Best Growing Conditions for Mexican Coriander in Virginia.
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Therese Baldwin
Posted on: August 5, 2003

I have recently discovered Mexican coriander (Eryngium foetidum). I have a stub of a plant left from a plant which I stumbled upon and purchased last summer. There are no nearby sources of this plant, and I believe Richters is the only source for this herb (seed and plants) that I’m aware of (another nursery in N. C. informed me that your company sells the seed, which is how I found out). The problem is, the plant seems very very slow to grow here. I’ve kept the plant outdoors. The summer has been hot, humid (but not insufferably so this year). The plant is just a stub and is not thriving – it is barely growing at all! What can I do to make this plant happier? A local herb grower recently started some plants, and she reported to me that she was not happy with how her new plants were growing – slowly and sluggishly – same kind of behavior that I’ve been seeing with the plant (stub) that I have. Should I bring the plant indoors, thus removing the humidity? Does this plant prefer dry conditions? What can I/we do to make this plant happy and grow at a more rapid rate? Does this plant normally also germinate very slowly? Any information you can share about this plant’s growth habit and how I can perk up the growth of the plant I have (I also intend to try growing from seed) will be very much appreciated! Thank you for your time!

Another name for mexican coriander is "culantro" and you can find some good information about it under that name in our "Grower Resources" section of our website. In the article by Christopher Ramcharan who has been doing research on this plant as a commercial crop you will find that culantro grows wild in the Caribbean. It thrives in most soils and in full sun, but to get the best results, it prefers partial shade and moist, well-drained sandy loams, augmented with composted manure or a slow release chemical fertilizer.

Culantro is a little slower to establish from seeds than its culinary cousin, cilantro, taking as long as 26 days to germinate. Once germinated it can take another couple of months to reach a usable size.

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