How do I grow Coriander?
Coriander is an annual herb that must be raised from seed. Throughout spring is the best time to either buy seedlings or plant seeds in their final position, either in a pot or herb bed in the garden. Coriander grows very quickly and it is important to harvest leaves for kitchen use as they mature as the plant can quickly run to seed and can die in a matter of a few weeks, particularly if they are stressed when they are in the seedling stage. Therefore it is important to grow them in optimal conditions with plenty of light and in a moisture retentive soil or potting mix. It is also a good idea to apply a complete liquid fertilizer from an early age. Hot spells also induce seeding.
The leaves, roots and seeds of this versatile herb can be used for a wide variety of culinary purposes, especially in Asian and Mexican dishes. Medicinally coriander is an anti-inflammatory, may have positive benefits in lowering cholesterol and is antimicrobial.
There is a perennial herb, which has a similar flavour to the true coriander. Eryngium foetidum is not related to coriander, and originates from South America. It will tolerate hot humid summers that would see the annual coriander bolt quickly to seed, so is worth a place in the garden if you love coriander. It likes a sunny to part shaded spot in a well drained soil.