Let’s Plant Cilantro

cilantro - 10-10-2013- 001

With the cool front passing through the South, it’s a great time to get out into the yard; plant some herbs and vegetables that tolerate cooler weather.

Cilantro is one such herb that grows well in Louisiana throughout the fall, winter and early spring, especially with the milder winters we have been experiencing recently. Cilantro continues to grow into the late spring when the plants flower, becoming 2 to 3 feet tall. Then the plants become very leggy as the flowers turn to seeds.  Cilantro does not make it through the hot summer here in southern Louisiana.  Hence, cilantro are annuals, meaning new plants must be planted each year.

Cilantro likes a sunny location; otherwise very little care or watering is needed.  I usually place several small plants in different locations throughout the garden.  This year I tried planning the herb in a 5-gallon bucket using Miracle-Gro potting soil. Two weeks later the tiny plant  now reaches over the edges of the bucket. As the leaves are pinched off to use in cooking, more grow back. One or two plants is all a person really needs.

Cilantro adds an interesting flavor to dishes of all kinds from Mexican to oriental. An unlikely pairing that my inventive son came up with is “Cilantro Watermelon Ice”.

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