Culantro has been called “The Little Cucumber,” or “the Cucumber Plant” for its succulent flavor and attractive green leaves. Growing a Culantro garden can be an easy, low-cost hobby for the experienced gardener. It is not uncommon for people in Mexico to grow this culinary herb from the seeds, in pots indoors, covering them with burlap to protect them from wind damage. Culantros are prized for their unique bitter taste, and they make excellent street-side snacks or bottled for later use.

Planting Culantro is more labor intensive than most other ground cover plants. The traditional Mexican method is to use three rows of transplants that alternate north and south, three to four inches apart. Culants should be planted about one to two feet away from each other, because they require full sun to thrive. They prefer a sunny location, but they will tolerate some shade as well. They prefer a depth of between six to ten inches, depending on the size of the plants being grown. Most grow in moist soil, using it as the sole moisture source for the plants.

Culants do not like heavy soils, so it is important to make sure that the potting medium is loose and well draining. A good mulch should be used to conserve moisture in the soil. Mulching should be done at least once a year, and mulching around the base of the plants helps retain moisture. If the plants are not planted properly in the first place, you will have to repeat them frequently in order to keep them growing healthily.

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In the traditional Mexican way, when growing cilantro, the young stems are pruned and removed, while the root ball is left intact, covered with mulch, and new shoots pushed through holes dug in the soil. As long as the soil remains moist and there is access to sunlight, the plant should prosper. Once you see the flowers begin to swell, press the pruned stems gently against the soil to prevent them from hardening, and continue to cultivate the flower until the ground is warm and wet enough to accept the next crop.

When using traditional methods of how to grow Culantro, the young stems are pulled off just before they bloom, and only the flower stems are left to grow into a beautiful show of colorful flowers. You will need to dig a hole about four feet wide and deep, and then place the young stems in the hole, cover them with dirt, and allow them to grow into a healthy plant. After a frost has occurred, remove the plant from the area, dig another hole and place the remaining stems in the new hole, cover with dirt, and start the process all over again. It is a simple process, but it is imperative to provide ample sun and water to encourage the plant to produce healthy blooms.

To ensure that the plant has the best chance of growing healthily, it must be planted in rich soil with plenty of nutrients, preferably organic-based fertilizer. A good quality loose soil moistened by compost or similar fertilizer is best. The seed starting mix you use is very important in helping to create the ideal growing environment for Culantra. Some consider the use of organic compost to be unnecessary as most seed mixes contain beneficial microorganisms already. Adding any type of fertilizer may help to enhance the taste and smell of the plants, however, keep in mind that any fertilizer added to the soil should be added slowly to allow for complete saturation.

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Culantro can also be used to make a delicious cilantro flavored beverage. This versatile herb can be used fresh to make a light drink, or added to a full meal for a tasty treat. Grow a bunch and harvest the seeds to add to your garden when they have matured, otherwise the herbs will bitter when harvested. Keep the young leaves and stems on the plant to enjoy the flavor of the cilantro.

Knowing how to grow cilantro is not as hard as one might think. By following the correct growing conditions and the proper procedure for planting, the plant should do well and reward you with years of enjoyment. Culantro can be an herb that is grown organically and naturally. There are few gardening skills needed to grow a small collection of these succulents. Learning how to grow cilantro can be a fun and rewarding experience.