Microgreens are the immature forms of plants that are harvested within 7 to 21 days.
These plants are smaller with 1-3 inches height but are more nutritious than their mature counterparts.
Cilantro microgreens are undoubtedly a common spice in most kitchens. Most people don’t know the difference between Coriander and cilantro. The two are the same plant, only that cilantro is the leaf version while Coriander is the seed.
Cilantro is famous for its aromatic nature and versatility. The microgreens are easy to grow at home because they don’t require a fancy garden or ample space. Growing these microgreens will ensure that your spice jar is a full year long and will not have to buy these microgreens.
This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to grow cilantro microgreens at home and explore the different mediums you can use and some of the challenges you may face on your journey.
Equipment Needed to Grow Cilantro Microgreens
Growing cilantro microgreens is pretty straightforward. You don’t need much space or complicated equipment.
You can make use of locally available materials, as we shall see in the section below:
- Trays or Pots – You can use locally available growing trays or reuse pie trays or food trays. You can get these from your local store.
- Light – You can use a cheap LED light, or a fluorescent grow light.
- Paper Towels – This is a common thing in most kitchens. You can get one in a supermarket. Well, discuss this further in the article.
- Wood Shavings- These are readily available in animal feed stores. You can get the general shavings or specialized ones for growing microgreens.
- Water Supply
- Kitchen Scissors
- Bottle Spray – buy a multipurpose spray from your nearest store, although most homes have one.
- Cilantro seeds – I Will discuss this in detail later in the article.
- Growing mat – These come in different types. Some for single-use, others reusable. We will also discuss this later.
- Plant markers – This will come in handy if you’re growing more than one microgreen.
- Fan – You need to ensure air circulation for your microgreens. Well, look at this later.
- You can use garden soil (if you have one) or a unique potting mixture from your nearest store or online.
- Growing Stand – In case you are growing more than one microgreen.
How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens from Soil?
Soil is one of the growing mediums for cilantro. You can get it directly from the garden or buy specialized soil from your nearest store.
Below is an explained process of growing cilantro microgreens from soil:
Step 1 – Prepare the Growing Tray
Choose a tray that has holes at the bottom. If you’re using leftover food trays, make holes at the bottom using a knife. Have two trays – one with holes and one with no gaps.
Step 2 – Prepare the Soil
Fill the tray with holes with already sifted soil or particular soil. Fill the soil to about three quarters and press it down using your hands. Level the soil for uniform germination.
Step 3 – Water the Soil
Use a spray bottle or pump to moisten the already prepared soil. Apply enough water to germinate the seeds and avoid a soggy medium.
Step 4 – Sow the Seeds
Use your hands or a shaker bottle to sprinkle the seeds on the soil. Use your hands to distribute the seeds evenly while leaving enough space between them. Press the seeds down using your hands so that they can come into contact with moisture for germination.
Step 5 – Water the Seeds Once More
Apply a light mist on the seeds using a bottle spray or a hand pump. Spray gently to avoid washing the seeds off the soil.
Step 6 – Cover the Seeds
Use a second tray to cover the seeds while allowing air movement. Covering is vital to create a dark environment and also keep away molds and bacteria. Apply some pressure at this point using a brick or stone. Place the tray on a growing stand.
Step 7 – Leave the Seeds to Germinate
In this process, you don’t need to do anything for two days. Relax and let your seeds germinate.
Step 8 – Check on The Seeds
On the third day, check the moisture level and the progress of your seeds. Water the seeds lightly using a hand pump or bottle spray. You’ll notice that some of the seeds will have started sprouting at this point.
Cover the seeds and apply pressure once more. Check on them on the third day and water again. By the fourth day, most of the seeds will have germinated. If you’re not satisfied with the germination rate at this point, you can leave them for a few more days.
If you’re happy with the germination rate, your cilantro microgreens are ready for the next step.
Step 9 – Take Your Plants to Light
Once all the seeds have germinated, you’ll notice that they will be yellow. Not to worry though, the yellow color will disappear once you move them to light.
You can place your microgreens near a window or under a grow light or LED light. Continue watering them from the top using a spray bottle. Pour water on the second tray and place it underneath your microgreens to water them from the bottom.
Step 10 – Harvest
Your cilantro microgreens should be ready to harvest once they start producing real leaves.
The process will take 15 to 17 days—harvest by cutting the stem or handpicking the leaves. You can use a knife or a pair of scissors for this.
