How to grow Coriander in Brisbane?
A friend was complaining to me the other day that she had been unsuccessful growing coriander in Brisbane at the moment. The seedlings either died as soon as they were planted or bolted straight to seed.
I advised her that you can’t grow coriander in Brisbane in summer. She said she had been able to buy the seedlings so had assumed it was okay! Also, all the gardening sites she had looked at said it grew well in the sub-tropics all year round.
This raises a couple of issues. To start with, just because you can buy plants or seedlings or even bulbs in Brisbane, doesn’t mean you can grow that plant here. I have seen peonies for sale up here and they almost need snow just to stay alive!
Many large chain stores have centralised purchasing divisions. These divisions purchase all products centrally in order to gain the maximum savings. They then send the same goods to all their stores across Australia, regardless of whether that product is needed in that region. (You can actually buy snow gear in Cairns!)
I have noticed that a lot of gardening advice on the internet comes from overseas. Even if it is on an Australian website, many people just do a cut and paste without understanding subtle differences in climates, weather patterns, plant availability etc. Sometimes it is really hard to tell that the advice isn’t written for, or even correct for, Australia and for the region you are trying to grow plants in.
How to grow Coriander?
Finally, and getting back to growing coriander, it is best to grow coriander from seed.
Plant the seeds where you want it to grow.
I always leave one or two coriander plants to go to seed.
This gives my native bees and other beneficial insects a big feed. As a consequence, I get coriander seeds to use in cooking and some of the coriander will self-seed and find its most desirable spot to grow.
As a result I get a really strong coriander plant next season. Most of my self-seeded plants really like growing in a rocky, sandy path with poor nutrients but reasonable water from the adjacent veggie patch!
In my experience, you can start sowing seeds from around St Patrick’s day. The seeds will germinate when the weather and soil temperatures suit them.
If you use a lot of coriander you might want to sew some more seeds a few weeks later and continue this through to around August. This way you will always have some coriander in the garden during its best growing period.
If I only want a few stalks of coriander, I pick from the centre of the plant. Otherwise, I collect the whole plant, roots and all, to use when I am making a Thai curry. If I don’t want to use the whole plant I find the roots in particular freeze well for later use.
Finally, this post is dedicated to my fabulous sister, Bron who just loves coriander!
Happy gardening 🙂
Rohanne, your Personal Gardening Expert.