Everything You Need To Know About Growing Cilantro From Seed Indoors [Full Guide]

Have you thought about growing a cilantro plant inside your house? The truth is, it’s relatively easy to do so.

This article will explain why you should grow cilantro and its many uses. Then, we’ll go more in-depth about the best way to grow cilantro from seeds.

We’ll discuss how to get cilantro seeds, what time of year is best to plant cilantro seeds indoors, what you’ll need, and its growing conditions.

Finally, we’ll share caring tips before discussing how and when to harvest your cilantro plant.

Why Grow Cilantro?

If you’re a beginner gardener, then cilantro is an excellent herb to start with. It’s cold-hardy and relatively low-maintenance to care for.

Once you get the hang of its growing conditions, such as the sun, watering, and soil needs, then you can care for this plant without any issues. 

Other than it being simple to grow, this herb has many uses. For instance, you can add it to various cuisines, such as Mexican, Indian, South American, Asian, and more.

Cilantro has a “soapy” taste of lemon and pepper. So, you can use the fresh herb leaves within your recipes if you like the strong taste. Its lacy-like leaves look great as a garnish, as well.

On the other hand, if you want a more subtle flavor, you can dry out the cilantro leaves and use those in your recipe instead. 

Can You Grow Cilantro Indoors?

Yes, you can grow cilantro indoors. In fact, this plant is relatively hardy, so it can grow in slightly different conditions than it’s used to.

However, cilantro can grow to be about one to two feet wide and about 1 – 1.5 feet tall. So, you’ll want to ensure that you get a pot or container big enough to hold this plant.

For example, a pot at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide will be ideal for this plant.

On the other hand, if you want your cilantro plant to grow to its full potential, then you can certainly get a bigger pot.

Cilantro growing sprouts
Cilantro growing sprouts

Is Cilantro Easy To Grow Indoors From Seeds?

The short answer is yes. It is easy to grow cilantro from seeds inside your house.

Once again, as long as you can provide your cilantro plant with the proper watering, soil, and sunlight it needs to thrive, then growing cilantro inside from seeds will be a breeze.

We’ll discuss how to go about growing cilantro indoors from seeds. But first, where can you get cilantro seeds?

How To Get Cilantro Seeds

There are two ways you can get cilantro seeds. The first is to buy seeds at your local garden center. Or, you can use the seeds that an existing cilantro bush has reproduced.

Buying Cilantro Seeds

This is perhaps the easiest way to get cilantro seeds. If it’s in season, such as early spring or fall, then your local garden center will most likely have cilantro seeds available for purchase.

Harvesting Cilantro Seeds

On the other hand, if you already have a cilantro bush growing in your garden or inside your home (or a friend has one), you can harvest seeds from that.

Cilantro naturally reproduces through a process called bolting. This is when flowers will bud, producing cilantro seeds.

When your cilantro plant gets too hot, or they’re not getting the proper care it needs, it will bolt early so that it can reproduce.

However, cilantro has a relatively short lifespan being an annual herb. This means it doesn’t grow back each year. So, after its final harvest, the cilantro will produce flowers, which will produce seeds.

You can harvest the seeds by waiting until the leaves and seeds turn brown. When this happens, snip off the tops of the stems with the seed heads.

Then, hang them upside down over a plastic bag. They’ll fall off and into the plastic bag when the seeds are ripe. That’s when you know the seeds are ready to be replanted. 

Can You Plant Cilantro Seeds At Any Time Of Year Indoors?

Cilantro prefers to grow in cooler climates. This is why the ideal time to plant cilantro is in early spring (after the final frost) and fall (no later than the first frost).

However, you don’t need to worry about weather conditions inside your home. So, you can plant cilantro seeds at any time of the year indoors.

If it’s in the middle of summer, you can place the pot in a sunny room so that the plant can get the sunlight it needs. Although, make sure you have an air conditioner on not to become too hot. Otherwise, your cilantro won’t grow well, or it’ll bolt too early.

On the other hand, if you decide to grow it in the middle of winter, make sure the room doesn’t get too cold. Cilantro can survive temperatures as low as ten degrees F, but you’ll want to keep an eye on freezing temperatures and the heat in your home.

Growing Conditions For Starting Cilantro From Seed Indoors

Here are the main conditions that your cilantro plant needs to thrive inside your home.

First, you’ll want to get a pot that’s large enough to fit the plant, and that also drains well. The pot should have small holes at the bottom to drain out any excess water. Otherwise, the roots could remain too wet and not grow well.

In addition, the soil should be potting soil and also drain water well. In other words, the soil should be sandy or loamy in texture.

Finally, cilantro needs plenty of sunlight. So, you’ll need to place it in a sunny room of your house. Alternatively, you can buy a grow lamp or sun lamp to provide ample sunlight.

