Hydroponic Cilantro or Coriander is easy to grow at home and very rewarding. The leaves are called cilantro and the seeds are coriander and the good news is that you can use both to spice your foods.
Coriander is native to southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia and comes in more varieties, but the best for hydroponic growing are:
- Leisure – the most popular and common of the different types of cilantro
- Calypso – produces plenty of leaves perfect for sauces and dressings as they have a slight lemon bitter flavor
- Delfino – has a milder flavor and leaves are similar to carrot leaves
- Slo Bolt – an easy-to-grow and more bolt-resistant version
- Santos – Sprinkle to taste on salads, bean dishes, chicken, and spicy
- Lemon – unusual lemon flavor – perfect for adding to salads
- Moroccan – is a bit different – hot, spicy and produces seeds faster
Germinating coriander seeds for your hydroponic system
While you can use any of the hydroponic seed germination methods, it seems that the fastest way to germinate is by crushing the seeds and soak them as That Gardener explains. However, cilantro germination rate is greatly influenced by the temperature – the optimal temperature is around 15-20 celsius and take around 10 days to germinate.
Hydroponic cilantro tips
While growing cilantro is easy enough to be done in any hydroponic system there are a few things to know:
- Ideal TDS: 1.5/800-1,000 so go easy with the nutrients, but it should be high nitrogen and phosphorus
- Lighting Requirements: 14 hours daily
- Cilantro is prone to bolting, so you could either harvest often or make a support system if you go for full plant maturity and get the coriander seeds
Jeb Gardener has a funny as always video on growing cilantro in a Kratky hydroponic system and glass jar under regular T5 lights and even gets flowers:
Aerogarden Experiments grown Cilantro with MaxiGrow nutrients in a more advanced Aerogarden Harvest system and comments of the growth steps:
If you are a more DYI person like Ken Weston you can even grow cilantro in a self made hydroponic system. He build a grow box from cardboard lined with reflective film and used cheap Walmart store brand ‘Great Value’ LED Plant Light Bulbs (65W equivalent) and bright white SMD LED flexible strip lighting attached to PVC pipes. The timelapse shows that he managed to have about 3 harvests from this setup.
If you are into more expensive systems, Urban Cultivator shows us how to grow cilantro using one the most advanced indoor growing appliances on the market
If you are more into regular gardening in your backyard, Self Sufficient Me gets us 5 Tips How to Grow a Ton of Coriander or Cilantro in Container/Garden Bed. You can even find out about the green cilantro seeds!
Using hydroponic grown cilantro in your kitchen
Let’s start with a mesmerizing video on how to cut tons of cilantro:
Afghan Cooks shows us how to make Afghan Coriander Chutney – Delicious Cilantro Sauce for Everything.
She uses a good amount of fresh cilantro, a big glass jar and the ingredients:
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups vinegar
- black pepper
The ingredients and then made like a pasta using a regular food processor.
Of course you can also male a pesto: you need cilantro, garlic, olive oil, water, a lemon, salt and pepper and Cashew Nuts.
Then, you can of course keep it fresh by putting it in water, freeze it or dry it: