This online guide has been created for you to successfully grow a variety of plants that thrive in the tropics, using native seeds and plants to get growing with wise advice from fellow backyard gardeners and farmers.   You are welcome to add your wisdom and share growing and harvest tips and recipes. Send to

Pro-Organic Belize Garden Grow Guide
Where you are the student and the teacher

Plant of the Month Of April 2022



Botanical Name
Coriandrum Sativum
Umbelliferae (carrot parsley)
Coriandrum sativum
Full sun but tolerates some shade
Soil Preference
Moist, well drained, moderately rich soil.  Do not over fertilize, especially with nitrogen as excess nitrogen impairs the flavor and aroma.



Cilantro and coriander are the same plant.  Cilantro, an herb,  is the green leafy part of the plant, coriander is the seeds.  It is a popular plant in Belize and is used as an ingredient in salsa, salads, soups, stir fries, a topping for bean dishes, pasta and rice.  It is milder when cooked.  Coriander seeds, considered to be a spice,  are a commonly used spice in Indian cooking.  A unique quality of cilantro is that some love the smell and taste, while others claim the aroma and flavor smell and taste like soap.

How to grow:  Cilantro grows best in raised rows; this helps prevent the plants from sitting in muddy water during the rainy season.  The seeds can be purchased or saved from the cilantro seeds which you may obtain from friends or neighbors who grow cilantro. To plant:  Loosen soil and plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep; be sure to water.   Plants grow best when thinned to space 8-9” apart.  It is possible to start harvesting in about four to five weeks after planting. Plants produce seeds which develop in clusters.


Insect and disease control: Due to the strong aroma and flavor of cilantro it is seldom bothered by insects or disease.


To harvest:  Cut the small, immature leaves and stems for the best flavor.  To harvest coriander seeds, wait until a majority of the seeds have turned from green to brown and the aroma changes to their characteristic spicy fragrance.   Allow some seeds to fall, and the plant will self-sow for another crop. Dry the seeds well and store in airtight jars.  The flavor improves with age.


Health benefits: Cilantro is said to absorb and bind with toxic heavy metals to remove from the systems of people and animals.  It has the calcium and vitamins contained in green leafy vegetables.





Cilantro Pesto


2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

3-5 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbs  fresh lime juice and about 1/4 tsp grated zest

3/4 cup walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup olive oil

dash cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in a food processor, except olive oil; pulse, then drizzle in the olive oil and blend to pesto consistency.   Store in a glass container in refrigerator or freeze into ice cubes and store in a zip lock bag in freezer.


This recipe is delicious added to rice or pasta.

Mexican Salsa (pico de gallo)

1 extra large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes

3 jalapenos

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

½ tsp salt

10 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 tsp fresh lime juice

2 tsp olive oil


Dice/finely chop the onion, tomato, and jalapenos. Pull leaves from cilantro and mix with veggies. Add lime juice and salt and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.  (Adjust salt, lime juice and olive to taste.)