Some common plants grow in aerogardens are tomatoes, peppers, snap peas, cucumbers, etc. But what about cilantro? Can you grow it in an aerogarden? What should you do to keep the aerogarden cilantro always healthy?
If you have the same questions, you are on the right page. Scroll down now.
- What Is Cilantro?
- How To Grow Cilantro In An Aerogarden
- How To Prune Aerogarden Cilantro
- When To Harvest
- Aerogarden Cilantro Growing Tips
- Why Is My Cilantro Turning Yellow?
- How To Replant Aerogarden Cilantro
- The Bottom Line
What Is Cilantro?
Here are some facts about cilantro that we believe a green lover like you would be thrilled to find out.
Cilantro is also widely known as coriander and Chinese cilantro. Its botanical name is Coriandrum sativum. When reaching maturity, it can be 20 inches high. Cilantro is native to Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and Southwestern Asia.
This particular type of plant prefers cool weather; about 50 – 80 Fahrenheit degrees is ideal. Meanwhile, the cilantro herbs seeds are able to germinate only when the temp is from 55 to 68 degrees. Also, it needs sunshine, good air circulation, and well-drained soil to grow well.
The curly cilantro needs at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It tends to grow toward the sun, so you may want to turn the plant often for even growth.
Cilantro offers a lot of health benefits. For example, it promotes enzyme activity that removes sugar from the blood, thereby reducing blood sugar. In addition, the plant is rich in antioxidants, which can boost your immune system and fight against inflammation in your body. More surprisingly, these antioxidants have anticancer effects. That is not to mention eating cilantro can promote digestion and gut health, according to scientists.
The question is: can you grow cilantro hydroponically?
Of course yes.
Cilantro is a short-lived plant that can thrive indoors all year long. It needs little space and care to grow, so it makes a perfect seed for indoor hydroponic gardens. Check out the main topic about aerogarden cilantro in the next part.
How To Grow Cilantro In An Aerogarden
Can you start cilantro from cuttings? Many people have asked me this question. You should grow cilantro from seeds as the plant forms a taproot, which is not suitable for transplanting.
Buy the seed pod kits and set everything up. You can choose amongst 3 pod seed kits, 6 pod seed kits, 7 pod seed kits, and 9 pod seed kits. Typically, cilantro seeds germinate in about 7 to 10 days, but in some cases, it can take up to 3 weeks before the first seed begins to sprout.
It is ideal to grow the seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost. No worries about cold weather, as the plant can handle it with ease.
Here is a tip to speed up the germination of cilantro seeds. Soak the cilantro seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours before planting. Alternatively, you can place a quarter on top of the seed sponge, then check it regularly to see whether the seeds begin to sprout or not. If yes, remove the covering so the cilantro plants can develop normally.
Cilantro prefers plenty of sunlight, so you should place the aerogarden in a sunny spot, near the windows, for example.
Nonetheless, you should move them into a shaded place when the temp gets too high. Otherwise, your curly cilantro may lose water and turn yellow. I will discuss this further in the next part to answer your question ‘Why is my cilantro turning yellow?’
Another reason you should keep your cilantro shaded is that the hot weather makes the plant produce flowers and seeds quickly. This means the cilantro will stop producing leaves – the things you grow cilantro for.
Anyway, hydroponic gardeners can make use of indoor grow lights. That is an advantage of growing cilantro in an aerogarden, right? A simple 45W LED light can provide enough light for your baby cilantro. Make sure you keep the light above the plant for about 6 inches and leave it on for 14 hours a day. Do not forget to supply cilantro plants with enough water and plant food.
You can plant cilantro near tomatoes, corn, or asparagus for the best results.
Keep an eye on the cilantro to quickly detect bacteria or rotten parts. If there are any bad parts, cut them off so that the rest of the plant can grow normally. The most common signs of cilantro going bad are yellow and brown leaves.
With proper care, the cilantro is able to last about 4 months in an aerogarden.
How To Prune Aerogarden Cilantro
Pruning cilantro is an art all gardeners desire to master
Pruning your cilantro at the right time is important if you want to keep it productive and encourage new growth. As said above, fresh cilantro leaves taste best, so you will not want the plant to grow out.
Check your cilantro plant. Does it have three leaves growing out of every stem? Single leaf cut means you cut off one leaf and let the other two thrive. Remove the leaf gently where it comes from the main stem. Cilantro leaves are extremely delicate, so pay close attention.
If you want all the leaves that grow on a single stem, follow the stem and cut it. The cut should be made at half an inch above the grow basket.
When To Harvest
Cilantro is a shot-lived plant, so you do not need to wait so long until you can taste the first leaves.
When your plant reaches about 6 inches, it is a clear sign that you can make it into some taste-provoking meal ingredient. You should cut the young leaves first since they taste best. Older cilantro leaves may be a bit bitter.
Do not harvest too much; otherwise, the plant may become weak. Stop when you are about to cut off one-third of the plant. If you happen to harvest too many leaves, soak the petioles in water before putting them in the refrigerator. This is to keep the cilantro leaves always fresh.
