:

1. Dig it up. Take the plant from its container. The natural divisions are pretty straightforward.

2. Pull apart. With your fingers, gently separate the Cilantro at the root. You may need to use pruners or shears to cut any tangled roots.

3. Repot. Plant each section of the Chinese parsley in new pots filled with the same soil that they’re used to.

Humidity And Aeration

Lack of humidity in houseplants is often characterized by crispy and browning edges in the leaves of the plant. Consider purchasing a humidifier, or set your plant in well-lit spaces that are naturally more humid, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.


Temperature ranges between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit is best for your Chinese parsley.

Rapid temperature changes can be fatal for your Chinese parsley. During the winter, close windows and seal any openings where cold drafts may enter. Don’t place your plant near appliances that emit heat.


Although a rare occurrence in an indoor environment, you might be able to witness your Chinese parsley produce flowers. Cilantro flowers are small and whitish-pink in color. Outdoors, this plant blooms early to late summer.


Unfortunately, Chinese parsley is toxic to pets (including cats and dogs). If consumed, you can expect gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac arrhythmia in your pet.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Cilantro looking ill? Most would say that this plant has strong resistance to pests, diseases, and overall problems.

In the following sections, I’ve provided the common issues that affect this plant. Use these tips to help diagnose and treat your Coriandrum.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease caused by high temperatures and insufficient air circulation. It is distinguished by a white web-like material that swiftly covers the leaves of your Chinese parsley.

Here’s an easy home remedy for powdery mildew: combine 5 mL neem oil, 5 mL mild dish soap (without bleach), 3 grams baking soda, and 1 Liter water. Spray this mixture on your plant’s leaves well and reapply as needed.

To minimize leaf burn, keep your plant away from direct sources of light and heat after spraying.

White Flies

Whiteflies are gnat-like pests that feed on the sap of your houseplants. Having them on your Chinese parsley can be a big inconvenience. They deposit eggs which will hatch into larvae that eat the undersides of your plant’s leaves.

You can get rid of Whiteflies using a general pesticide. You may either buy it online or make one using the recipe below:

• To create your base, mix these ingredients together: 5 drops of dish soap (make sure it doesn’t have any bleach in it!) + 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil

• For every cup of water, add 1.5 tsp of the prepared mixture

• Shake the solution well and then transfer it to a spray bottle.

• Spray all surfaces of the infected plant, especially on the underside of leaves.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might look like lumps on the stems or leaves of your Cilantro. These small bugs, which may be green, gray, brown, or black in color, usually remain sedentary once they’ve latched onto a plant.

You can mix a teaspoon of neem oil diluted in four cups of water to discourage scale insects from attacking your plant during mild infestations. Take a spray bottle and vigorously spray the plant.

Neem oil and horticultural oils might not kill the pests but will certainly cause some damage to them. There are numerous insecticide sprays against scales that are regarded as safe to use indoors.


Aphids are tiny bugs that will eat the leaves of your Chinese parsley, resulting in black and brown patches.

Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to treat an infestation. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid for example.

Start by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves where aphids can usually be found.


Mealybugs have the potential to infest your Chinese parsley. These parasites cause damage by soaking up the nutrients from the plant. If unchecked, mealybugs have the potential to kill your Chinese parsley.

Rubbing alcohol is your number one weapon against mealybugs. It will kill mealybugs on contact and turn them into a translucent brown color. Dilute the alcohol in water and spray directly on the pesky critters.

Brown Leaf Tips

One common cause of browning edges on your Chinese parsley’s leaves is a build-up of salts and minerals in the soil. This typically happens if you apply too much fertilizer or if you use chemically-treated tap water.

Another reason for browning leaf tips is the lack of moisture. Water your plant properly, and improve your indoor humidity.

Drooping Leaves

The leaves of your Cilantro might start to droop if it’s not getting an adequate amount of moisture and light. Check out our Water and Light categories above to know more about how to care for your plant.

Low humidity can also produce drooping leaves, so be sure to check the humidity levels in your area to ensure sure they match your plant’s needs.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on Chinese parsley can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.

If you’re confused, don’t worry! Gardening requires trial and error to figure out the ideal conditions for your plants, and even master gardeners are learning new things every day.

It is usually encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy trying to “save” the leaf instead of supplying nutrients to new leaves.

Similar Plants

Love Chinese parsley? Here are some other similar plant options for Coriander plants you should try:

Parsley – A species of flowering plant in the Apiaceae family, parsley, or garden parsley, is widely farmed as a herb and a vegetable. It is native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region, although it has naturalized elsewhere in Europe.

Celery – Since ancient times, celery, a wetland plant in the Apiaceae family, has been grown for use as a vegetable. The tall, fibrous stalk of celery tapers into the leaves. Depending on the region and cultivar, people eat and cook with the stalks, leaves, or hypocotyl of this plant.

Fennel – A species of blooming plant in the carrot family is fennel. It is a tough perennial herb with feathery leaves and yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean coasts, but it has reached much of the world, mainly on dry soils close to the sea and on riverbanks.


Cilantro is a stunning plant and is truly a delight to care for. Your labor in caring for this plant will be appreciated when you witness its antimicrobial compound do magic. It is also known for its distinct cilantro taste, thus its culinary use. It is a popular herb among gardeners as an addition to their herb garden as it does not require much care. Suitable with regular garden soil, can tolerate partial shade, good air circulation, and just a few hours of direct sunlight,

Can’t get enough of Coriandrum plant guides? Check out Two Peas In A Condo’s other helpful articles!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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