How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens from A Growing Mat?
You can use a growing mat as an alternative medium to grow cilantro microgreens.
Mats come in different types. Some are reusable, while some are not.
Step 1 – Prepare the Mat
Most mats come in different shapes and sizes. Cut the mat according to the shape or size of your growing tray. You can use a knife or scissors in this process.
Step 2 – Saturate the Mat
Apply moisture by either soaking the mat in a tray containing water or spraying it directly.
Ensure that you apply only enough water to germinate the seeds.
Step 3 – Distribute the Seeds
You can use a shaker bottle or your hands to distribute the seeds evenly on the mat in this step. Be sure to allow some space between the seeds for easier germination.
Step 4 – Water the Seeds
Once the seeds are distributed on the mat, you need to make sure they remain on the mat. Do this by applying a light mist using a hand spray or pump.
Step 5 – Cover the Seeds
Use a second tray to cover the seeds and leave them to germinate. Apply pressure using a brick or a stone to speed up germination.
If you’re using a hemp mat, you can leave it for the first two days without watering because it retains moisture. If you’re using a dehydrator mat, you need to keep watering because it doesn’t retain moisture.
Step 6 – Check on The Seeds
Leave the seeds for two days to allow them to germinate. Check the progress and moisture levels at this point. Water the seeds and cover them once more while applying pressure.
When the seeds start to germinate, you can remove the cover and replace it with a dome to allow for growth. Keep watering until all the seeds have germinated. The process will take 3 to 5 days.
Put some water in a tray without holes and place it beneath the growing tray to water the roots from the bottom.
Step 7 – Move to Light
Uncover your microgreens and move them to light for growth. Keep checking and watering them. Look out for the first real leaves, which will be different from the cotyledon leaves.
Cilantro microgreens will take longer to produce real leaves compared to other microgreens.
The plants should be ready for harvesting within 14 to 21 days.
Step 8 – Harvesting
Harvest your cilantro microgreens when you’re satisfied with the true leaves. Use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the stems slightly above the growing mat or handpick the leaves.
- Buckwheat Microgreens (How To Grow, Benefits, FAQs & Pests)
- How To Grow Cabbage Microgreens (Benefits, Pests & FAQ)
- How To Grow Alfalfa Microgreens (FAQ, Benefits, Equipment Needed)
- Amaranth Microgreen Guide (How To Grow, FAQ & More!)
- Dill Microgreens (Equipment, FAQ’s, How To Grow & More!)
How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens on Wood Shavings?
Wood shavings have been used over time for animal bedding, but they can also be used as a growth medium for cilantro microgreens.
Below is a step-by-step guide to growing cilantro microgreens on wood shavings:
Step 1 -Prepare the Wood shavings
Moisten the wood shavings by directly spraying on them or soaking them in water.
Apply enough water to germinate the seeds and avoid being soggy.
Step 2 – Prepare the Growing Tray
In this step, you need to have two trays – one with holes at the bottom and one with
Fill the tray (with holes) to about three quarters with wood shavings. Press down a little with your hands and ensure that the surface is leveled for o even results.
Step 3 – Seed Distribution
When your wood shavings are moist and ready, sprinkle the cilantro seeds on the medium’s surface using your hands or a shaker bottle. Distribute them evenly to get consistent results. Leave some space between the seeds to avoid overcrowding. Apply a light sprinkle of wood shavings on top of the seeds although this is optional.
Step 4 – Watering
Apply a light mist on the wood shavings using a hand pump or a spray bottle. Be careful not to wash off the seeds from the growing medium in this step.
Step 5 – Cover the Seeds
Use a second tray to cover the seeds and allow them to germinate. Apply pressure using a brick or stones to speed up the germination rate. Leave the seeds for two days in this state.
Step 6 – Check on Them
Check the seeds on the second day for progress. By this time, you’ll notice that some will have started germinating. Apply a light mist on the seed using a spray bottle and cover them once more while applying pressure. Continue with this process until all the seeds have germinated.
Step 7 – Move to Light
Once all your cilantro seeds have germinated, you need to move them to light to start the growth process. Put them near a window or under a grow light or LED lamp.
Put water in the second tray without holes and place it below the growing tray to water the roots. Keep watering from above also but not as frequent as earlier. Check out for the true leaves in about two weeks.
