How Much Water Does Cilantro Really Need?

Cilantro, also known by its scientific name Coriandrum sativum, is a popular herb used in cooking. Its unique flavor and aroma make it a favorite among many chefs around the world. Cilantro is easy to grow in a garden, but it is essential to know how much water it needs to ensure its healthy growth. Overwatering or underwatering cilantro can lead to serious consequences, including plant death. So, how much water does cilantro really need? Let’s dive in and find out.

Understanding Cilantro

Cilantro is an annual herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is native to regions spanning from southern Europe to North Africa and southwestern Asia. Cilantro is a popular herb used in cuisine across the world, including Mexican, Indian, and Chinese.

How does Cilantro Grow?

Cilantro grows rapidly, producing a long stem that can reach up to 30 cm in height. It has thin, delicate leaves that are bright green in color. The plant produces white or pink flowers during the summer season, which eventually develop into seeds. These seeds are commonly known as coriander seeds.

What are the Different Varieties of Cilantro?

There are several varieties of cilantro, including slow bolt cilantro, harvested for its leaves, and fast bolt cilantro, whose leaves are bitter but grown for its edible seeds. The latter is typically grown for seasoning and flavoring in different cuisines.

The Cilantro-Water Relationship

Water is a vital ingredient for the growth of any plant, including cilantro. Water helps the plant to transport nutrients and minerals from the soil to the leaves and roots, helping it to grow healthy and strong. However, too much water can also harm the plant, leading to root and stem rot.

How Much Water Does Cilantro Need?

Cilantro requires a moderate amount of water to thrive. The amount of water the plant needs depends on various factors, including the climate, soil, and the size of the plant. As a general rule of thumb, cilantro requires an inch of water per week.

However, it is important to note that the amount of water your cilantro plant needs also depends on the stage of growth. During the early growth stages, cilantro requires more water to establish strong roots. Once established, the plant requires less water to prevent root rot.

How Often Should I Water My Cilantro?

The frequency of watering cilantro depends on various factors, including the weather, the type of soil used, and the age of the plant. As a general rule of thumb, cilantro needs regular watering. Typically, you need to water cilantro once every two days, depending on the weather. In colder months, you can reduce the frequency of watering, while in warmer months, you need to water your cilantro more often.

How to Water Cilantro

Watering cilantro correctly helps you avoid overwatering or underwatering the plant, both of which can harm the plant. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to water your cilantro:

Step 1: Choose the Right Soil

Cilantro grows best in well-drained soil. The soil should be porous enough to allow excess water to drain away. A well-drained soil helps maintain a proper balance between moisture and air in the plant’s root zone.

Step 2: Water the Plant Gradually

When watering your cilantro, it is important to do it gradually. Start by watering the plant gently and slowly, allowing the soil to absorb water gradually. This helps prevent soil erosion and allows the soil to hold moisture better.

Step 3: Water the Soil

When watering your cilantro, make sure you water the soil rather than the leaves. Wetting the leaves of cilantro can lead to fungal disease in plants such as powdery mildew.

Step 4: Water Cilantro At the Right Time

The best time to water cilantro is the morning hours. This ensures that the water dries off during the day, preventing the growth of fungal disease in plants. Avoid watering your cilantro in the afternoon or evening, as this can lead to waterlogging, which harms the plant.

How to Ensure Your Cilantro Gets Enough Water

While it is important to water your cilantro correctly, there are other things you can do to ensure that it receives enough water to grow healthy and strong. Here are some tips to help you:

Tip 1: Mulch Your Cilantro

Mulching is a great way to retain moisture in the soil around your cilantro plants. Mulching helps to hold water in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering. Mulching also helps to maintain a stable soil temperature around your plants.

Tip 2: Use Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a great way to ensure that your cilantro gets enough water without overwatering it. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots, where it is needed most, helping to reduce water wastage and minimize fungal disease in plants.

Tip 3: Water Your Cilantro Container Plant Correctly

If you are growing cilantro in containers, you need to water them differently from plants grown in gardens. Container plants dry out faster, so you need to water them more often. Watering container plants is best done when the soil is dry to the touch. Wait for the soil to dry up, then water the plant, ensuring that the excess water drains away.

Tip 4: Monitor Soil Moisture

Monitoring soil moisture is important when growing cilantro. The best way to check soil moisture is to stick a finger into the soil. If it feels dry, water the plant, and if it feels moist, you can hold off watering. Alternatively, check the surface of the soil to determine the soil moisture level.


Knowing how much water cilantro needs is crucial for its healthy growth. Cilantro requires a moderate amount of water to thrive, around an inch of water per week. Follow the tips and techniques highlighted above to ensure that your cilantro plant receives enough water without overwatering, leading to root and stem rot.


  • Q: How much water does cilantro need per day?
  • A: Cilantro does not need water every day. On average, it needs an inch of water per week or once every two days.

  • Q: Can cilantro survive in hot weather?
  • A: Cilantro thrives in cooler climates and might bolt (run to seed) in hot weather.

  • Q: Can cilantro grow without direct sunlight?
  • A: Cilantro grows best in partial sun conditions with at least 4-5 hours of sunlight daily.

  • Q: Should I water cilantro at night?
  • A: No, it is recommended to water cilantro in the morning, allowing the water to dry up throughout the day, preventing the growth of fungal disease in plants.

  • Q: Can cilantro survive without water?
  • A: Cilantro cannot survive without water. For healthy growth, it needs a moderate amount of water and regular watering.


  1. Nicholson, M. (2021). How to Grow Cilantro: 7 Key Tips to Harvest a Bountiful Crop. Retrieved 10 April 2021, from
  2. Cilantro Plant Guide. (2021). Retrieved 10 April 2021, from
  3. Cilantro Watering Tips: How Much Water Does Cilantro Need – Anywhere. (2021). Retrieved 10 April 2021, from

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