Coriander / Cilantro / Coriandrum sativums / Chinese parsley is an annual herb and belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is an indispensable spice in the Indian kitchen. All across India, coriander is used abundantly. The local names for coriander are Dhaniya patta, Kothimbir, Dhane, Malliyila, Kothimeera, Dhaniyalu, Kottamalli, Kottambari soppu, Dhonay paatha, Kothmiri, Dhana, Hara Patta and so on.
It can be grown anywhere and is easy to grow. It is widely grown and cultivated all across India. Coriander can easily be grown on the grown, in a farm, in a pot, a container, a poly house, etc. Some popular commercial varieties of Coriander are Co-1, Co-2, Co-3, CS-2, CS-287, Gujarat Coriander-1, Gujarat Coriander-1, Rajendra Swati, Swati, Sadhana and Karan. The Co-1 yields 2000 kg/ha under irrigated conditions and 800 kg/ha under rainfed conditions. The Co-2 produces 800 kg/ha and is highly drought tolerant and therefore can be grown almost anywhere. Co-3 produces about 700 kg/ha. CS-2 has a yield of 1400 kg/ha. States that widely cultivate coriander are AP, TN, Karnataka, MP, Rajasthan, etc.
Coriander is an aromatic herb and adds flavor to food. It is an important spice and used almost daily in most homes. Cilantro is sold in bunches after bundling them up. They can be used in almost all Indian dishes and also as a flavoring in salads or to make chutneys etc. Coriander is a rich source of vitamin C and has many health benefits. The whole coriander with its fresh leaves, tender stems and dried seeds are edible and used in cooking.
Coriander seeds are dried and stored and sold to markets. Coriander seeds are also using in seasoning and to make coriander powder for masalas that are used in Indian cuisine. Coriander is good for digestion and hence it is consumed abundantly. Coriander reduces diarrhea and blood pressure related issues. The aroma of coriander is due to the essential oil content, which varies from 0.1 to 1.0 % in the dry seeds. These essential oils are used for flavoring liquors, coca preparations in confectionary and also to mask the offensive odors in pharmaceutical preparations.
The dried ground fruits are the major ingredients of the curry powder. The whole fruits are also used to flavor foods like pickles, sauces and confectionary. The young plants as well as the leaves are used in the preparation of chutney and are also used as seasonings in curries, soups, sauces and chutneys. It has medicinal properties too. Fruits are said to have carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic and aphrodisiac properties. Coriander is a smooth, erect annual herb 30 – 70 cm high, lower leaves broad with crenately lobed margins, upper leaves finely cut with linear lobes, flowers small, white or pink in compound terminal umbels, fruits – schizocarp, globular, yellow-brown, ribbed, 2 seeds, ripe seeds are aromatic.
Image source – indiaagronet.com
Image source – indiaagronet.com
Image source – healthbenefitstimes.com
Process of growing Coriander
⦁ Climatic conditions –
Coriander is a tropical crop and can be grown for the most part of the year, except during March-May. Dry and cold weather that is free from frost, especially during flowering and fruit setting stage, favors good yield. Cloudy weather during flowering and fruiting stage favors pest and disease incidences. Heavy rain affects the crop. It does not tolerate frost and gives good yield in temperature ranging 20 – 30 °C. The best season to grow coriander is June – July and Oct – Nov.
In the North and Central parts of India and AP, it is mostly grown as a Rabi season crop and hence sowing is done between the middle of October and middle of November. In certain pockets of the above area, late Kharif crop is sometimes sown in August -September. In Tamil Nadu, as an irrigated crop, coriander is raised in June – July and September – October.
In the first season, the crop matures late with an extended growth phase during January – February. The growth and the yield rainfed conditions, it is sown during September -October, at the onset of Northeast monsoon and harvested during January – February.
⦁ Seed rate and spacing –
A seed rate of 20 – 25 kg under rainfed conditions and 10 – 15 kg/ha under irrigated conditions is required. Seeds stored for 15 – 30 days record better and early germination than freshly harvested seeds. Seeds that are soaked in water for 12 – 24 hours before sowing also enhance better germination. Treat the seeds with Azospirillum @ 1.5 kg/ha and Trichoderma viride @ 50 kg/ha. For rainfed conditions, seed hardening is done before sowing by treating with Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate @ 10gms/liter water for 16 hours.
