• Plant Type: Annual
  • Sun: Part Shade
  • Plant Size: 6-18 inches tall
  • Culinary Use: Leaves in Latin American, Caribbean, and Asian cuisine

Similar in taste to cilantro but with stronger flavor, culantro is native to Central America and popular in Latin American dishes. Culantro's elongated leaves have tapered tips and serrated edges that makes it a striking little plant in combination with the little leaves or oregano or the upright, grass-like leaves of onions and chives.

Tropical culantro is very sensitive to cold. Plant in spring about two weeks after the last frost. Growing culantro is much like growing lettuce. Pick the leaves until summer, when warm temperatures entice the plant to send up a tall stalk, flower, and set seed.

Plant Spacing: 8-12 inches apart. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Planting culantro in light shade produces larger leaves and a longer harvest. Add compost to soil. Protect the plant in the event of a late frost. Although grown as an annual, culantro is actually a biennial (produces into the second year) in frost-free climates.

Harvest and Use »

Cut outer leaves as needed, or harvest the entire rosette by cutting to ground level. Chop and use like cilantro, but expect stronger flavor. Traditionally used to make recaito, a popular Puerto Rican seasoning, and sofrito, the basis of many Latin American dishes.

Try these garden companions »

  • Onion, Green Bell pepper, Cubanelle pepper, and cilantro for recaito.
  • Same as above, plus Red Bell pepper, small sweet peppers (Sweet Red Cherry or Yummy Snacking), and Roma tomatoes for sofrito.
  • Oregano, a frequent Latin ingredient.

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