How to grow coriander in pots on a kitchen windowsill or balcony

Grow the herb garden hero on your kitchen windowsill, balcony or patio with this easy guide on how to grow coriander in pots

herb planters
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If you love homemade guacamole or are looking to add a hit of fresh fragrance to a soup, knowing how to grow coriander in pots is a must. You can grow it on a windowsill or patio as part of a potted herb garden idea.

Leaving coriander off your kitchen garden list is a herb garden mistake you’ll want to avoid. Also known as cilantro, the annual herb grows tasty green leaves from seed (although the whole plant is edible) and packs recipes with warm, spicy and nutty flavours. 

Once you've mastered the easy art of growing coriander in pots, why not learn how to grow carrots in containers and make a delicious carrot and coriander soup? 

Coriander plant and herbs on windowsill

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How to grow coriander in pots

'Growing coriander in pots is an easy and rewarding way to enjoy fresh herbs right from your own home! With just a few steps, you can have a thriving pot of coriander ready for harvesting and cooking,' says Josh Novell, the Director of Polhill Garden Centre.  

From selecting varieties to harvesting a delicious crop, here’s how to grow coriander in pots.

outdoor kitchen with grey counter wash basin plant pots and wood

(Image credit: Victoria Wade)

What you'll need

  • Coriander seeds. They are widely available in garden centres and supermarkets. Or, harvest your own. The Leafy Leisure variety is good for beginners producing lots of leaves
  • Plant pots or containers for sowing and growing the herb
  • Multi-purpose compost - Coir compost is brilliant is you're short on space
  • Liquid Fertiliser - choose a herb-friendly, edible variety such as Herb Focus from Amazon
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Plenty of sunlight

How to sow coriander seeds in pots

Soak a handful of seeds overnight in a shallow dish filled with water. When you are ready to sow the coriander seeds fill a plant pot with good quality potting soil.

Sowing seeds in pots

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'It is best to use a premium, well-draining potting mix enriched with organic matter like compost or peat moss. Coriander is vulnerable to root rot, a fungal disease that can cause the roots to decay, making it essential to use a potting mix that promotes proper drainage,' says Josh Neville. 

Sow the tiny coriander seeds thinly by sprinkling them at the top of the soil. Lightly press down so they are just covered in soil up to about 1cm deep. Water the soil so it is damp (not soggy). 

Growing coriander herbs need at least 6 hours of daylight per day to thrive so place them in a light spot such as a kitchen window or a part-shaded patio.

'Germination takes between 14 and 21 days and the pots can be kept either inside or outside,' explains Fiona Jenkins at

'I've found that coriander thrives in cooler positions with some light shade. It's crucial to maintain well-drained soil and avoid direct sunlight, especially during the scorching summer months,' adds Ash Read from Indoor Plants

How to care for growing coriander in pots

It’s important not to over-water coriander, however, you do need to keep the soil moist. Continue to water the pot once or twice a week as the soil begins to dry out. 

'Each seed will germinate in about one to three weeks with moderate light, warmth and moisture. From that point it will generally take around 50-60 days to mature,' explains Tanya Anderson of Lovely Greens

To encourage robust and healthy growth when growing coriander in pots apply a balanced liquid seaweed fertiliser every few weeks.

vertical herb garden craft with glass jars hung vertically on a wooden floorboard in white kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

How to harvest coriander in pots

Once the pot has a healthy head of green coriander leaves you can pick or snip off the herb as needed for culinary dishes. Take mature leaves from the outside and snip off the coriander at the base of the stem. The stalks are edible and full of flavour too. 

'With cilantro, you can also do the lawn mower technique,' says Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening. 'So take a nice and mature clump and lawn mower it down. Don’t go too low and just clump the whole thing off. It’s a good way to stop the flower stalks from even forming and get a nice continual harvest.'


When is the best time to plant coriander in pots?

'If growing outside, direct sow small batches of seeds into containers of loam-based compost every two weeks from March until the end of August,' advises Thompson & Morgan horticultural expert, Annelise Brilli.

Indoors, the herb will last further into autumn and sometimes even winter. 

How long will a coriander plant last?

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), coriander is an annual plant and so will die during winter. They stop producing edible leaves when they start to flower. Discourage flowering with regular picking. If doing a large harvest to store ensure you allow coriander in pots to recover for a few weeks before harvesting again. 

'Cilantro has a short life because it bolts (flowers prematurely) in high heat. However, that can be prolonged by choosing a variety that handles high temperatures. Our favourite choices are Calypso, Marino and Santo varieties,' says Kevin Espiritu.

'For a continuous supply of coriander leaves sow seeds every 3 to 4 weeks,'  adds Fiona Jenkins.


Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.