How to grow coriander

Coriander growing guide

In a nutshell: coriander (also known as Cilantro) likes partial shade, and regular water – but not ‘wet feet’. In other words, don’t have it standing in a saucer of water.

Some customers like to plant out the coriander they buy from me; others leave them in the red pots (or plant them into larger containers). Any of these approaches are fine, so long as you keep them a bit shady (but not too shady), cool, and watered.

Remember to feed your coriander

Coriander does develop a significant root system, and it’s quite a hungry plant, so it’s important to feed it.

Follow the instructions on your fertiliser – or if you don’t have any fertiliser to hand, grab some certified organic fertiliser from us.


Note: We’ve recently switched to using a growing mix that’s free from artificial/chemical fertilisers – it no longer contains a slow release fertiliser. So if you’ve grown our coriander successfully in the past, you’ll need to feed any new plants you buy from us.

Why has the coriander turned yellow?

When coriander turns yellow, it could mean any of the following:

  • It’s had too much water.
  • It hasn’t had enough water.
  • It hasn’t had enough light.

The best way to rule out whether it’s had too much or too little water is to dig your finger down into the growing medium to check moisture before you water. You’re aiming for moist, but not soggy.

If you can’t get your finger in, the growing medium is too dry. You will need to give the plant a deep watering morning and night to encourage the growing medium to soak up water again.

Why does the coriander have pink/purple stems or leaves?

Discoloured coriander with pink and purple leaves and stems

Coriander with discoloured pink or purple leaves or stems is coriander that’s experienced a lot of stress – either not enough water, too much heat – or both.

Coriander is not a forgiving plant, so once it’s reached this stage, it’s beyond the point of no return. The best thing you can do is to harvest and enjoy any remaining green leaves, and purchase a new plant, and learn from the experience. Coriander is a tricky plant to grow successfully, so it can take a bit of practice to master it. But once you have it sussed, you will love having lush, fresh coriander to snip as you need it!

Why is the coriander droopy?

It most likely got too hot. Or didn’t get enough water. Or both. Put it in a cool spot with partial sunlight and give it a good, long drink.

Why does coriander bolt (go to seed/flower) so quickly?

Coriander is a plant that naturally goes to seed quite quickly. It has a shorter lifecycle compared to other herbs.

It bolts more quickly if the plant is stressed – and the main stressor is usually a lack of water.

The good news is that you can still eat the coriander even once it’s gone to seed. The leaf shape might look a bit different, but it’s still perfectly edible.

Why does the coriander I buy from the supermarket always die?

Those poor little supermarket plants are doomed from the outset:

  1. Coriander hates growing in little pots (which is why we only supply it in big pots) – as soon as the roots touch the pot, the coriander turns up its toes.
  2. It’s been grown using hyrdoponic/fertigation techniques – in other words, it’s been continuously fed with the perfect balance of nutrients. Once the nutrients in the little pot get depleted, the plant suffers. And coriander is not a forgiving plant.
  3. It’s been grown in the perfect conditions in terms of temperature, shade, etc. This is difficult to replicate at home.

Does coriander re-grow?

Coriander isn’t a plant that regrows very much, like other herbs do.

Your best chance for a bit of re-growth is to trim the coriander a couple of inches up from the base of the plant, so some small shoots can grow up.

Final thought

Even if you’re not great at growing coriander, take heart that our big pots are still way better value than the small plants or packets at the supermarket. They will feed you well and generously!


Catalogue for coriander in our online store →

We grow big coriander pots all year round.


Get in touch

Any questions? Please contact me, Cornelia, on email at - or fill in the form.

You can expect to hear from me within 2 business days or sooner.