Culantro is famous for being both a spice and a precious medicinal resource. You can use it directly or mix it in salsas, sauces, stews, and soups to stimulate the appetite.
Moreover, it can function as natural medicine for curing running nose, chest pain, digestive disorders, and enteritis.
This herb is more commonly used with other food throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Asia. But, culantro is hard to find in the United States and Canada and is often mistaken for its close relative coriander or cilantro.
The serrated leaves grow at the root and spread out in the shape of a rosette. The petioles grow directly from the root. Culantro grows into different layers.
The flower of culantro, in the shape of an oval or cylinder, grows directly from the stem.
However, efficient intensive cultivation of culantro requires specifictechniques and experience. So, we want to share with you about how to grow culantro intensively.
But wait, what is intensive cultivation?
- Intensive Cultivation
- When Should You Grow Culantro?
- What Do You Need To Prepare For Growing Culantro?
- How To Grow Culantro Intensively
- Protecting Culantro From Pests And Diseases
- How Should You Preserve Culantro Seeds After Harvesting?
- How Should You Preserve Leaves After Harvesting?
- Cap off
Intensive cultivation, or intensive farming, is an agricultural intensification and mechanization system to maximize yields from available land via different means, such as improving the fertility of the soil, investing more capital, and applying advanced techniques.
If you are ready, let’s begin.
When Should You Grow Culantro?
You can grow culantro all year round, but the most suitable time is in spring and autumn (February and July of the solar calendar). Culantro requires heat, humidity, and moisture.
Also, providing adequate shade for the plant is necessary because culantro does not want to be under direct sunlight.
What Do You Need To Prepare For Growing Culantro?
Proper preparation leads to success. Let’s check some prep works so that you can get a successful harvest.
Selecting the Seeds
It is evident that seed will determine the fate of your plants. That is because each seed has an embryo, whose mission is to help the germination process happen smoothly until it can develop its roots.
We highly recommend using fresh and high-quality seeds because they do not store well.
You must choose culantro seeds that are uniform in color, size, and shape. The average germination period of culantro is between 20 and 25 days.
However, some seeds can have shorter germination time, for example, 14 days while others need longer time to germinate (28 days).
Also, you need to find the seeds with genetic purity (which means they do not contain seeds of any other varieties besides the one mentioned on the label), high germination rate (about 85%) and no diseases or pest attacks.
These characteristics will make these seeds germinate well if provided with favorable conditions and later they will become well-grown plants as described on the seed labels.
Paying Attention To The Fertilizer
If you see many yellow thin leaves, your plant may lack nitrogen. It is time to add urea.
To be specific, here is the way you do top dressing (fertilizing when plants are growing):
To sum up, when it comes to top dressing for leafy vegetables, we recommend using urea, DAP combined with agricultural waste. The doses depend on the area of your planting area.
Also, culantro will grow best in the soil, which is rich in nutrients, like Mg, Ca, Cu, Zn, Bo, and Mo.
The most typical appearance of plants lacking micronutrient is that most leaves lose chlorophyll (albino trees).
If you see this phenomenon, you need to immediately provide your plants with micronutrient fertilizer by mixing it with water, then irrigating plants or spraying it on the stems and roots. Your plants will recover to normal.
How To Grow Culantro Intensively
You have known about the criteria needed to grow culantro. What about the steps to grow it with a massive amount? Follow our instruction below:
Cultivating the soil
Culantro is relatively easy to grow and suitable for many different types of soils. However, it is best to use the soil that is loamy, well-drained and rich in nutrients.
The ideal pH of the soil should be between 5.5 and 6.5 for healthy growth. So, the soil must be without alum.
Before sowing, you need to plow the soil carefully to kill crickets which lie under the ground and bite the roots.
Make the furrow high up to 20 – 25 centimeters, and 1.2 – 1.5 meters wide. The length of the furrow depends on the size of your garden. The furrows are 0.4 – 0.5 meters apart from each other.
Basal fertilizing is fertilizing before sowing and planting with a moderate so that the plants will grow better.
When cultivating the soil, you need to apply more superphosphate and organic fertilizer before sowing the seeds. Especially, apply manure (chicken manure is preferable) is very important.
You can also use granular pesticides (Basudin 10G) to kill soil pest.
Sowing the seeds
Culantro is mainly grown from seeds. Seeds are easy to germinate, so you can plant them directly into the soil without soaking them. The proper amount of seeds for 1,000 square meters is 3 – 5 kilograms.
After finishing sowing seeds, cover them with rice husk or a thin layer of straw and water them to provide enough moisture and let the seed germinate with ease.
After 20-25 days, they can germinate. When the plants grow, it is necessary to remove the straw so that they can absorb sunlight and grow faster.
