No, we don’t mean cilantro, but culantro – this is not a typo! When we first read about this herb we seriously thought the writer meant to say cilantro instead of culantro, but as it turns out, culantro IS an actual herb! If you’re curious about how to grow culantro from seeds, keep reading!
Culantro is a biennial herb common through the Caribbean and Central America. Also called Puerto Rican coriander, Black Benny, saw leaf herb, Mexican coriander, spiny coriander, fitweed, and spiritweed.
It’s very true and culantro and cilantro are related because they have the same flavor and scent, although culantro has a stronger taste.
The culantro herb looks almost like a weed, growing to about 4-8 inches in height, bright green, and with saw-like ridges on its outer leaves.
Culantro is often used in culinary dishes throughout Latin America. It is used just like cilantro is, whether it be used fresh, in soups, or stews.
How to Grow Culantro
- Start culantro seeds indoors until they start to germinate.
- You can use a variety of soils to grow culantro in, but drained sandy loams work best.
- Amend the soil with some organic matter or manure to give the plant necessary nutrients.
- Keep the soil moist at all times, but never water logged.
- Plant outdoors after the last frost in spring. Be sure there is no more risk of frost and that the soil is warm.
- Transplant either directly into the ground or in pots. We recommend growing culantro in pots or containers to contain the herb and also prevent weeds.
- Keep your culantro plants away from full sun – culantro prefers partial shade instead.
- Plants can usually be harvested about 10 weeks after seeding.
- Culantro is much like lettuce where it will sprout and grow in the spring or fall, but will bolt in hot summers.
- Keep the plants in the shade.
- Soil must be moist at all times to mimic conditions from the wild.
- Culantro tends to flower, so make sure to pinch off the stalk or cut it off to encourage additional growth.
So now that you know how to grow culantro and what it actually is, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to planting!
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