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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Cilantro and Coriander

Other Common Names Include:

Chinese Parsley and Mexican Parsley

Latin Name: Coriandrum sativum

Plant Family: Apiaceae

Close Relatives: Carrots, Celery, Dill and Parsley

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. fresh herb, spice).  

Cilantro nearing harvest Coriander in flower.
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

In North America, cilantro refers to the fresh herb while coriander refers to the seed spice.

Propagation method


Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Beginning in late April to mid-May.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

2-5 cm in bands up to 10 cm wide (cilantro), 15-30 cm (coriander).

Between row spacing

20-60 cm (wider spacing between bands of cilantro).

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Research in Virginia, India and Poland shows a nitrogen requirement of 50 to 100 kg/ha for both fresh leaf and seed production. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well drained loam and sandy loam soils.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation required under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

Cilantro 40-60 days; Coriander 100-120 days (small seeded varieties tend to mature later than larger seeded varieties).

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Successive Plantings, Multi-cropping possible (cilantro). Single Harvest (Coriander) hand harvest or machine harvest.

Hand Harvest or Machine Harvest:
Hand harvest (cilantro); machine harvest (combine) for coriander.

Quality parameters/grades

Typically sold in bunches of 10-20 plants according to market specifications (cilantro). Coriander is graded by the buyer according to its aroma and appearance.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest (cilantro).  Harvesting coriander in moist conditions when the seed pod is not overly dry will help protect against seed shattering.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Coriander seeds must cure during storage, but hot air drying should be avoided because coriander oil is very volatile.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 95-100% (cilantro)

Temperature: 0°C (cilantro)

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 10-14 days (cilantro)

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Thrips, aphids, leafhoppers

Diseases: Bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv. coriandricola), damping-off

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Grasshoppers, cabbage loopers,

Diseases: Aster yellows, root rot, fusarium wilt, Rhizoctonia, blossom blight, sclerotinia white mould, sooty mould


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario:  Bacterial blight. This crop is in Crop Group 19: Herbs and Spices Group. This crop group is being revised and may change in the near future. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAF and MRA specialist. For pest control products registered on this crop refer to OMAFRA Publication 838.

Bacterial blight of cilantro
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Cerkauskas, R.F. 2009. Bacterial leaf spot of cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 31: 16-21.
  2. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., and S. Westerveld. 2009. Non-traditional crops demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  3. McKeown, A.W., C.J. Bakker and J. Schooley. 1998-2002. Herb Demonstration Garden, University of Guelph Simcoe Research Station, unpublished.
  4. Westerveld, S., Elford, E., Filotas, M. and J. Todd. 2010-present. OMAFRA herb demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  1. Blade, S. 1998. Coriander.$department /deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex121
  2. Government of Saskatchewan. 2008. Coriander.
  3. Rangappa , M., Bhardwaj, H.L., Showhda, M. and A.A. Hamama. 1997. Cilantro nitrogen fertilizer rates. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants 5: 63-68.
  4. Rzekanowski, C., Marynowski, K., Rolbiecki, S. and R. Rolbiecki. 2007. Effect of irrigation and nitrogen fertilization on the yield of coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.). Herba Polonica 53: 163-169.
  5. Schooley, J. and J. Llewellyn. 2002. Growing Culinary Herbs in Ontario.
  6. Singh, S.K., Yadav, J.R. and C.P. Sachan. 2009. Effects of nitrogen and zinc levels on yield of coriander. Annals of Horticulture 2: 230-231.
  7. Small, E. 2006. Culinary herbs, 2nd Edition. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.
  8. Walters, A. 2007. Horticulture Production Guides: Cilantro.