Coriander, also known as cilantro, is one of the most popular herbs in Australia.
In this post, we’re going to go over how to grow coriander in Australia—from planting to harvesting.
We hope that after reading this blog post, you’ll be excited to pick up some Coriander seeds to grow in your garden!
Coriander fact list
- Name: Coriander, cilantro, Chinese parsley
- Type: Annual herb
- Height: Up to 1m tall
- Climate: Cold, warm and temperate
- Soil: Any soil as long as it is well-drained
- Position: Full sun or partial shade
- Flowering: Summer (June to September in the Northern Hemisphere and December to February in the Southern Hemisphere), depending on climate and cultivar type. They produce seeds that turn from green to brown.
- Food: Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Water: Water regularly; do not let the soil dry out completely
When to plant coriander
Coriander plants prefer consistent and reliable warmth, between around 15˚C and 22˚C. Temperatures outside this range can trigger flowering and seed production.
This is why it grows best in the warm seasons in temperate regions, but grows well in the cool seasons in the tropics.
In Australia, aim to plant coriander from mid to late Autumn to early Spring.
If you plant it later than spring, the hot weather will cause it to bolt and run to seed before you can use it.
How to plant coriander in Australia
Start by preparing your soil for planting. Mix the soil with some sand to help it drain well: coriander does not like wet feet!
Next, plant your seeds 1cm deep into the soil and water thoroughly. The seeds should germinate within 7 days.
Your coriander will grow quickly and should mature within 50 days of being planted.
If you want to harvest leaves before they fully mature, make sure that each plant has at least 8 leaves on it so that it will continue growing!
Planting in pots
You can also plant coriander seeds in pots if you like: use premium potting mix, and make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes.
You can plant several seeds in each pot, but remember that they’ll need to be thinned out once they start growing—so only keep the healthiest seedlings!
When to harvest coriander
While you can harvest at any time, some parts taste best when harvested at specific times.
Leaves: You can pick and eat the leaves as soon as they are large enough, but they will taste better if you wait until they are fully mature.
As a general guide, harvest coriander leaves when the plant is about 15-20 centimetres tall. Wait until the plant has at least 5 leaves before picking, and then harvest regularly to encourage new growth.
Seeds: Wait until all of the flowers have opened and turned brown before harvesting the seeds. The seeds are ready when they are light brown and can be easily crushed between your fingers.
How to Harvest Coriander
To harvest the leaves: Cut off stems with scissors or a knife; more leaves will grow back after each harvest.
To harvest the seeds: Wait until all of the flowers have opened and turned brown before harvesting the seeds. The seeds are ready when they are light brown and can be easily crushed between your fingers.
Coriander growing tips
- Make sure you have deep and rich soil. Coriander develops long roots, so your soil will need to be able to support it. You can achieve this by adding manure or compost to your soil and planting in raised beds.
- Choose a sunny spot. Coriander likes the sun, but it also needs well-drained soil. Be sure to water it regularly.
- Keep your soil moist, but well-drained. Coriander isn’t like many other herbs; it requires a lot of water! Your soil should be moist at all times—but not soggy or mushy. If it feels that way, add some sand or gravel to make it drain better.
- Choose the right kind of coriander seeds. There are two types: slow-growing and quick-growing. As a beginner gardener, it is advisable to start with quick-growing seeds. These tend to grow faster and are more forgiving.
- Use a raised bed or containers when growing indoors. Coriander doesn’t like being crowded and if you’re planting more than one plant in a single container, make sure they are spaced at least 12 inches apart so they each have plenty of room to grow and flourish.
- When the leaves start to appear, trim them periodically so that they don’t form flowers and go to seed (which makes the leaves taste more bitter).
- Remove any weeds. Coriander doesn’t do well with competition for sunlight and space from other plants like weeds—they’ll crowd it out and make it grow slower and smaller than it would otherwise.