Does Cilantro Need Full Sun? How Much Sun Does Cilantro Need?

When growing various herbs and plants, some need specific soil or watering needs. But, on the other hand, some prefer more sunlight than others. So, what about cilantro plants? Does cilantro need full sun to grow well? This article will answer that question and more. But, first, we’ll talk about why you should grow cilantro and its many benefits. Then, we’ll discuss if cilantro needs full sun and how much sun it needs to thrive. We’ll also touch upon whether or not cilantro can grow in the shade or during the winter.

Finally, we’ll explain the sun needs of the cilantro in a pot indoors versus being outside. Also, we’ll explain the soil needs for cilantro so they can grow well overall. 


Why Grow Cilantro?

There are many uses for cilantro, so it’s a good idea to grow your own if you use this herb often.

Cilantro is a healthy herb that aids your digestive system, contains potassium, and is low in calories. In addition, it can be tossed into many different recipes.

This herb also has a strong, unique flavor that many people enjoy. Alternatively, you can dry out your fresh cilantro leaves if you want less flavor or want to keep the herb longer.

Learn more about how to dry your fresh cilantro leaves here.

For example, you can use cilantro when cooking Indian, Asian, or Middle Eastern foods.

The best part about this herb is that it’s relatively easy to grow. So, if you’re a beginner gardener, this is a good place to start.

As long as the cilantro gets the proper soil, watering, and, of course, sunlight, then this herb is an easy one to grow.

Does Cilantro Need Full Sun?

The short answer is yes. Cilantro does need full sun to grow. However, it can survive with partial sun, as well.

For example, cilantro is sensitive to heat. So, if you plant it in your garden in hot weather, your cilantro leaves might burn.

You can grow your cilantro outside in your garden or a pot indoors. However, both will need a good amount of direct sunlight for most of the day.

On the other hand, if your cilantro gets too much sunlight or it gets too hot, then it’ll bolt early. Bolting means that it will seed.

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How Much Sun Does Cilantro Need?

You’ll want to provide your cilantro plant with as much direct sunlight as possible, provided that it doesn’t get too hot.

However, depending on where you live, it’s a good idea to give your cilantro at least six hours of sunlight per day.

During the afternoon, when the sun is hottest, your cilantro will do well to cool off a bit in the shade.

For example, you’ll want to find a sunny spot to put your cilantro in your garden. If possible, you can plant something taller in front of the cilantro. That way, when the sun gets too hot in the afternoon, your cilantro will have some shade behind the other plant.

On the other hand, if you have your cilantro herbs in a pot outside the garden, you can move it to the shady spot in the afternoon.

Remember to bring it back to the sunny spot later on for the next day. Otherwise, the cilantro won’t get the full sun it needs. 

Find out how big cilantro can grow here.

Will Cilantro Grow In Shade?

If given partial shade, your cilantro will still grow.

However, if you plant your cilantro in a shady area of the garden or don’t move your pot to a sunny spot during the day, the plant will not grow.

Cilantro prefers to have as much sun as possible. If it’s in the shade too much, its growth will be stunted, and you won’t be able to harvest any of its leaves.

Does Cilantro Like Full Sun When Grown In A Pot?

Yes, even when grown in a pot (outside or indoors), cilantro needs full sun. Otherwise, it won’t grow well.

You can give cilantro full sun by placing it on a sunny windowsill or in a sunny room. Then, depending on where the sun is, you can move the pot around as needed. 

However, it does need a little bit of shade here and there to take a break from the sun.

So, if you have your cilantro plant in a pot, you can easily pick it up and move it to a shady spot during the day.

You’ll only need to move it to the shade if it’s too hot outside and you’re afraid the leaves might burn under the sun.

Regardless, it’ll still need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, even in the hot weather. So keep an eye on it and move the pot back and forth between the sun and shade for optimal growth.

Can Cilantro Grow During Winter?

Cilantro prefers to grow in cooler weather. For example, the best time to grow this herb is in the fall or early spring.

Even though this plant enjoys cooler temperatures, it can still become a victim of frost. So, you’ll want to plant it shortly after the last frost of the season or a few weeks before the frost begins. 

However, if you’re growing this plant indoors, the cilantro can certainly grow during winter.

On the other hand, it can survive the cold weather of winter. However, you’ll need to protect it with a cold frame or even a greenhouse.

Believe it or not, cilantro can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees F.

Although, if the cilantro is grown in a warmer climate where the winters are a bit warmer, then the plant will certainly grow throughout the winter. 

However, cilantro is an annual herb. So, it will complete its life cycle after one growing season.

Depending on the time of year you grow your cilantro and the weather conditions, cilantro can grow during the winter, but it could be done with its harvest for the year. 

Read my full guide to cilantro and winter here.

What Soil Conditions Does Cilantro Need?

When planting cilantro, whether it’s outside in the garden or inside in a pot, you’ll want to provide it with loamy soil, well-draining soil.

The pH levels of the soil should be between 6.5 and 7.0 for optimal growth. For richer soil, you can mix it with compost.

In addition, you can add fertilizer, but cilantro doesn’t necessarily need that to help it grow. 

The soil should be moist but not completely dry or soaked. Water the soil regularly to keep it moist enough that extra water can drain out, but the cilantro plant will still be able to drink regularly. 

Final Words on If Cilantro Needs Full Sun

Overall, cilantro does need full sun to grow well. At best, you’ll want to provide it with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Cilantro is a relatively hardy herb that can grow in colder temperatures. It can also survive in little shade. However, you’ll get the most out of your cilantro plant if you give it ample sunlight every day. 

Want to learn more? Find out how often to water cilantro here, what it means when cilantro flowers here and how to dry cilantro here. You can also find all my Cilantro guides here.

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