How to Grow Hydroponic Cilantro

How to Grow Hydroponic Cilantro: Bold Culinary Renaissance

Cilantro commonly known as coriander is a well known spice in india. Scientifically it is coriandrum sativum belongs to the Apiaceae family. Its production in India is done in large areas but it is not grown as a major crop. This is grown with other crops to generate extra income to the farmers. This is a herb and it is highly suitable for hydroponic ventures. Hydroponic cilantro is grown in a hydroponic system having a supply of nutrient solution with all the micro and macronutrients in it which fulfill the growth requirements of the crop.

Importance of Cilantro:

Cilantro is an important herb widely used in india. For its seed production it is a biennial crop and for its fresh leaves consumption it is an annual crop as it is harvested before it starts flowering. In culinary purposes its leaves are used to provide a separate flavor to the dishes. Apart from fresh leaves its seeds are used in many spice powders and also used as whole seeds which have a warm flavor. Now comes to its nutritional benefits as it contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals which is helpful in improving health. 

Cilantro Varieties Suitable for Hydroponics:

Variety NameSuitability for Hydroponics
SantoSlow-bolting nature, allowing for an extended harvesting period.
LeisureKnown for slow bolting and continuous leaf production, making it well-suited for hydroponic systems.
CalypsoResistant to bolting, providing a longer window for harvesting.
DelfinoUnique, finely-cut, fern-like leaves; slow to bolt, adding aesthetic interest to hydroponic setups.
JantarSlow bolting and tolerant of warmer temperatures, making it suitable for hydroponic cultivation in various climates.
CruiserSpecifically bred for container and hydroponic cultivation, known for being slow to bolt and offering a good leaf yield.

Procedure for Growing Hydroponic Cilantro:

Cilantro Cultivation in Hydroponics | hydroponic cilantro
Cilantro Cultivation in Hydroponics
Image Source: letpot

Site Selection or Indoor Infrastructure:

To set up a hydroponic system it is important to select a well site having all the facilities like electricity supply, water supply which are required in the system. It is also taken into consideration that fresh cilantro has a very less shelf life so that the site must be near to the market. So that it can reach the consumers with its freshness.

Selection of Hydroponic System:

Cilantro does not require any unique hydroponic setup, it can easily grow in any of the hydroponic systems but preference will be given to the one which is space efficient. Deep Water Culture (DWC) involves suspending plants in aerated nutrient water, particularly suitable for larger cilantro quantities. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) efficiently utilizes thin nutrient films to nourish roots, while Ebb and Flow periodically floods and drains the growing medium. Vertical hydroponic systems stack layers for space efficiency in indoor or limited-space setup.

Germination and Transplanting of Cilantro Seedlings:

seeds of coriander | hydroponic cilantro
Seeds of Cilantro
Image Source: gardnersworld

Using a suitable growing medium, germinate cilantro seeds separately in different containers or plug trays. It takes a few days to germinate, usually 7 to 10 days. After germination it allows a few leaves to emerge. It takes up to 2 to 3 weeks. After 2-3 leaves have emerged the seedlings are ready for transplanting. These are transplanted from the container to the hydroponic set up having nutrient solution.

Nutrient Solution for Hydroponic Cilantro:

For hydroponic cilantro the nutrients, water, minerals, and required elements are given through a nutrient solution which is the food of plants grown in hydroponics. Micro and macronutrients are the major parts of the nutrient solution. The deficiency of any micro and macro nutrients significantly affect the growth of the plants. For water the nutrient solution is a liquid medium and water is absorbed readily from the solution by plants.

Management of the Hydroponic Setup:

Adjustment of pH and EC Levels:

For cilantro growing without soil in water, make sure the special liquid food has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 – this helps the plants get their food easily. Also, check how strong the food is using EC or PPM, which is like checking if the food is too weak or too strong. During the growing stage, the food’s strength (EC or PPM) should be between 1.2 and 2.0, and during the flowering stage, a bit stronger, between 2.0 and 2.5.

Regular checkup of pH in Nutrient Solution | hydroponic cilantro
Regular checkup of pH in Nutrient Solution
Image Source: wikiHow

Set Up Lighting:

To set up lighting for hydroponic cilantro, use LED or fluorescent grow lights with a balanced full spectrum that includes both blue and red wavelengths. Place the lights 12-18 inches above the plants, providing 12-16 hours of light per day during the vegetative stage. Maintain a consistent light schedule using a timer for automation, ensuring 8-12 hours of darkness. Arrange the lights for uniform coverage, and monitor the plants’ response, adjusting the light intensity or distance accordingly.


