Whenever I visit Florida, nothing becomes more important than a dish, Latin Spiced Florida Amberjack with Corn Relish and Cilantro Oil.
I am already mouth-watered with Juicy Amberjack fish, and Cilantro flavors added.
Without a doubt, I love Cilantro and never miss any opportunity to grow these herbs at home.
To grow Cilantro in Florida, sow the seeds in early spring or 60 days before the first frost date (early fall) in the location receiving sunlight for at least 6 hours. And try to avoid scorching summer days as they may promote the flowering of Cilantro.
Gardeners mainly grow for fresh flavor, from leaves or seeds in everything from salsa to marinade.
Besides, these herbs reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and seizure severity.
If you also want to add your foods to a new flavor and leverage the health benefits, grow Cilantro like me. For this, stay with the article!
Table of Contents Show
Does Cilantro Grow in Florida?
Cilantro, the leaf, and Coriander, the dried seed of the same plant, have taken over the United States kitchen, with Florida no exception.
Although Florida is not the largest producer of Cilantro, climatic conditions befit the growth of Cilantro as there are four different USDA zone (8-11) in Florida.
Thus, Cilantro grows in most parts of Florida, including the North, Northwest, Central and South regions indoors and outdoors.
Besides, North and Central Florida has a humid subtropical climate, and the South has a humid tropical climate.
Cilantro can grow in winter and summer in Florida, but be careful not to let the Cilantro shed the seed if you are planting for leaves, as warm temperature promotes bolting.
Similarly, Cilantro loathes temperatures below 50ºF, which is rare in Florida but still, you need to be careful during winter days.
Meanwhile, Cilantro in Florida is no different in appearance, having slender, feathery leaves with lobed at the base.
Cilantro will be the same even if you grow it in the Northern pole, but the sad thing is that it does not germinate there.
When to Plant Cilantro in Florida?
As the diversity in the hardiness zone within Florida, the sowing time for Cilantro may differ.
Cilantro loves cool and moist conditions during planting, so the early spring days or early fall times are the best for Cilantro’s seed.
Follow the table below to ensure when you need to sow Cilantro seeds.
|USDA Zone||Sowing Time|
|Zone 8 (a,b)||March and April|
|Zone 9 (a,b)||February and March|
|Zone 10 (a,b)||February and March|
|Zone 11 (a,b)||January and February|
How to Grow Cilantro in Florida?
Buying the Cilantro every time to garnish the dish can be tiresome and time-consuming. This could save some penny for purchasing the pungent, lemony-flavored herbs for dishes.
So why not try bringing the herb into your garden and enjoy it fresh from the beginning of spring or early fall?
Growing Cilantro is like a boon for those in Florida, as the weather and climatic condition favor the healthy growth of Cilantro with its taste intact.
Dive further to learn the tips and tricks of growing Cilantro in Florida.
1. Planting the Seeds
Cilantro seeds go by the name Corriander and have that tart and earthy aroma for adding spices to dishes.
And that seeds, if soaked in the water for 24 hours before planting, are the most reliable source of Cilantro leaves.
Here I have listed the step-by-step guide for planting the seed with the utmost care.
Step 1: Choose the Location and Container
Choose a location receiving bright sun if you plan to sow the seeds in early fall for outdoors.
To sow in early spring, locate a place receiving bright light with partial shade during days and evenings.
Collect 18 inches wide and at least 8 to 10 inches deep terra cotta pot indoors.
Step 2: Prepare the Soil
For potted Cilantro, fill the pot with well-draining soil and organic manure and compost.
If you wish to sprinkle the seeds in the ground soil, remove all the weeds from the area and practice tilling in the soil to loosen it up.
You can also apply organic mulch over the ground to prevent further growing weeds and enrich the soil with organic matter.
Step 3: Sowing the Seeds
Initially, crush out the seed coat and presoak the seeds for at least 24 to 48 hours to soften the shell.
Dry out the seeds before sowing to prevent rotting and decaying.
Now, spread the Cilantro seeds at a gap of 5 cm from one another and a row distance of about 3 to 4 inches for the ground.
