When To Plant Cilantro: What You Need To Know

Are you thinking of growing cilantro but don’t know when to begin the process?

This article will answer when to plant cilantro seeds and more.

First, we’ll talk about why you should grow cilantro. Then we’ll explain when to plant cilantro and when it can grow during the year.

We’ll also touch upon the best time to grow cilantro and when to start cilantro seeds indoors and outdoors. 

Finally, we’ll share tips on how to grow cilantro and help it thrive before discussing when to harvest it and answering whether the plant can survive in winter or not.

Why Grow Cilantro?

If you’re thinking of planting something new in your garden, then certainly consider growing cilantro.

Cilantro is a cold-hardy herb that can be used in many different recipes. For example, you can add this spicy flavor to your Mexican, South American, or Indian food, just to name a few.

This herb is often described as having a “soapy” taste, so it’s not for everyone. Luckily, you can dry out the cilantro leaves so that the lemon and pepper flavor isn’t as strong.

On the other hand, if you enjoy the strong taste, you can add fresh cilantro leaves to your recipe or, on top, as a garnish.

In addition, cilantro is a relatively low-maintenance plant to care for. It’s easy to grow as long as you give it the proper growing conditions it needs.

One thing to know about growing this herb is when to plant it.

When To Plant Cilantro

Cilantro is a cold-hardy herb, so it grows in cooler climates.

When you think of gardening, it’s easy to think of spring or summer. However, cilantro can survive in colder temperatures, including winter, with the right protection.

This herb likes to grow in temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees F. However, the cooler, the better. 

cilantro when to plant
Planting cilantro

Best Time To Plant Cilantro Seeds

The best time to plant your cilantro seeds is between the frost times of the season.

For example, early spring (after the final frost) and early fall are ideal times to plant your cilantro seeds. You can also plant it in late fall, right before the first frost.

Can You Plant Cilantro At Other Times Of The Year?

The short answer is yes. You can plant cilantro at any time of the year.

However, you have to ensure that it has the proper growing conditions, no matter the weather or temperature.

For example, cilantro can survive the winter with proper protection, but it’ll be tricky to grow it from seeds in the winter.

If you want to start growing cilantro in the middle of summer or winter, you can begin the growing process in your house.

For instance, begin growing the plant inside a pot. Then you can keep it in the pot all year round, or you can transfer it to the garden in early spring or fall. 

This is also great if you want to give your cilantro a head start in growing for the season. That way, by the time you can plant it in the garden in early spring, you’ll be able to harvest it sooner.

How Long Does Cilantro Take To Grow?

Cilantro grows quickly. You’ll be able to harvest it for the first time about 22 days after planting it.

However, this herb takes anywhere between 45 and 70 days to fully mature. So, you can wait until then for your first harvest.

Then, you’ll be able to harvest it at least once a week.

Tips For Planting Cilantro

Once you know the right time to plant your cilantro, you’ll want to provide it with as much TLC as you can to help it grow well.

Know When To Plant Your Cilantro

First, you want to choose when to plant your cilantro. As we’ve already discussed, the best time to plant it is in the early spring or the fall.

However, if you decide to plant your herb inside the house, you’ll be able to plant it during any time of the year, as long as you can still provide it with the correct growing conditions.

Know Where To Plant Your Cilantro

In addition to choosing the right time to plant this herb, you want to pick a good spot for it.

For example, if you decide to plant it in a pot, make sure it’s large enough for the plant to spread out. A pot at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide is ideal.

Then you can decide to keep it in the pot inside the house or a pot beside your garden. Alternatively, you can begin growing it in the pot and transfer it to the garden later.

If you opt into growing it in the garden right away, then be sure to choose a good spot where it’ll receive plenty of sun.

Also, plant it near other plants that require the same soil and watering needs. Then, the plants will be able to help each other grow.

Read my full guide to where to plant cilantro here.

Provide The Right Soil

You’ll want to provide sandy or loamy soil for your cilantro plant. It should be able to drain water well, too.

In addition, the soil should have a pH level of at least 6.5, so it’s a little acidic for your cilantro.

If the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients to help your herb plant grow well, you can add fertilizer.

Cilantro doesn’t need fertilizer to thrive, but it certainly doesn’t harm the plant. However, you don’t want to add too much fertilizer.

So, if you decide to give this plant fertilizer, you’ll only need to add a little bit to the soil about once a month.

Give Your Cilantro Plant Plenty Of Sun

One thing that cilantro loves is sunlight. Whether or not you plant this herb, you want to give it at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.

So, if it’s inside the house, be sure to put it in a sunny spot. Alternatively, if you have a lot of cloudy days or rain, you can buy a sun lamp. It won’t mimic the sun exactly, but it’ll get the job done.

On the other hand, if you decide to put it in the garden, you can choose a spot in the path of the sun for most of the day.

This is where companion planting can come in handy again. Cilantro can grow to be about two feet tall. So, you can plant it in front of a short plant that prefers to have more shade.

When your cilantro grows tall, it’ll shade the other plant while soaking in most of the sun for itself.

Learn more about your cilantro plant and sunlight here.

Watering Your Cilantro Plant

Finally, cilantro doesn’t need a lot of water to thrive.

When you first plant this herb, you’ll want to water it daily. During these early stages of growth, the water will help your cilantro establish its roots and begin growing well.

However, you only need to add about one inch of water to the soil per day. This is because cilantro likes the soil to be moist but not soaked.

Then, when your cilantro grows more, you’ll only need to water the plant about once a week. Even though you’ll be watering it less, you still want to give it only about an inch of water at a time.

Learn more about watering your cilantro plant here.

When To Harvest Cilantro

You can harvest your cilantro in as little as 22 days. However, it’ll be best to wait until the plant has more time to mature.

After about 45 days, you’ll be able to harvest this herb and regularly gather it after that.

Will Cilantro Survive Winter?

Yes, cilantro can survive the winter. This herb can grow well in temperatures as low as ten degrees F. 

However, you’ll need to protect it from harsh temperatures or weather conditions, such as snow.

There are a few ways you can do this. First, you can bring your cilantro plant inside for the winter. You can transfer it to a pot, or if it was already in a pot in your garden, you could bring it inside the house.

Alternatively, you can bring your cilantro plant into a greenhouse if you have one. Otherwise, you can buy DIY cold frames that will protect your plant.

The cilantro will still get the sunlight it needs and everything else, but it’ll stay a bit warmer with the cold frame. 

You can learn more about growing cilantro in the winter here.

Final Words

Cilantro is an easy herb to grow as long as you plant it during the right time. I hope this guide to cilantro: when to plant has helped you.

This plant can grow during various times of the year. So, whenever you want to add cilantro to your meals, you can have the plant at the ready in the garden or your house.

Want to learn more? Click here to find out how to grow cilantro from a cutting or here to learn the best growing conditions for cilantro. You can also find all my guides to growing cilantro here.