Watering your plants
Because culantro is easy to grow and suffers less from pests and diseases, you only need to pay attention to fertilizing and watering your plants.
These plants enjoy the moisture environment so that you need to water them regularly to make sure that the soil is always moist. If you let the soil dry, the plants will lack proper factor to grow healthily.
But if you overwater them, they are susceptible to fungal diseases, root rot, and even fast death.
It is also essential to have a proper drainage system to prevent trees from being waterlogged when there is substantial and prolonged rain.
Making a cover
As you know, culantro not only enjoys the sunshine but also is a shade-loving tree. So, after a week of growing, the plants should be pruned and covered with banana leaves or black mesh with a height of about 1.5 meters.
It is the moment you are waiting for – harvesting!
60 – 70 days after growing, you can harvest by gradually trimming plants. The harvesting time lasts from 4 to 6 months. The productivity is from 3.5 to 4 tons every 1,000 square meters.
Because culantro is considered a fresh herb, you only need to cut leaves from the plants or rows with the amount you want.
You should cut the leaves near the base, then culantro will continue to grow.
Applying the fertilizer after harvesting to make the plants grow again
Culantro needs a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus, so after every harvest, it is necessary to spray adequate urea and superphosphate to encourage plants to grow and produce leaves faster.
To have a better result, you should soak phosphate with urine for 3 – 5 days then water the plants.
Protecting Culantro From Pests And Diseases
The living environment of culantro with high temperature and humidity is an ideal condition for some pests to grow and attack the plants. For example, snails and slugs may hide underneath the leaves, and mealybugs can stick to the tender shoots.
Although culantro with a mild aromatic smell can repel many harmful insects, red spiders can still sting it and curl the top and leaves.
Therefore, you need to regularly check the field, especially when there is a wet drizzle and spray with pesticides, like Autus, Alphamin, Pegasus, Danitol, Vibamec, or Nissura.
Besides, you need to prune the plants to create ventilation for the field.
When the pest density is too high, you should spray chemical and biological pesticides. However, there are four principles you need to follow strictly: right pesticides, right time, correct dosage and concentration, and proper method and time isolation.
By doing this, you will not also protect your health and the environment but also bring significant economic efficiency.
What about diseases?
At each harvest, farmers often cut all leaves and stems and leave only the root behind. This will be a favorable condition for harmful root rot, black rot, and bacterial leaf spot to grow and kill all your culantro plants in just a few days.
Therefore, you need to harvest your plants on sunny days and immediately spray some fungicides and antibacterial for plants afterward, such as Ninexto, Validacin, Anvil, Kasumin, Kasai, or Fitsan.
- Root rot: spraying Thane M 80WP, Kasuran, Viben C.
- Burning leaves or leaf spots: No Mildew 25 WP, Thane M 80WP, Bavisan 50 WP.
How Should You Preserve Culantro Seeds After Harvesting?
Under normal and sun-dried conditions, seeds can germinate well in 3 months. Its germination rate can reach 90%.
But, after 6 months, this rate is only about 60 or 70%. And after 9 – 10 months, most seeds will lose the ability to germinate. This will cause tremendous obstacles for farmers.
So, how can you preserve seeds from one crop to another crop (during about eight months)?
The longer you put the seeds in stock, the less germinated the seeds are. This also happens to many kinds of seeds. If you store seeds in jute bags or woven plastic non-tight bags, your seeds will lose its ability to germinate quickly.
Experience shows that when drying the seeds, they can reach the moisture of 12%, so you should store them in sealed plastic bags – and that is the best way.
Then put all the plastic bags in a sack. Put some lumps of quicklime into the bottom for regular moisture absorption. And remember to put the sack in a cool dark place.
How Should You Preserve Leaves After Harvesting?
What about leaves? There are many ways to preserve the leaves. One of the methods is to moisten them with olive oil. Then place them inside an airtight container so that oxygen cannot go through.
Finally, put the container inside the fridge.
By doing this, you can prevent the leaves from browning and remain their flavor.
The other way is to wrap fresh leaves in paper towels and put them in the fridge.
However, you need to use culantro leaves within a few days and as soon as possible.
That is because the longer you keep culantro leaves in the refrigerator, the more they are likely to lose their natural color, taste as well as the aroma.
Now you have known how to grow culantro intensively – it is simple and easy. You do not have to put too much effort and investment into it.
All you need to do is pay more attention to the right type of soil and the suitable temperature, provide plants with enough moisture and shade and wait for them to germinate.
Follow our instructions, and you will be successful.
If you have anything to ask, do not hesitate! And now, roll up your sleeves and start to grow culantro.