It is best to use fresh cilantro with dishes such as salads, salsas, and soups.
Dried cilantro herbs seeds are also edible and flavorful, so you can use them for cooking.
Harvesting cilantro seeds is different from harvesting leaves. You need to wait until cilantro blooms and produces seeds to begin clipping off the seed heads. The best time for harvest is when the cilantro seeds start to turn brown.
After picking all the herbs seeds, it is time to dry them. Spread a layer of seeds evenly on the sheet and put them into the oven. Set the temp at the lowest possible and leave the seeds there until they are completely dry. The dried seeds can be stored in a cool and dry area for up to three years.
If you want a continuous supply of cilantro, plant the herbs seeds every 2-3 week.
Aerogarden Cilantro Growing Tips
There is no such thing as too many tips to keep your cilantro pot green and healthy
I will introduce to you some tips and tricks on growing cilantro in a hydroponic system below. Stick with me until the end, some of them can be the key to keeping your 3-leaf buddy in good shape all the time.
#1 Pinch Your Cilantro
This is to motivate the cilantro plants to grow fully. If you may not know, the aerogarden plants that are trimmed grow faster and healthier compared to normal plants.
#2 Leave Space
The curly cilantro seeds should stay about 3 to 4 inches apart so that each can absorb enough air, light, water, and nutrients to grow.
#3 Clean The Indoor Herb Garden
Your smart garden should be clean to save your baby cilantro from fungus, bacteria, and diseases. If you have grown other seedlings before, you must clean the pod thoroughly for your curly cilantro and dill.
But how to keep your aerogarden always clean?
It is easy. You should wipe clean the top every week and change the water every few weeks. Check the herb gardens regularly and remove dead leaves if there is any.
Why Is My Cilantro Turning Yellow?
If you do not do something to bring the green back, your cilantro will kick the bucket soon
One day, you check the aerogarden and suddenly find out that your cilantro is turning yellow. This is by no means a positive sign at all.
Do you want to know what should be held responsible for this sickly yellow?
Read on to know the reasons that cause your cilantro leaves to turn yellow and some feasible solutions.
One of the most common reasons is hot weather.
During summer days, the cilantro plant loses water so quickly that the roots fail to replenish in time. Thus, the plants need to shed some leaves to live on the limited amount of water. The outer leaves start to turn yellow and eventually die off.
During the hottest days, move your aerogarden to a cool place without direct sunlight. Check the cilantro regularly to make sure it gets enough water, neither too much nor too little. Either overwatering or underwatering can cause the Chinese cilantro leaves to turn yellow.
This is a common problem when you grow cilantro in an aerogarden. With inadequate grow light, the cilantro plants will turn yellow and eventually shed some of its leaves.
To solve the problem, you should leave the grow light on for 14-15 hours a day to provide enough light for the full plants to thrive without leaves turning yellow.
Too much or too little nutrients in the soil can also make the cilantro herb plants turn yellow. If you happen to add too much plant food, you should water your aerogarden plants to distribute some excess fertilizer evenly.
How To Replant Aerogarden Cilantro
Take the cilantro seed pods out of your smart garden. You should be extra careful at this step, since the herb is extremely delicate.
Here is how you should do it.
Grab the top of the grow basket and pull the cilantro out. If the cilantro does not go easily, it is probably due to the roots. Try wigging the plant around or simply cut the excess roots using a pair of scissors. Nonetheless, you should not cut off too many roots since it may affect the growth of cilantro later.
Alternatively, you can cut the grow basket off. I do not recommend it, though, as the basket is still useful in the future when you want to grow other plants.
Prepare some containers or pots where you want to replant your cilantro. You should use some pots with holes at the bottom to facilitate the draining of excess water. Fill half the pots with soil and you are good to go. If possible, I advise you to use pre-fertilized soil to supply the cilantro with more liquid plant food.
Put the cilantro into the pots and fill the remaining space with soil. Do not forget to leave some space, about half an inch, on the top. That way, you will not make a mess when you water the plant.
You have already finished replanting your cilantro, so what is the purpose of this step?
Well, it is time to clean your aerogarden to prevent bacteria from spreading. You can use white vinegar or chlorine bleach. Afterward, leave the garden to dry and store it for future gardening projects.
Basically, the steps are all the same as you replant the cilantro to the pots. Instead of preparing a pot, you simply dig a hole in the ground. Make sure that the soil where you are going to plant the cilantro is moist. If the soil is dry, water it for a few seconds first. Also, fertilize the soil with an adequate amount of fertilizer or natural compost.
The Bottom Line
Cilantro is a delicious and healthy herb that complements many dishes. With aerogardens, now you can grow the plant right on your kitchen at ease. Make sure you follow my tips and tricks to enjoy fresh cilantro all year round.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more posts about aerogarden. Do not forget to like, share, and comment your experience with aerogarden cilantro down below.