How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens in 6 Easy Steps

Do cilantro microgreens taste like cilantro? Are they easy to grow? Gardening expert Rachal Garcia answers these questions and more in our complete growing guide!

Slow Bolt cilantro microgreens


Don’t dismiss cilantro out of your microgreen garden if you like the taste. Growing cilantro microgreens at home will add a zesty flavor and abundant nutrients to your food without the high price tag.

Like most microgreens, Coriandrum sativum is easy to grow. It is one of the more slow-growing microgreens, but it is worth the wait.

The difference between growing cilantro microgreens and just cilantro is all about harvest time. When cilantro first sprouts from the seed, it unfurls two grass-like cotyledon leaves. These delicious leaves taste just like cilantro but with a smaller punch.

Shortly after the cotyledon leaves emerge, the first feathery, true leaves appear. The cilantro microgreens will now have the full flavor of the mature leaves. 

Here, we will walk you through each step of turning cilantro seeds into delicious baby greens. Let’s get our hands dirty and grow cilantro—the microgreen way!

What You’ll Need

You’ll need the same materials for most microgreens. The growing process is also similar but has a step or two specific to the cilantro microgreen.


You can use any seed to grow cilantro microgreens, but make sure you use the freshest seed for the best flavor. You can also get cilantro seed in mixed packets or microgreen-specific seed, which is the best choice. These are some of our favorite options for seed:


You will need a few planting trays. Any seed trays or pots will do as long as they have adequate drainage holes. Cilantro microgreens are harvested before the plants produce a good root system. Because of this, they can be grown in shallow planting trays.

Epic 6-Cell Seed Starting Trays and Germination Domes & Bottom Trays are good choices for protecting the seeds as they grow and creating little ecosystems that improve the germination rate.

Growing Medium

Since the young plants will get all their nutrients from the seed, don’t worry about organic fertilizer or nutrients in the soil mix. Instead, use a fine-grained soil mix that consistently provides moisture to the seed.

There are soil-less options, such as coconut coir or vermiculite, but cilantro seeds don’t grow well in fully hydroponic systems. Some sort of soil-based growing medium is best.

Grow Lights

Cilantro microgreens grow best with consistent light. Using a grow light is easiest since you can time it for 12 hours or more daily. Keep the grow light close to the microgreen tray and ensure it casts on all the plants as evenly as possible.

If you don’t already have grow lights, we recommend the Epic Seed Starting Grow Lights Small or the Epic Seed Starting Grow Lights Standard for growing microgreens indoors.

You can also place the tray near a sunny windowsill and frequently rotate it to ensure even sunlight exposure.


You will need a few extra items to get started. A bottom watering tray is handy so you can water the plants in place. A misting bottle is the best way to water the seeds as they are delicate. Also grab kitchen scissors to harvest.

How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens

Once you’ve gathered all your materials, follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: Soak

There’s a bit of debate about whether to soak cilantro seeds or not. The general consensus is that these seeds can go either way and still grow well. Soaking them may speed up the germination process, but doesn’t necessarily make the seeds grow faster.

If you plan on soaking the seeds, place them in a bowl of clean water for 12-24 hours (no more than a day). After that, plant them right away. You can also try crushing the seed hulls instead of soaking them in water. Put the seeds in a plastic bag and gently crush them with a rolling pin or cutting board. This will have a similar effect to soaking.

You can choose whether to crush the seeds, spread them in water, or skip this step altogether. Either way, each seed should still turn into quality cilantro microgreens.

Step 2: Plant

Get the tray ready for growing microgreens. Fill it just below the brim with damp soil, smoothing it as evenly as possible. Then, spread the seeds across the entire surface. They should be relatively close together but not overlapping (about five to eight seeds per square inch).

Cilantro microgreens need a little more spacing than other types because they’ll grow longer and develop more leaves. There’s no need to cover the seed with soil.

Step 3: Cover

Give the seeds and soil a water mist and place a cover over the tray. This cover must block out all the sunlight so the seeds can germinate (use a second tray for this step). Cilantro microgreens need a cooler temperature to germinate than other plants, about 70°F.

Check on the seeds every few days, watering as needed. They may not germinate uniformly but should do so within two to six days.

Step 4: Grow

When the cilantro seeds have germinated and the sprouts start pushing up the tray cover, it’s time to treat them like plants. First, remove the tray and start using the grow light. You may see the seed sprouts and leaves are white due to lack of light, but they’ll quickly turn green.

Mold loves a dark and wet environment, so keep the soil top as dry as possible. Bottom watering is the best solution here. Fill a dish with water and set the tray on top of it. The soil mix will soak up the water while keeping the sprouts dry and mold-free. 

As the cilantro microgreens grow, feel the weight of the tray each day to determine if the soil medium is ready for more water.

As they start to grow in size, some of the cilantro microgreens may push the seed hull upwards with the cotyledons and leaves. Lightly brush your palm across the top of the cilantro microgreens to remove them.

Step 5: Harvest

Between 10 and 20 days, the cilantro microgreens are ready to harvest. The cotyledon leaves will be open and green. Most importantly though, the first true leaves will have developed. This window is the peak of flavor and nutrition for cilantro microgreens. From root to leaf, the greens should be an inch or taller.

Stop watering the cilantro microgreens 12 hours before you’re ready to harvest. This will eliminate excess moisture and prepare the greens for storage.

Now, grab your kitchen scissors and get snipping! Cut the stems just above the soil level. Cilantro microgreens have a flexible harvest window, so you may opt to harvest as needed instead of all in one day.

Cilantro microgreens won’t regrow because all the growth nodules are removed during harvest. On the other hand, full-grown cilantro is harvested and used in portions so that it will come again. 

Step 6: Store

Like any home-grown produce, cilantro microgreens taste great when used fresh. Rinse them in cold water and add them raw to salad, cheese, eggs, or your favorite Mexican dish.

If you aren’t going to use them right away, hold off on the washing step. To achieve proper storage, keep the cilantro microgreens as dry as possible. Lightly press them between two paper towels and seal them in an airtight container. With this method, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Final Thoughts

If you love the taste of cilantro, then growing the microgreen way will give you the most flavor packed into a little leafy green.

Brown paper pots arranged neatly along a white windowsill display a vibrant assortment of herbs, each pot brimming with life. The sun filters gently through the window, casting a warm glow that nourishes the delicate greenery.


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