How To Grow Culantro: Easy Steps On Growing Culantro

Did you get very excited about learning how to grow culantro after you heard of the plant? The intrigue is very obvious as the herb is a very popular one in the world for its sharp flavor when compared to the more known Cilantro. There are a lot of names of the culantro in different cuisine cultures like Shado beni, Bandhaniya, Ngo Gai, etc.

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This biennial is mostly cultivated as an annual and the process is very easy. Let’s see the knick and knacks of growing culantro.

Facts about the Culantro Cultivation

Before we move on to learn how to grow culantro, here are some facts about the plant for you to know that will help you carry out the cultivation process better.

how to grow culantro
  • The process of growing culantro is almost similar to that of lettuce. The plant grows just like lettuce does where it stretches while rising.
  • The culantro grows very fast and once the flowers set in, it denotes that the plant is going to die due to exhaustion of energy.
  • Culantros are self- sowing in nature. The seeds that fall in places can become plants in the next season if they remain saved from the frost by chance.
  • Seeds selection is a very important step where you have to be very careful. The plant growth can get affected due to the genetic purity, physiological abilities, germination rate, and overall health of the seeds itself. Make sure to check for these criteria while buying the seeds.
  • The culantros take around 80-90 days for maturity. They die out after summer anyway when the blooms appear.
  • It is a good idea to harvest the leaves before late summers arrive as the leaves begin dying as the heat increases.

Needs of the Culantros

There are certain essential requirements of culantro which you must meet to let it grow nicely. Let’s see the what, where, and when before knowing how to grow culantro:

  • The soil medium apt for culantros is a fertile one mixed with rich organic matter. It must have good drainage and moisture retention capabilities. The pH can vary around the value of 4.5-7.5 which means that culantro can grow in a large range of soil conditions.
  • Culantros like some shade which is the best for their growth. Choose which doesn’t get direct sun as too much light can harden the leaves and promote flower growth.
  • The right temperature to suit culantro growth is around 70-90 degrees F.
  • You can grow culantros both inside and outside as long as you give it the right environment. Though growing them is a better choice as you can control the light and temperature around the plants.
  • A warm environment is the most crucial for culantros thus spring is the best time to start culantros. They are extremely frost sensitive too.

Watch this video.

Growing Culantros

Let’s now see the two different methods you can choose between to grow a culantro plant.

Using the seeds

The first thing that you need in this method is patience since culantro grows slowly from the seeds. It is preferable to start the culantro seeds indoors because they are very small in size and sowing them outside will make it difficult to locate the seedlings.

Select good quality seeds for the planting and the right variety that you want to grow. You need to now get any seed tray or container and fill it with a good soil starter mix which is sterilized. Moisten the soil well enough.

Sprinkle the seeds over the soil and leave them as it is. Keep the pot at a location bereft of direct sunlight. The most important thing for the germination of these seeds is bottom heat and you will have to provide that by keeping the pot over any hot surface or a heating mat.

Keep the soil adequately moist throughout the process. It usually takes around 2 – 4 weeks for the sprouts to emerge. You can do some pruning at this stage to make a space of about 8-12 cm between the seedlings.

Wait for the frost to end or at least 6-8 weeks till moving ahead with transplantation. Harden off the young plants first by gradually exposing them to the outdoor conditions. You can plant the seedlings in a bigger pot now or take them to the outdoor space.

Pick an area with light shade and plant the young culantro plants at a space of about 8-12 inches from each other. Keep the soil around the plant moist always.

Using culantro stem cuttings

This is the fast forward method as you start almost halfway the process. You can save both time and money if you decide on growing culantro with the stem cuttings and if you manage to get it easily. A cutting which measures around 6 inches and having plenty of them will be good to start with.

Remove all the lower leaves and any flower from the stem. Fill water into a small pit and put the cuttings into it so that only bare stem touches the water. Put this pot in a shady location and keep changing the water every alternate day.

You will see roots emerging within a week mostly. Once they are around 2 inches long, the cuttings are ready to be transplanted. Plant the cuttings into your garden bed or any pot.

Caring for the Culantros

how to grow culantro

There is not much that you need to do for taking care of the culantro plant once it starts growing. These are some basic needs to be met for expecting a great harvest.

  • The most important thing is to protect the culantro plants from frost at all costs as they are very sensitive to it.
  • It will be good to keep the plants in shade although they thrive better in full sun. Shade keeps the leaves tender, larger, greener, and retains their sharp aroma.
  • Feed the plants with some good organic fertilizer or rich rotted compost matter. Liquid fertilizers are a good choice that is high in nitrogen.
  • Water is important for all the stages of culantro growth. Always keep an eye on the moisture level and water the plants adequately.
  • Mulching the plants will help to prevent moisture evaporation and weed too. Put organic mulch over the plants thoroughly.
  • Pruning the stalks improve the foliage health and also boosts the crop. Keep cutting the flower stalks to boost leave production.
  • The culantros are generally free of the risk of any pests or disease. They even attract many important insects and also set up a defense against aphids. You may still have to protect them against pests like snails, slugs, nematodes, and diseases like leaf spot, black rot, and root rot.
  • Never pull the leaves while harvesting the plant. This can disturb their stability. Snip the leaves off with pruning scissors or any knife.
  • If you want to store the recao seeds for future planting, wait until the plant flowers. Dry out the flowers and take the seeds out. Store them for future use.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned all about how to grow culantro, start with arranging the necessary equipment, and wait till the time is right. The results are going to very rewarding and that sauce made from the leaves will boost the flavor of any dish that you make.

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