Can You Grow Cilantro In Water? [Full Guide]

Cilantro is a great herb that can be used in many different recipes. Depending on your needs, it has a unique taste, but you can use fresh leaves or dry them out.

However, is cilantro easy to grow? And you may be asking yourself, “can I grow cilantro in water?”

This article will answer whether or not you can grow cilantro in water and more.

First, we’ll discuss why you should grow cilantro in the first place before explaining whether it can be grown in water or not.

Then, we’ll explain the benefits of growing cilantro in only water. After, we’ll go in-depth about how to grow cilantro in water by using a step-by-step guide.

Finally, we’ll share how to care for your cilantro while it’s growing, when to harvest it, and what to do if your cilantro doesn’t grow at all. 

Why Grow Your Own Cilantro?

There’s a lot to love about cilantro, which is why it’s worth growing in the first place.

Cilantro is a herb with a unique taste. For example, it has a “soapy” flavor of lemon and pepper. You can use the fresh herbs in various dishes for a stronger taste or dry the leaves for a more subtle taste.

Dried cilantro can be quite handy since it lasts longer meaning you can have cilantro year round if you grow your own.

Cilantro adds a lot of yummy flavor to various dishes such as Mexican, Indian, Thai, and Latin American food.

While cilantro doesn’t have a long lifespan, it’s a hardy plant that prefers to grow in the cold. So, you can have cilantro leaves all through winter, provided the plant is well cared for.

Can You Grow Cilantro In Water?

So, can cilantro grow in water? The short answer is yes. It can grow well in water, and you can grow it yourself using only water.

Cilantro can grow well in many different conditions. For example, it can grow well in the soil outside the garden or indoors in a pot.

However, if you’re short on soil or need a more straightforward way to grow this herb, then using water is a good solution.

You can grow cilantro in water easily without too much extra work, and it can still thrive. 

can cilantro grow roots in water
Organic hydroponic cilantro cultivation – while you don’t need to grow this much, growing cilantro in water is very effective.

Why Grow Cilantro In Water Instead Of Planting Seeds?

But why would you want to grow cilantro on its own in a glass of water rather than planting seeds in the garden with all your other plants?

There’s a simple answer to this, and it’s because cilantro doesn’t have a long lifespan. For instance, cilantro plants wilt easily if they’re not cared for properly.

If you buy fresh cilantro from the grocery store, the leaves will only be good for about two to three days. Then, unless you dry them out, the leaves will wilt after a couple of days, and then you won’t be able to use them.

When you grow cilantro in water, you won’t need to worry too much about the wilting. Instead, you’ll be able to harvest a little bit of cilantro at a time. In other words, you only need to take what you need, and the plant will continue to grow as if nothing happened.

In addition, you don’t need to worry about the mess of having soil around. You also don’t need to worry about watering too often.

Finally, without using soil, you don’t need to worry about weeds.

It makes it so easy.

Exactly How To Grow Cilantro In Water

Now that we know it’s a good idea to grow cilantro and that it’s also a good idea to grow it using only water, let’s discuss how to grow cilantro indoors in water. 

What You Need To Get Started

Believe it or not, you’ll only need a few things to get started.

For example, you’ll need the following:

  • High-quality cilantro seeds
  • A colander
  • A pot of water

You don’t need an actual pot. You can use a plastic or glass container. However, it needs to be big enough to fit the colander. The colander will hold the cilantro plant and sit inside the water container.

Also, make sure the colander has holes small enough to hold onto the cilantro seeds. 

First, Buy And Prepare The Cilantro Seeds

You’ll want to go to your local agricultural store or general store to buy high-quality cilantro seeds.

Once you have them, you’ll want to crack the seeds slightly using a mortar and pestle.

If the seeds are too hard for you to crack gently, then you can soak them in water for a few hours beforehand to soften them up.

Second, Place The Cracked Seeds In The Colander

Once the seeds are ready, fill your container with water and place the colander over it.

Then, you can put the cracked seeds inside the colander. Make sure the holes in the colander are small enough to keep the cilantro seeds inside the colander and not fall into the container of water below.

You can add all of the seeds to the colander at once or sprinkle some seeds in the colander in batches. For example, you can add some seeds, wait about three to five days, then add more seeds.

All of your seeds will still grow, but this will allow you to get more harvest. Once the first batch is grown and harvested, you’ll only need to wait another couple of days to harvest the next batch of grown seeds.

If you use cilantro a lot, adding seeds to the colander in batches is a good idea. 

Take a wet paper towel and drape it over the seeds inside the colander. Leave the paper towel there for a couple of days.

Third, Watch Your Cilantro Plant Grow

After a few days and you take the paper towel off, there’s not much to do other than watch the seeds germinate, and your cilantro grow.

After about 22 days, your cilantro plant will be grown enough and ready for harvest.

How To Look After Your Cilantro Grown In Water

During this time, you want to keep the seeds moist. If the water underneath doesn’t keep the seeds moist enough (before the roots grow), then you can place a wet paper towel over the seeds.

However, be sure the paper towel doesn’t stop the seeds from sprouting.

Alternatively, you can mist the seeds with a spray bottle.

Also, while it grows, be sure to keep an eye on the water levels in the container below. You can add more water if the levels are getting too low periodically. However, you won’t need to change the water too often.

Changing the water, or adding new water, once every 15 days is ideal. It will keep the water fresh enough.

When changing the water, you can add a little bit of fertilizer. This fertilizer should be liquid or water-soluble solid fertilizer.

Change the water and add about a quarter of a teaspoon of this fertilizer. It will help your cilantro thrive. 

In addition, you can grow cilantro in water at any time of the year. The cilantro can be placed in a sunny spot inside your house during the winter. It will get all the direct sunlight it needs to help it grow.

However, during the summer, you’ll want to provide some sunlight, but you don’t want to give it too much direct sunlight. Cilantro can burn easily in the heat.

What If The Cilantro Is Not Growing?

If you find that your cilantro isn’t growing well using this method, get the water tested.

Sometimes, the water may have a high salt content. If this is the case, the cilantro will not grow well in these conditions.

For example, if the total dissolved solids (TDS) are too high or too low, your cilantro seeds’ growth will be hindered.

TDS is the measurement of organic and non-organic materials in the water, such as salt, metals, and other minerals. The sweet spot for your cilantro to grow well is if the water tests between 300 and 500 ppm.

Find out how fast cilantro should grow here. 

Final Words

Overall, you can grow cilantro in water. However, you want to ensure that the seeds are high-quality and remain moist enough to grow when doing so.

Also, be sure the water is high-quality enough for your seeds to germinate. If not, then your cilantro will not grow.

However, if you can grow cilantro in water, then you’ll have fresh cilantro leaves for many dishes for a long time to come. You’ll be able to get many harvests out of it.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn whether cilantro needs full sun and here for how to grow coriander from a cutting or how to grow it from seed indoors here. You can also find all my cilantro guides here.