Cilantro is an herb that’s flavor is either loved or hated. For those that love the zest of cilantro, they can’t get enough. Here’s a simple guide to growing zest hydroponic cilantro at home.
Recommended Cilantro Varieties for Hydroponics
Any variety of cilantro will grow in your hydroponic system. Some varieties have a higher tolerance to bolting which may be a better choice for growing outdoors.
My favorite variety of cilantro to grow in my hydroponic gardens is probably Calypso. It’s slow to bolt and grows pretty thick.
Leisure and Santo varieties are also popular among cilantro growers.
Getting Hydroponic Cilantro Started
The first step to growing hydroponic cilantro is deciding how you’re going to start.
Germinating seeds- Cilantro is easy to start from seed and can take anywhere from 5 to 10 days to germinate. You can germinate several seeds together at once and grow them as a bunch without any issues.
When germinating cilantro seeds, temperatures should be kept in the 75-degree range. I prefer to germinate my seeds using rapid rooter plugs.
Cloning cilantro- Cilantro is not the easiest plant to clone but it can be done. If you’re interested in cloning your cilantro, check out how to clone your plant hydroponically in only water.
Store-bought cilantro in dirt– Buying cilantro plants from the store and transplanting them into your hydroponic system is an easy way to get your garden started. You can always buy a few plants and later clone them to produce more. Even when out of season you can often find cilantro and other herb plants for sale in your local grocery store’s produce section.
What Hydroponic Systems Works Best For Cilantro?
Hydroponic cilantro will grow well in pretty much any hydroponic method. I suggest using a hydroponic system that allows you to access all of your plants for easy pruning and harvesting regularly.
I’ve grown cilantro using almost every hydroponic method besides aeroponics, which can also be a good method to use. I’ve found all methods to work equally well.
What Is The Best Temperature For Hydroponic Cilantro?
Cilantro grows best in cooler temperatures. It’s one of those plants that will bolt when it gets too hot.
Hydroponic cilantro grows best in a temperature range of 45 – 70 degrees. You can use a temperature controller to better regulate the temperature in your grow room.
Spacing Requirements For Hydroponic Cilantro
Hydroponic cilantro plants should be given about 9-12 inches of space between plants to provide plenty of room to spread out. You’ll want to encourage lateral growth to increase yields.
How Much Light Does Hydroponic Cilantro Need?
Cilantro doesn’t need intense light to grow and can be grown under T5 fluorescent lighting. Since we only need cilantro in its vegetative stage when it’s harvesting leaves, the same light can be used to grow cilantro from start to finish.
Though fluorescent lighting is probably the most efficient for growing hydroponic cilantro, you could also use LED or HID lighting.
Your hydroponic cilantro should receive 12 to 14 hours of light per day for productive growth.
Recommended pH Level For Hydroponic Cilantro
The recommended pH level for hydroponic cilantro plants is 6.5.
Hydroponic Cilantro Nutrient Requirements
Hydroponic cilantro has simple nutrient requirements since we only need it in its vegetative stage for harvesting the leaves.
To grow your hydroponic cilantro, use a hydroponic nutrient regiment high in nitrogen. For growing my hydroponic cilantro I use Dyna Gro Foliage Pro.
This one-part nutrient regimen is simple to use and produces plants with heavy vegetation, which is just what you want when growing hydroponic cilantro. Some say to use regular nutrient strengths to have a higher flavor.
How Prune & Harvest Hydroponic Cilantro
Pruning and harvesting your cilantro regularly will promote new growth and increase your overall yields. Cilantro can be harvested using the cut and come again method of harvesting. This means you can harvest some cilantro, let it grow back, and harvest again. This process can be repeated multiple times.
You can start harvesting your cilantro after it reaches 5-6 inches.
*Tip- Harvested cilantro should be kept in the fridge. You could also place harvested cilantro in a glass of water which will extend its shelf life after harvest.
Cilantro is easy to grow hydroponically and a great herb to add some zest to your meals. If you’re one of the lucky ones to enjoy the tang of cilantro I definitely recommend adding it to your hydroponic garden!