What Is Cilantro A Companion Plant Of?
Cilantro (Matricaria recutita) is a member of the mint family. It grows wild in Mexico and Central America and is cultivated commercially in some countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Its leaves are used medicinally for stomach aches, coughs and colds. They have been found to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are also used to treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
In addition to its medicinal uses, it is one of the most popular culinary herbs in Latin American cuisine. It is commonly added to salads, soups and stews. In fact cilantro is so common that many people don’t even realize they’re eating it!
Cilantro has long been known as a good source of vitamin K2 which helps prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin K2 is also helpful in preventing colon cancer.
It contains high amounts of vitamins A, B1, B6 and C. It also contains magnesium, manganese and potassium. It’s a good source of fiber and folate.
Cilantro is high in antioxidants which help prevent cancer and slow down the effects of aging. It contains antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, coumarins and rosmarinic acid.
There are some people who are allergic to cilantro. Allergic reactions range from mild to severe. Symptoms include mouth tingling, swelling of the tongue, a lumpy rash, itchy skin, facial swelling, breathing difficulties and anaphylactic shock. If you think you are allergic to cilantro, see a doctor immediately.
Cilantro takes about 40 to 50 days to mature. It grows best in warm weather but can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees.
Plant cilantro in well prepared, loose soil with a pH above 7. Cilantro doesn’t like wet or poorly drained soil so make sure the area where you plant it drains well. It prefers full sun but will tolerate light shade. If you have heavy soil, plant it in raised beds.
Cilantro is a perfect companion plant for beans, cucumbers, peas and tomatoes. It helps repel the bean leaf beetle, whiteflies and aphids. It is also good at repelling mice, aphids and snails. Plant cilantro near apples, blueberries, carrots and rose bushes to give them a natural defense against pests.
Cilantro can be grown from seeds or transplanted from another source. Because it germinates slowly, it is best to plant the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. It will take about 2 months for the seeds to germinate depending on the temperature and humidity where they are planted. It does not transplant well so start it indoors or sow the seeds directly into the garden after all danger of frost passes.
Cilantro prefers an organically rich, loose soil with a pH between 6 and 7.
Sources & references used in this article:
Natural enemy enhancement and botanical insecticide source: a review of dual use companion plants by BW Amoabeng, AC Johnson, GM Gurr – Applied entomology and zoology, 2019 – Springer
An evaluation of insectary plants for management of insect pests in a hydroponic cropping system by J Tavares, KH Wang, CRR Hooks – Biological Control, 2015 – Elsevier
Toxicity Assessment of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles in Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.) Plants Grown in Organic Soil by MI Morales, CM Rico… – Journal of agricultural …, 2013 – ACS Publications
Parasitoids of horticultural pests associated to commercial developmental stages of cultivated Apiaceae by MM de Haro, ALS Resende, VF da Silva, B Souza… – …, 2015 – researchgate.net
Effects of some repellent plants on greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westw.) in greenhouse tomato production by M Tasli, Z Yoldas, GB Öztekin, Y Tüzel – III International Symposium on …, 2016 – actahort.org