This wonderful herb is a bit of a contradiction. We associate it with exotic places, perhaps because it figures in eastern and far eastern cuisine. However it does not like dry conditions at all and in such weather will invariably run to seed. Not to worry, there is usually some coming up somewhere else providing you know what it looks like and leave it to develop. Once the leaves are large enough to rub or pinch with finger nails the smell is a pleasurable instant recognition.
Flowering and Running to Seed
Iíve never bought coriander (coriandrum sativum) seeds, I inherited some and then just kept the seed. I did notice in the meantime that the seeds sold for culinary use were better value, but Iíve never bought any. I do save the seed by placing the dry heads in a bag & shaking Ė the heads, not me! Then I plant some of these fairly early under fleece to try to get an early crop, but coriander is not frost hardy. Of course some recipes need the seed anyway, either whole or ground in the pestle & mortar. Needless to say we are well supplied. One point to watch is not to grow it or let it grow near fennel for they inhibit each otherís growth.
Coriander in with Leeks
Insects love it
I discovered very early on that it definitely does not like to be shifted. So it does need to be planted in situ. I read that if you buy the branded seeds it is more resilient to drought and better quality, but Iím not looking to win prizes, and although I use a lot more than I probably would if I had to pay for it, the amount is still not large enough to worry about the yield or durability.
As an umbellifer the corianderís small flowers are highly sought after by nectar gathering insects, so there is another reason to grow this lovely herb Ė wonderful.