The Q&A Archives: Cilantro

Question: I have generally had good luck growing cilantro, but not so much with my new home/garden. My soil is more on the Alkaline side with a PH of 6 to 7.5. How can I find out what the correct PH requirements are for cilantro as well as N-P-K requirements (low medium high)?

Answer: Most plants are happy growing in a soil that's between 6.0 and 7.5 on the pH scale. Soils in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 are considered neutral. A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is slightly acid and 7.5 to 8.0 is slightly alkaline. Soils that are much lower, or much higher on the pH scale tend to bind up nutrients, making them less available to plants. Plants that grow best in acidic soils include rhododendrons, azaleas and blueberries. Those that prefer alkaline soils include lilac and maple. Cilantro grows best in full sun to light shade in rich, very well-drained soils in the 6.0 to 7.0 pH range. The key to growing cilantro is not so much the pH, but the tilth of your soil. Mix in some organic matter prior to planting your cilantro. Aged-compost will improve your soil, allowing it to drain quickly yet hold just the right amount of moisture. An added benefit of amending with organic material is that it will release nutrients to the roots of your plants as it decomposes. Cilantro doesn't require heavy feeding. In fact, too much nitrogen can be fatal to the plant, making another good argument for using organic material as an amendment.

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