When to Plant Cilantro in Indiana: A Comprehensive Guide

cilantro coriander plants

Do you want to grow fresh cilantro in your Indiana garden? It will enhance your cooking with its vibrant flavor. Timing your cilantro planting can make all the difference in its growth and taste. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to explore herb gardening, knowing the best times to sow cilantro seeds is crucial. 

In this article, we find out the best time to plant cilantro in Indiana. We consider the state’s varying climate and soil. Master the timing and techniques for cilantro cultivation. This will ensure a steady supply of herbs for your kitchen all season.

Introduction to Cilantro

Cilantro, cherished for its vibrant flavor and versatility, goes by many names, such as coriander or Chinese parsley. It’s a beloved herb in global cuisine, adding a distinctive zest to dishes from salsa to curries. You might aim for a lush garden plot or compact patio containers. But, timing is key to growing cilantro well in Indiana’s varied climate.

Timing plays a pivotal role in cilantro’s growth. Indiana’s weather has fluctuating temperatures. They range from frosty winters to scorching summers. It demands careful planning. For a robust cilantro harvest, understanding when to sow seeds or transplant seedlings can make all the difference. This herb thrives in cooler seasons, evading the tendency to bolt and flower prematurely in heat.

Preparing your planting site is equally vital. Cilantro thrives in rich soil with lots of sun. This is true whether it’s in garden beds or pots. With these in mind, growing cilantro becomes more than just a delight. It’s a journey through Indiana’s seasons.

Understanding Indiana’s Climate

fresh coriander cilantro leaves on basket

Indiana experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Cilantro thrives in cool weather. It can bolt quickly in hot weather. So, you must time your planting to avoid extreme heat and ensure optimal growth.

Average Temperatures and Frost Dates

  • Spring (March-May): Temperatures range from 40°F to 70°F.
  • Summer (June-August): Temperatures range from 60°F to 85°F.
  • Fall (September-November): Temperatures range from 40°F to 70°F.
  • Winter (December-February): Temperatures range from 20°F to 40°F.

Indiana’s average last frost date is around mid-April to early May, and the first frost date typically occurs in late October to early November. These frost dates are crucial for planning your cilantro planting schedule.

When is the Best Season to Plant Cilantro in Indiana?

Cilantro is a cool-season herb. It likes temperatures between 50°F and 75°F. It bolts and goes to seed quickly in hot weather. So, it’s best to plant cilantro in Indiana during the cooler parts of the year.

Spring Planting

  • Ideal Time: Directly sow seeds outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring, around mid to late March.
  • Soil Temperature: At least 50°F for germination.

Fall Planting

  • Ideal Time: Directly sow seeds outdoors in late summer to early fall, around late August to early September.
  • Considerations: Cilantro can handle light frosts. Planting in fall allows for a longer harvest before winter.

Preparing the Soil

Preparing the soil correctly is essential for successful cilantro growth. Cilantro prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Here are the steps to prepare your garden bed for planting cilantro:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select a location that receives partial shade in hotter regions or full sun in cooler climates.
  2. Test the Soil: Conduct a soil test to determine pH and nutrient levels. Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost, if needed.
  3. Loosen the Soil: Till the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches to improve drainage and root penetration.
  4. Mulching: Add a thin layer of mulch around cilantro plants. It keeps soil moist and at an even temperature.

Planting Cilantro

Once the soil is prepared, follow these steps to plant cilantro:

  1. Seed Depth: Sow cilantro seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep directly into the soil.
  2. Spacing: Space seeds or seedlings 6-8 inches apart in rows that are 12-15 inches apart.
  3. Watering: Water the soil immediately after planting to ensure the seeds are moistened. Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during dry periods.
Read: When to Plant Pumpkin Seeds Indiana

Caring for Cilantro Plants

How to Grow Cilantro...And Stop It From BOLTING!

Caring for cilantro involves regular maintenance to ensure healthy growth and flavor. Here are key care tips:


Cilantro requires moderate watering to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as cilantro roots are susceptible to rot in waterlogged soil.


Cilantro benefits from a balanced fertilizer application at planting time and again after about 3-4 weeks. Use a fertilizer low in nitrogen to promote leafy growth rather than seed production.


Once cilantro seedlings have sprouted, thin them to allow 6-8 inches of space between plants. This prevents overcrowding and encourages healthy growth.

Pest and Disease Management

Cilantro is relatively pest and disease-resistant but can still encounter some issues. Here are common pests and diseases to watch for:

Common Pests

  • Aphids: Small, sap-sucking insects that can deform leaves. Use a strong stream of water to dislodge aphids or insecticidal soap for severe infestations.
  • Cilantro Leaf Miner: Larvae tunnel into cilantro leaves, causing damage. Remove affected leaves and practice crop rotation.

Common Diseases

  • Powdery Mildew: Fungal disease that appears as a white powdery coating on leaves. Improve air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent powdery mildew.
  • Damping Off: Fungal disease that causes seedlings to wilt and die. Ensure proper soil drainage and avoid overwatering.

Harvesting Cilantro

Harvesting cilantro at the right time ensures the best flavor and prolongs its harvest period. Follow these steps for a successful harvest:

  1. Timing: Harvest cilantro when the plants are 6-8 inches tall, usually 3-4 weeks after planting for baby cilantro and 6-8 weeks for mature plants.
  2. Cutting: Use clean, sharp scissors to snip leaves from the outer part of the plant, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing Cilantro.
  3. Frequency: Harvest regularly to encourage continuous leaf production. Avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plant at a time to promote regrowth.

Storing Cilantro

To extend the shelf life of harvested cilantro, follow these storage tips:

  • Refrigeration: Store fresh cilantro in a plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture. It can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: Chop cilantro leaves and freeze them in ice cube trays with water or olive oil. Store frozen cilantro cubes in a freezer bag for up to six months.

Table: Quick Reference Guide for Planting Cilantro in Indiana

Ideal Planting TimeSpring: Mid to late March; Fall: Late August to early September
Soil TemperatureAt least 50°F
Soil pH6.0 to 7.0
Sunlight RequirementsPartial shade to full sun
Seed Depth1/4 to 1/2 inch
Seed Spacing6-8 inches apart in rows 12-15 inches apart
WateringKeep soil consistently moist
Common PestsAphids, cilantro leaf miner
Common DiseasesPowdery mildew, damping off

Also read: When to Plant Sunflower Seeds Indiana

Additional Tips in Planting Cilantro

  • Succession Planting: Succession Planting is the practice of Sowing cilantro seeds every 2-3 weeks. This gives a continuous harvest all season.
  • Companion Planting: Try companion planting. It will help tomatoes, peppers, and beans. Cilantro attracts helpful insects and helps nearby plants.
  • Culinary Uses: Use fresh cilantro leaves in salsas, salads, marinades, and as a garnish for soups and curries.

With these tips, you can grow tasty cilantro in your Indiana garden or containers. It will add a fresh flavor to your favorite dishes. Enjoy the process of growing, harvesting, and savoring this versatile herb!


Growing cilantro in Indiana can be rewarding. It gives you fresh, aromatic herbs for cooking. To succeed, understand Indiana’s climate. Prepare the soil well. Plant cilantro at the right times. 

Regular care, pest control, and proper harvesting will help you enjoy plenty of cilantro all season. Happy planting and harvesting!

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