Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jan Browne
Posted on: October 19, 1998

I own a hydroponic unit in Turks & Caicos Islands in which I grow several varieties of lettuce and some herbs that are sold to local restaurants and supermarkets. I have had many requests for cilantro and purchased some seeds from a supplier in Florida. However, I have been unsuccessful in getting the cilantro seeds to chit (germinate). Could you provide information about favourable temperatures and other climatic conditions for chitting cilantro. Your catalogue offers a perenial Vietnamese coriander plant. What is the duration and yield of this type of cilantro. Would it be more suitable for my needs?

Cilantro is among the easiest of seeds to germinate. It will germinate over a wide range of temperatures, anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. You may need to try another source of seeds.

The Vietnamese coriander is not an exact substitute for true cilantro. It will require some persuasion to convince buyers to try it because it looks totally different and it tastes somewhat different. However, if you can market it successfully it will be much easier to grow. It is a rapid grower and can be cut back many times while true cilantro can be cut only once. This variety does not propagate by seeds. You need to buy plants or plugs and then propagate by cutting.

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