Growing Cilantro


Long time no blog y’all! I would say I was sorry, but I’ve been too busy for that to be true, so I won’t.

I just posted a very lengthy comment in response to a podcast I listened to today. Specifically, The Survival Podcast by Jack Spirko.

Jack was complaining about not having cilantro when his tomatoes and tomatillos were ready for processing…he also mentioned something regarding a substitute. I thought it was a fairly helpful comment, and thought that I should post it here too:


I have a few suggestions regarding your cilantro bolt issue…although I cannot understand why anyone would want to be able to smell the stuff, let alone put it in their mouth…I understand some people do. So, here goes…

Don’t start your cilantro in the spring if you want to use it in your tomato or tomatillo salsa recipes.

Cilantro can take two weeks to sprout, so you’ll want to wait to sow some seed until around 4-5 weeks before you plan on having tomatoes and tomatillos to turn into salsa. Then start some more a week later, and continue weekly succession planting to insure a good supply of only stinky, not vilely reeking cilantro for your recipes.

In super hot climates, it may be necessary to grow cilantro in large deep pots indoors. Apparently it’s not as flavorful as cilantro grown outdoors…but to my view, that would be a good thing.

Part sun is fine for cilantro…especially if you live in a hot climate. Cilantro would love dappled eastern sun, and heavy western shade…oh, and lots of regular watering.

The substitutes are: Vietnamese Cilantro, aka Vietnamese Coriander and Rau Ram – Polygonum odoratum (note: odor). Vietnamese Cilantro doesn’t taste exactly like cilantro…but it’s real close. It is a warm weather tender perennial that’s easily grown.

And, Culantro, aka Thorny Cilantro and Stink Weed – Eryngium foetidum (the Latin foetidum meaning stink or bad odor), which is native to Mexico…it is a hot weather tender perennial and grows just dandy in heat. It is said to taste just like cilantro, supposed to be hard to grow, and has medicinal properties.

P.S. – Never buy Burpee seed when it matters! Last year I planted what was supposed to be Chocolate Cherry, but turned out to be Purple Russian or something that looks like it (and my husband hated them), and this year (when it mattered because I sold starter plants) the plants that were supposed to be Orange Habaneros (all three that I kept) are looking like some kind of pepper that IS NOT even thinking of being a Habanero. Very embarrassing and very disappointing.