What You Need For Growing Cilantro From Seed Indoors

If you’re going to grow cilantro indoors, you’ll need some extra items than you’d need from growing it outside in the garden.

Here’s a quick list of items you’ll need:

  • Cilantro seeds (bought or harvested)
  • A large pot
  • Potting soil
  • A sun lamp or LED growing light

Believe it or not, potting soil and gardening soil serve different purposes. So, since you’ll be growing your cilantro in a pot or container, be sure to get potting soil.

Potting soil is made to help plants grow inside pots and indoors.

In addition, cilantro loves sunlight. So, you’ll need to provide at least six hours of sunlight per day. This can be tricky to do inside your home, which is why you’ll need to buy a grow light or a sun lamp for your plant.

Exactly How To Grow Cilantro From Seed Indoors

Did you know that you don’t need to start growing your cilantro plant in a pot with soil? You can also grow cilantro in water.

Let’s talk about a few methods to grow cilantro indoors from seeds.

Growing Cilantro Seeds In Water

You can begin the growing process with just water and get many harvests out of your cilantro plant through this method.

First, once you have your seeds, you can crack them slightly with a mortar and pestle. Then, you can place the cracked seeds in a colander over a clear container of water.

You don’t need to add the seeds all at once. Instead, you can do so in small batches once every week or two. This will allow you to stagger your harvests so you can get more cilantro more often.

Finally, drape a moist paper towel over the seeds in the colander. Then, your seeds will germinate over time.

After about 22 days, your cilantro plant will be ready for its first harvest.

You can learn more about growing cilantro seeds in water here.

Growing Cilantro Seeds In A Pot With Soil

Of course, you can grow cilantro seeds the old-fashioned way in a pot with soil.

To do this, simply fill your pot with well-draining soil. Then, you can dig a hole about one-quarter of an inch deep into the soil. Finally, fill the hole with your seeds.

Add a few seeds to the hole to ensure they germinate well rather than adding one seed at a time.

Then, make sure the soil stays moist. You can do this by adding about an inch of water per day. If you notice it’s still damp from the previous day, you can spray it with a bit of water.

Once your seeds germinate, you can slow down on the watering and wait for your cilantro plant to grow.

What To Do Next When Growing Cilantro From Seed In Containers?

Caring for your cilantro plant indoors is similar to caring for it outside in the garden. However, there are some differences.

Luckily, cilantro is a low-maintenance plant to care for.

Watering Your Cilantro Plant

Cilantro doesn’t like to be watered often. However, after the initial germination stage, you’ll only need to give it a drink about once a week.

There are two ways to go about watering your cilantro plant.

First, you can measure out about an inch of water and simply give your plant a drink.

Alternatively, you can give it a deep drink once a week. For instance, you can put your plant in the kitchen sink and let the water run until you see it draining out the bottom of the pot.

When this happens, turn the water off and let your plant drain entirely before putting it back in its growing spot.

Learn more about watering your cilantro plant here.

Providing Sunlight To Your Cilantro Plant

On the other hand, cilantro needs at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive.

Depending on the time of year you plant your cilantro inside and the season and weather outside, it could be challenging to give your cilantro six hours of sunlight.

For example, you may find sunny spots in your home during the summer. However, winter might be cloudy most of the days. Then you’ll need to provide sun for your cilantro.

You’ll need to get a sun lamp or LED grow light inside your house. This should shine down upon your plant for at least six hours a day, mimicking the sun.

At night, you can turn it off.

Temperature is also a factor. If your cilantro gets too hot, it could burn or bolt early. So, if you find a sunny spot in your house in the summer, but don’t have the air conditioner on, then your plant could get too hot.

You can read more about cilantro, and its sun needs here.

Caring For Your Cilantro Plant’s Soil

When planting cilantro with soil, be sure to use potting soil inside the pot or container.

Also, cilantro prefers to have soil that’s well-draining, sandy, or loamy. In addition, it should have a pH level of about 6.5, so it’s a little acidic.

You don’t need to add fertilizer, but you’ll only need to add a bit of once a month if you decide to do so.

When And How to Harvest Your Indoor Cilantro

After a few weeks, your cilantro will be ready for harvest. You’ll be able to harvest this plant about once a week for a few months.

Harvesting is simple. You can take some gardening shears and snip from the top of the stems, leaving a clean cut from the base of the soil.

Leaving about an inch or two of the stem from the bottom will allow your cilantro herb to regrow and produce another harvest.

After a few months, your cilantro plant will bolt, producing new seeds. You can gather those seeds and replant them to grow a new cilantro plant for the following season.

Final Words

It’s easy to grow a cilantro plant inside your house. If you like having this herb all year round, then it’s a good idea to have this plant inside your home.

You can control the temperature, watering needs, sun, and soil. As a result, your cilantro will be able to thrive indoors.

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