Step 8 – Harvesting
Harvest your cilantro microgreens when the true leaves have formed, and you’re satisfied with the results. Use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the stem slightly above the wood shavings.
How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens from Growing Paper?
Most people will have a paper towel in their kitchen. You could use this paper to grow your favorite spice!
Below is a detailed guide on how to grow cilantro microgreens from the growing paper:
Step 1 – Prepare the Paper
Kitchen papers come in different sizes and shapes. Use scissors to cut the piece into the size or shape of your growing tray.
Step 2 – Prepare the Growing Tray
Line your growing tray with the paper without leaving any space. Use a two-ply ply kitchen paper for better results.
Step 3 – Seed Distribution
Use your hands or a shaker bottle to distribute the seeds on the growing tray. Distribute evenly and leave space between roots to get consistent results.
Step 4 -Water the Seeds
Use a spray bottle to moisten the growing medium. Apply enough water to germinate the seeds and avoid the papers being soggy.
Step 5 – Cover the Medium
Use a tray to cover the seeds and apply pressure using a brick or stone. Covering helps in speeding up the germination process.
Step 6 – Check on the Seeds
Check on seeds on the second day and apply a light mist on the seeds. Some of the seeds will show signs of germination. Cover the seeds once more and apply pressure. Keep watering the seeds until they all germinate.
Step 7 – Take the Seeds to Light
When all the seeds have germinated, take them to light for photosynthesis to start. You can put them near a window, under a grow light, or an LED lamp. Pour water on the second tray and place it underneath the growing tray to water your microgreens from below.
Keep checking and watering the microgreens until they show their first true leaves.
Step 8 – Harvest
Harvest your cilantro microgreens when they are ready by cutting the stem slightly above the growing paper using a knife or kitchen scissors.
How Can You Speed Up Growth?
If you want to harvest your cilantro microgreens, you can speed up growth by splitting the seeds before planting. The seeds have a hard husk, which increases the number of germinating days. You can also lower the soil temperature to below 75 degrees F or soak the seeds before planting them.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Cilantro Microgreens?
Cilantro microgreens are not only aromatic but also packed with health benefits such as:
Cilantro microgreens are packed with Vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system and prevents diseases such as flu and the common cold. Vitamin C is also a natural antibacterial that inhibits the growth of Escherichia Coli in the body.
Cilantro microgreens are rich in carotenoids lutein and beta carotene, which prevents oxidation of free radicals in the body, preventing diseases like cancer. Vitamin C is another antioxidant in these microgreens.
Cilantro microgreens are rich in Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. Cilantro provides a healthier source of Vitamin E compared to nuts and seeds, promoting healthy skin.
Cilantro microgreens are rich in Vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting in minor cuts in the house.
Cilantro microgreens are also rich in potassium, a mineral that maintains fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
Calcium in cilantro microgreens helps in maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth.
Cilantro has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Help in Digestion
Extracts from cilantro microgreens help to aid the digestive process.
What Pests or Can Damage Cilantro Microgreens Plus How to Stop Them?
Although cilantro is naturally repellant to pests, there are still some that attack these microgreens and could damage them.
Leaf spot is a bacterial disease that affects cilantro microgreens leaves, causing small areas.
The disease is mainly caused by infected seeds or transmitted when watering.
You can prevent leaf spots by using bacteria-free seeds and watering from the side or below.
Leave some space in between seeds while sowing and also keep monitoring the moisture levels.
The disease is caused by fungi, which thrive in moist and warm conditions. Leaves develop white powder, which is easily noticeable. Powdery mildew is caused by overcrowding or overwatering.
Prevent the disease by exposing your microgreens to the sun, sowing seeds moderately to allow space, removing infected plants, and watering from below. You can also spray a mixture of baking soda and water to the leaves.
Fungi cause the disease, and it causes the leaves and stem to rot. Infected plants show yellow to brown spots. You can prevent the disease by ensuring adequate air circulation and removing infected plants from the garden.
Damping-off is a fungal disease that commonly affects the seeds causing them to die. The condition is caused by excess moisture and high temperatures above 68 degrees. It can also be caused by high levels of nitrogen in the soil from fertilizers.
You prevent the disease by avoiding over-watering, ensuring adequate airflow, and cleaning and sterilizing equipment thoroughly before use.
