Best Soil For Cilantro (In Pots And In Gardens)

If you’re thinking of planting cilantro, but you don’t know what type of soil it likes, then you’ve come to the right place.

Many questions can arise when growing a new plant, such as, what is the best soil to use? For example, did you know that where you plant the cilantro can affect which soil you should use?

In this article, you’ll learn about growing cilantro with suitable soil. But first, we’ll discuss why you should grow cilantro and its benefits. Then, we’ll discuss growing cilantro in a pot or the garden.

After, we’ll go more into detail about the right type of soil to use when growing cilantro in pots and what to avoid in the soil.

Also, we’ll explain whether you should change the soil or not when your cilantro is planted in a pot.

Finally, we’ll go over the best soil for cilantro when planted in the garden before going over some final tips.

Why Grow Cilantro?

Cilantro is an excellent herb to grow that you can add to many different recipes. For example, cilantro tastes great in Mexican, Indian, Asian, and South American cuisines.

It’s has a unique flavor that tastes “soapy.” For instance, it has a flavor of lemon and pepper. It’s not a taste for everyone, so if you only want a hint of the taste in your dish, then you can dry out the cilantro leaves.

Alternatively, if you prefer the strong flavor of this herb, then you can add fresh leaves to the recipes. It’ll also look pretty on top of a meal as a garnish. 

Also, cilantro is a relatively easy herb to grow. So, if you’re a beginner gardener, then cilantro is an excellent plant to start with.

For example, it grows quickly and is easy to maintain once you properly care for it.

One of the ways to take great care of this plant is to provide it with the right soil.

Should You Grow Cilantro In Pots Vs Garden

You can grow cilantro in either a pot or in your garden. You can even grow it in a pot that’s placed inside your garden.

Regardless, it should grow well.

However, it’ll depend on where you want your cilantro to go. If it’s a gardening season, you can leave it in the garden and allow it to grow well among your other plants.

On the other hand, growing it in a pot is a great way to keep the spread of the plant under control if you don’t want it to grow too big. Also, you can plant it in a pot if you’re going to begin planting it in the middle of winter or summer or any time during the year.

Cilantro growing in pot
Cilantro growing in pot

Criteria For The Best Potting Soil For Cilantro

This herb prefers to have well-draining soil sandy or loamy in texture. However, it’s not just how the soil feels to the touch. You also need to keep in mind the pH levels and nutrients in the soil.

For example, cilantro likes soil that’s a little bit acidic. So, the soil should have at least a 6.5 pH level. However, it can go as high as 7.0 on the pH scale or as little as 6.2.

In addition, the soil should have plenty of nutrients in it to help your cilantro grow well.

You can improve your soil by adding mulch to the surface. It will help absorb any excess water and add more nutrients.

On the other hand, you can also add compost or mix fertilizer with the soil.

Cilantro doesn’t need fertilizer to thrive, but it doesn’t hurt. So if you decide to add fertilizer, you don’t need to give it too much. You’ll only need to add fertilizer about once a month.

What To Avoid In Cilantro Soil

Even though cilantro prefers to have a certain type of soil, it can thrive well with any soil.

However, there’s one thing you need to monitor, no matter what kind of soil you provide for your herb plant.

The soil needs to be well-drained.

When choosing soil for your cilantro plant, make sure it drains water well. As long as the moisture levels are monitored well, your cilantro will be able to grow well.

So, be sure to avoid soil that holds onto the water.

Best Soil For Cilantro In Pots

Cilantro can grow well in either a pot or a garden. However, did you know that each one needs different soil?

For example, if you’re growing your cilantro indoors or outdoors but in a pot, you’ll want to buy a potting mix. Gardening soil will be too heavy.

The main difference between these two soils is that they contain different ingredients. Believe it or not, potting soil doesn’t contain real soil. It’s also more acidic than gardening soil.

Gardening soil is made to mix well with native soil in your garden. On the other hand, potting soil is not made for that, which is why it’s better used in a container or pot for house plants.

If you use gardening soil for cilantro in a pot or decide to use potting soil for your gardening, some issues can arise.

For example, too much moisture can build up in the soil (which certainly won’t be suitable for your cilantro plant), roots may be damaged, your plant’s growth can be stunted.

So, the best soil option for growing your cilantro in a pot should be a potting soil mix.

Should You Change The Soil When Growing Cilantro In Pots?

The short answer is yes. You should change the soil when growing cilantro in pots. However, you shouldn’t change it more than once during the year.

For example, you can change the soil once every 12 to 18 months.

On the other hand, if you’re repotting your cilantro to a bigger pot, then you can change the soil. Add fresh new potting soil to the new pot and move the plant only. Do not transfer the old soil to the new pot.

Changing the potting soil allows the dirt to remain healthy and fresh. However, it can become hardened after a while, lose its nutrients, and not hold onto too much water anymore.

So, if you want to keep your cilantro plant growing strong, then you’ll want to change the potting soil at least once a year.

Best Soil For Cilantro In The Garden

Now that we know there’s a difference between potting soil and gardening soil, you certainly want to plant your cilantro in the garden with gardening soil.

Gardening soil mixes well naturally with the other soil and dirt already in the ground. It’ll work well with the natural soil to help your cilantro and other plants grow well.

In addition, gardening soil is heavier than potting soil. This type of soil needs to withstand different weather conditions such as heavy rain, harsh sunshine, and even snow.

Other Tips

No matter which soil you decide to use, you’ll want to ensure that the pH levels are correct. Remember, cilantro prefers the soil has pH levels of about 6.5, but between 6.2 and 7.0 is good.

Before planting your cilantro, you can test the soil for its pH levels by pH test soil strips.

To do this, you’ll first want to gather a soil sample about four to six inches below the surface. Then, in a clear glass, add one to three teaspoons of the soil. Next, pick out any debris, such as sticks, leaves, or pebbles.

After, pour vinegar into the bowl to be on the same level as the soil. Stir and mix it vigorously, and then let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Next, drain the soil. To do this, you can use a coffee filter and pour it into another clear glass. Keep the solid parts of the soil and make sure all the liquid separates. 

Finally, dip the testing strip into the liquid and compare the color to the chart that comes with your testing kit. Do this several times with various areas of your garden to get a good idea of the average pH level of your soil.

This will also help you decide the best place to add your cilantro plant. 

Final Words

Overall, cilantro prefers a well-drained, slightly acidic soil. However, it can grow well in most types of soil provided that they get the proper care.

On the other hand, you’ll want to keep in mind where you place your cilantro. If you plant it in a pot, then use potting soil. Otherwise, if the herb is going in the garden, you’ll need to use gardening soil.

Want to learn more? Click here to read about growing cilantro inside and here to learn how to grow cilantro in water. Find all my guides to growing cilantro here.