To help hydroponic cilantro grow well, it’s important to keep the place not too hot or cold. The optimum temperature for carrots in hydroponics should be between 15°C to 24°C. This is the optimum range which provides the right environment for full growth.  Also, it’s good to have some humidity in the air, around 50% to 70%, but not too much. Keep the temperatures steady, not changing a lot, so the cilantro plants don’t get stressed. Make sure there’s fresh air moving around to avoid problems with bugs and sickness.

Pruning of Plants:

Taking care of hydroponic cilantro involves some simple pruning. Check the plants often and remove any yellow or damaged leaves gently. When the stems grow to about 4 to 6 inches, pinch or cut the tops to make the plant bushier and not too tall. Harvest the bigger leaves from the outside, and if some areas look too crowded, thin them out a bit for better air and light.

Monitor for Pests and Diseases:

Regularly check your plants for tiny bugs like aphids or spider mites, and keep an eye out for signs of diseases like strange spots, color changes, or drooping leaves. If you see any problems, take action quickly by getting rid of the affected parts to stop the issue from spreading. Also, look at the roots – healthy ones are usually white or light-colored. If you’re bringing in new plants, keep them separate for a short time to avoid introducing potential pests or diseases. Keeping your hydroponic system clean by removing debris and maintaining good hygiene will help your cilantro grow well. Make sure to inspect your plants regularly.

Pest NamePart Damaged in PlantManagement Strategies
AphidsLeaves, Sucking SapUse insecticidal soap or neem oil- Introduce natural predators like ladybugs
Spider MitesUndersides of LeavesIncrease humidity to deter mites- Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil
WhitefliesLeaves, TransmittingUse yellow sticky traps to catch adult whiteflies- Introduce natural predators like parasitic wasps
ThripsLeaves, StipplingApply neem oil or insecticidal soap- Encourage natural predators like predatory mites
Scale InsectsStems, LeavesRemove scales manually with a soft brush or cloth- Apply horticultural oil to suffocate scale insects – Introduce natural predators like ladybugs

Harvesting of Hydroponic Cilantro:

Harvesting hydroponic cilantro is easy! When the plants are about 4 to 6 inches tall, use clean scissors to cut the outer leaves, leaving the inner ones to keep growing. Do this every 2 to 3 weeks, but be careful not to take more than one-third of the plant at a time. If you see flowers starting, that means it’s time to harvest the leaves before they turn bitter. After cutting, store the cilantro in the fridge—put the stems in water or cover the leaves with a plastic bag to keep them fresh.

Optimum Range of Important Parameters in Cultivation of Hydroponic Cilantro :

ParameterOptimum Range
Temperature60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C)
pH Level5.5 to 6.5
Electrical Conductivity (EC)1.2 to 2.0 during vegetative stage, 2.0 to 2.5 during flowering stage
Light12-16 hours per day, full spectrum LED or fluorescent lights, 12-18 inches above plants
Humidity50% to 70%
Air CirculationAdequate ventilation to prevent heat buildup and ensure good airflow
HarvestingBegin harvesting when plants are 4 to 6 inches tall, avoiding flowering stage for the best flavor
PruningRegularly remove yellow or damaged leaves, pinch or cut tops to encourage bushier growth, thin out crowded areas

Benefits of Using Hydroponics for Cilantro Cultivation:

1. Space EfficiencyUtilizes space more efficiently compared to traditional soil methods.
2. Faster GrowthCilantro grows faster in hydroponic systems, leading to quicker harvests.
3. Water ConservationRequires less water, making it a more water-efficient option for cilantro growth.
4. Controlled NutrientsProvides precise control over nutrient levels, ensuring optimal nutrition for cilantro plants.
5. Year-round CultivationEnables year-round cilantro cultivation, independent of seasons.
6. Reduced Pests and DiseasesLower risk of soil-borne pests and diseases contributes to a healthier crop.
7. Optimized Growing ConditionsBetter control over environmental factors creates ideal conditions for


For the cilantro cultivation hydroponics provides a space efficient and a controlled environment which confirms the good production and growth of plants. By creating an environment tailored to its specific needs—maintaining suitable temperatures, adjusting pH levels, ensuring proper lighting, and employing effective pruning techniques—hydroponic cilantro thrives, providing a continuous and fresh supply for culinary delights.Growing cilantro with hydroponic systems is simple for everyone, from beginners to experts. Whether it’s for your home or for selling, growing hydroponic cilantro shows how modern farming can meet the needs of a changing world.

Similar Posts