Pinch the seed to 0.25 inches deep and cover the seed with light soil.
But do not spread the seeds all at once to receive a heavy or continuous harvest. And better do it every two weeks.
If you have no time to cultivate Cilantro every week, plant the Cilantro alone without any companions, as they can self-seed to give new harvests.
Remember, February and September is the best time to sow seeds in Florida.
Lastly, water the seeds twice a day to boost germination and perform drip irrigation to prevent water from falling over the foliage part.
2. Harvesting Cilantro
After sowing, Cilantro is ready to give harvest in about six to eight weeks after attaining a height of 6 inches.
Harvesting Cilantro is unexpectedly easy. If you want to collect Cilantro to add to dishes only, pinch the leaves just 2 to 3 inches above the ground.
To harvest Cilantro in bulk, use a disinfected, sterilized scissor to cut off the long, mature leaves and tie them with the string or twine.
However, you need to grow Cilantro plants with the leaves and allow them to flower, which later turns brown.
Cilantro flowers turn into seeds within 4-6 weeks from sowing. Thus, keep the seeds in a paper bag to let them dry out for future use.
The Cilantro grown in February gives harvest in April, while those sown in September provide yield in November.
3. Storage of Cilantro
Cilantro gives a flavorful taste till 48 hours of harvest without wilting and decaying, and it is the perfect time to enjoy the leaves.
If you have a bulk of Cilantro, hydro cooling or using an icepack helps store Cilantro for at least 14 days.
The common storage practice includes keeping Cilantro in a glass with its stem dipped in water.
Freezing the Cilantro leaves is also an option. For this, keep the leaves in an ice-cube tray, pour some water, and put them in a freezer.
By doing so, you can save Cilantro for at least 3 to 4 months.
Alternatively, drying out Cilantro leaves can also be a storing option where the leaves are oven dried and used for making tea.
You can also save the rich flavor of Cilantro by hang-drying in a well-ventilated area. Dried Cilantro has a year-long lifespan.
Tips for Taking Care of Cilantro in Florida
To enjoy green, leathery leaves of Cilantro year long, you need to nourish them with as much care as they demand.
Learn the optimum care requirement below to grow Cilantro in Florida.
- Provide the Cilantro with sunlight for at least 6 hours and partial shade during scorching days.
- Maintain the average humidity around 40%.
- Keep the optimum temperature for Cilantro between 50ºF to 85ºF. However, it can tolerate cold temperatures for short periods, not hot weather, as it will bolt.
- Ground Cilantro requires at least an inch of water every week as the soil of Florida is sandy and cannot hold water for a longer time.
- For the potted Cilantro, water more frequently on summer days but remember to check 2-inch deep soil from the ground level.
- Apply half concentration of water-soluble balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) once every two weeks.
- However, the sandy soil of Florida demands more nutrients, so enrich the soil with fish emulsions and seaweed with one ounce per gallon of water and spray bi-weekly.
- The soil quality in Florida needs correction by adding organic compost or mulches over it.
- Also, the pH of the soil should match the optimum requirement of Cilantro of 6.2-6.8, which is slightly acidic.
- Prune the Cilantro every week to prevent bolting and seed formation. But if you wish for seeds, then set back on pruning.
- Cilantro does not like to change homes, so better avoid repotting to prevent giving transplant shock.
- Although the pungent smell repels pests, making them resistant, sometimes beetles and aphids attack them, for which you can apply insecticidal soap and neem oil.
- The most common disease of Cilantro includes bacterial leaf spot and damping off. To control them remove the damaged leaf part and allow the soil to dry out.
Cilantro is sometimes mistaken for Chinese Parsley for its similar texture and use in garnishing dishes.
However, Cilantro has a more metallic scent and is more savory and citric in taste, making itself an ideal herb.
And the warm climate of Florida matches the growing requirement of Cilantro, which is also suitable to lead your Cilantro for bolting and storing the seed for future use.
So Floridians can go for Cilantro and enjoy the taste in dishes.
You will not regret growing Cilantro after knowing its benefits and nutrients. Read on!