Wilt is an airborne fungal infection that causes microgreens to wilt and die. The disease thrives in moist and warm conditions and can be prevented by ensuring adequate airflow and keeping a distance between seeds when sowing.
Red Knot Nematodes
These are small worms that attack cilantro microgreens, causing the roots to swell and die eventually. You can control these worms by using worm-resistant seeds and worm-free soil.
These insects come in different colors like green, black, peach, and red. Aphids attack the lower part of the leaf. You can prevent them by introducing ladybugs and beetles which prey on them. Spray a homemade insecticide soap, or even handpick them.
Worms come in different forms, and they attack the leaves and roots. You control them by handpicking, controlling weeds, or placing a physical barrier around cilantro microgreens.
Deers could feed on your whole cilantro microgreen garden and therefore should be kept at bay. You can control them by using a repellent or placing a barrier.
These mostly feed on cilantro microgreens at night or early morning, leaving a sticky white substance trail. The pests are attracted to damp places and can be controlled by handpicking at night. You can also trap them using beer troughs and cornmeal.
Sprouts vs. Microgreens, Which Is Better?
Cilantro sprouts are less nutritious and contain less fiber compared to microgreens. It may not be safe to take raw sprouts, especially when the seeds are treated before planting.
Cilantro microgreens are entirely safe to take raw and contain more dietary fiber.
How Much Light Do Cilantro Microgreens Need?
Cilantro microgreen seeds germinate in the dark. Once sprouted, the plants need a minimum of 12 hours of consistent light every day. You can put them under the sun for 4 to 6 hours or use a grow light.
What Temperature Do Cilantro Microgreens Require?
Cilantro microgreens require a lower temperature compared to other microgreen types.
Keep the soil temperature between 50- and 85-degrees F because high temperatures may lead to wilting. Cilantro microgreens can withstand frost, but it’s best to grow them where you can control temperatures.
How Long Do Cilantro Microgreens Take to Grow?
Cilantro microgreens take longer to grow compared to other microgreens.
Some seeds may take up to 7days to germinate, causing delayed growth.
The growth process in some cilantro microgreens may take up to three weeks.
Do Cilantro Microgreens Regrow after Harvesting?
Cilantro microgreens regrow after harvesting, although the quality of growth may not be significant. When Harvesting cilantro microgreens, leave the third true leaf or handpick the leaves.
How Should You Harvest Cilantro Microgreens?
Harvesting cilantro microgreens is pretty straightforward. Harvest by cutting the stem slightly above the growing medium using scissors or a knife
How Should You Store Cilantro Microgreens?
Once you harvest cilantro microgreens, it’s best to use them while they are still fresh. However, if you wish to store some, drain excess water using kitchen paper, put them inside plastic containers or bags, and keep them in a refrigerator. It would be best if you stored them for a maximum of 7 days.
Why Are My Microgreens Falling Over?
Your microgreens could be falling over due to low moisture, high temperatures, or the light could be too little. The plants could also be overcrowded, causing them to scramble for nutrients.
Cilantro Microgreen Flavor Plus How to Use Them?
Cilantro microgreens have a citrous flavor and a pleasant aroma. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Heat destroys the taste, and so, they are best used as garnish and salad dressings. You can sprinkle cilantro microgreens on eggrolls and omelets or use coleslaw and stir fry.
How to Prevent Damping Off or Why Is Air Movement Important?
Damping-off is a fungal infection that thrives in hot and humid conditions.
You can prevent this infection by ensuring adequate air movement using a circulating fan near the microgreens garden.
Damping-off can also be prevented by ensuring adequate lighting, keeping enough space between seeds when sowing, ensuring proper soil drainage, and cleaning and sterilizing equipment before use.
We hope that by now, the article has demonstrated how easy it is to grow cilantro microgreens at home and why you should grow cilantro for the myriad of health benefits that come with it.
Cilantro is an aromatic and versatile spice that you can apply to a variety of dishes. You don’t need to buy cilantro anymore because you can now grow your own. Whether you have a garden or not, you can still use other growth mediums such as paper, growing mat, wood shavings, or soil. These are things you can get locally.
The article has pointed out some of the challenges you may encounter, such as diseases and pests, and outlined how you can tackle these challenges. The article has also answered some of the questions you may have regarding growing cilantro microgreens.
You can grow cilantro microgreens for home use, and you can earn a living from it as well.
Growing cilantro microgreens may become your new hobby, and you may consider growing other types of microgreens as well.