Whole seeds do not germinate and hence they are split into two halves before sowing. The split seeds are put in rows spaced at 30 – 40 cm apart with 15 cm between hills. Soil depth should not exceed 3.0 cm. Three to five seeds are sown in seeds are broadcast and covered with a country plough. Germination takes place in 10 – 15 days.
⦁ Land preparation and irrigation –
As an irrigated crop, it can be cultivated on almost all types of soils provided sufficient organic matter is applied. Black cotton soil that can retain moisture is best under rainfed conditions. It grows well in loamy soils that are well drained. The pH range ideal to grow coriander is between 6 – 8.
The field is prepared by ploughing 3 – 4 times to get fine tilth. FYM manure is added @ 10 tons/ha before the last plough. Form channels and beds for the irrigated crop. Sow the split coriander seeds @ 20 cm x 15 cm spacing. Spray pre-emergence herbicide called Fluchloralin 700 ml by mixing with half liter water/ha. Seeds start germinating in a week or two’s time.
Top dressing is done @ 10 kg N/ha a month after sowing for irrigated crop only. Add FYM 10 tons/ha, 40 kg P, 10 kg N, and 20 kg K for rainfed and irrigated crops.
First irrigation is done immediately after sowing and the second is done on the 3rd day. Subsequent irrigations are done @ 6 – 10 days intervals. Rainy seasons do not require irrigation. After applying the pre-emergence herbicides as mentioned above, thinning should be carried out a month later. This can be followed up with weeding and apply CCC @ 250 ppm a month later to induce drought tolerance in rainfed crops.
⦁ Weed management and pest control –
The first hoeing and weeding are carried out in a months time. Thinning the plants is also attended simultaneously, leaving only two plants per hill. Depending upon the growth one or two more weeding are done.
At the seedling, stage coriander is often attacked by the leaf-eating caterpillars and semi-loopers and at the flowering stage by the aphids. Spraying the crop with methyl demeton (0.05%) is recommended to control the aphids, but at the flowering stage, the use of any insecticide would kill the bee population affecting pollination in the crop.
Powdery mildew is controlled by spraying wet Sulphur 0.25% or 0.2% solution of Karathane twice @ 10 – 15 days interval. Alternately, you could treat the seeds with Pseudonomas fluorescens @ 10 gms/kg or spray neem seed kernel extracts 5% thrice
Wilt can also be controlled by spraying Pseudonomas fluorescens @ 10 gms/kg followed by soil application of Pf1 @ 5kg/ha
Grain mold is controlled by spraying Carbendazim 0.1% 20 days after grain set.
⦁ Harvesting –
For fresh coriander leaf, pull out the plants when they are a month old. The crop will be ready for harvest in about 90 – 110 days depending upon the varieties and growing season. Harvesting has to be done when the fruits are fully ripe and start changing from green to brown color. Delaying of the harvest should be avoided lest shattering during harvest and splitting of the fruits in subsequent processing operations.
The plants are cut or pulled and poled into small stacks in the field to beating with sticks or rubbing with hands. The produce is winnowed, cleaned and dried in the partial shade. After drying, the product is stored in gunny bags lined with paper.
The rainfed crop yields on an average 300 – 500 kg/ha and the irrigated crop 500 – 1200kg/ha. The coriander leaf yield is 6 – 7 tons/ha.
⦁ Benefits of Coriander –
⦁ Coriander is good for digestion and controls diarrhea
⦁ It helps lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels
⦁ It helps reduce a cough and treats related skin disorders and skin inflammations
⦁ It helps in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood
⦁ Coriander has antimicrobial effects against food pathogens and hence is used to treat people suffering from food poisoning
⦁ It is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections
⦁ It supports healthy menstrual function in women
⦁ It is known to prevent neurological inflammation diseases
⦁ It also protects against colon cancer
⦁ Cilantro is used to treat mouth ulcers and reduce bad breath
⦁ It helps prevent anemia as it is rich in iron
⦁ It is used in the treatment of salmonella that is a dangerous foodborne illness
⦁ It helps improve bone health
⦁ Nutritional value of Coriander –
As per Wikipedia
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 46 mg 1%
Potassium 521 mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 3.7 g 1%
Dietary fiber 2.8 g 11%
Sugar 0.9 g
Protein 2.1 g 4%
Vitamin A 134% Vitamin C 45%
Calcium 6% Iron 9%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 6%