Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the first spices used by man as a common flavoring substance. The stem, leaves, and fruits have a pleasant aroma. The whole young plant is used in preparing chutney and leaves are used for flavoring curries sauces and soups. Dry fruits are extensively used in the preparation of curry powder, pickling spices, sausage, and seasonings. In medicines, seeds are used as a carminative, refrigerant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac. The green leaves contain about 87.9% moisture, 3.3% protein, 0.6% fat, 6.5% carbohydrates, and 1.7% mineral matter. However, dry seeds have about 6.3% moisture, 1.3% protein, 0.3% volatile oil, 19.6% nonvolatile oil, 31.5% ether extract, 24.0% carbohydrates, 5.3% mineral matter and vitamin. A 175 IU/100 g.
Coriander is a native of the Mediterranean center. and its cultivation is limited mainly to the tropics. The main coriander-growing states are Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
Climate and soil
Coriander is a tropical crop and it requires a frost-free climate, particularly at the time of flowering and seed formation. Dry and moderately cool weather during seed formation increases yield as well as the quality of the produce.
In irrigated conditions, loamy soil is best suited for its cultivation, whereas in unirrigated ones black or heavy soil is better than loamy. Saline, alkaline, and sandy soils are not suitable for their cultivation.
Varieties of Coriander
A large number of varieties of coriander have been released by various institutions. They are described here.
Ajmer Coriander 1: Plants tall, erect, dual-purpose; long-duration variety. Seed yield 12.5 q/ha. Resistant to stem gall.
APHU Dhania 1: Plants early-maturing with medium-sized, oblong straw grains; seed yield, 10-12 q/ha.
Azad Dhania 1: Erect, early branching, umbellates per umbel (5) Tolerant to moisture stress, powdery mildew, and aphids wilt; seed yield 10 q/ha.
CIMPOS 33: Tall, erect, compact, profusely branching and flowering; grains small and bold; Recommended mainly for oil production; seed yield 21 q/ha.
Co 1: Plants small-statured with globular, small-sized, dusty brown grains. Matures in 100-120 days. Average yield 4.0 q/ha. Co 2: Plants dwarf with medium bold, oblong, brownish-yellow grains. Tolerant to wilt, powdery mildew, and grain mold. Mature in 86-104 days; average yield 6.5 q/ha.
Co 3: A dual-purpose variety, good yielder, medium-sized grains, suitable for both rainfed and irrigated condition, rabi as well as Kharif season. Field tolerant to powdery mildew, wilt, and grain mould. Matures in 88 – 95 days; average yield 6.5 q/ha.
Co 4: Early maturing variety, suitable for both rainfed and irrigated conditions; Grains oblong and medium; Field tolerant to wilt and grain mould. It matures in 65 70 days with an average yield of 6.5 q/ha.
CS 287: Plants early-maturing with medium-sized, oblong, straw grains. Tolerant to wilt and grain mould. Matures in 79-97 days; average yield 6 q/ha.
DH 5: Plants medium-tall, bushy with round attractive grains of medium size. Matures in 120-130 days; average yield 18-20 q/ha.
DH 36: Dual purpose variety suitable for irrigated conditions, resistant to stem gall disease; essential oil 0.35%, Takes 130-140 days for maturity; seed yield 18 20 q/ha.
DH 246: Plant type bushy erect, Oblong shaped seed, medium in size with high volatile oil content (0.425%), tolerant to frost and aphid. Takes 130-140 days for maturity; seed yield, 18-20 q/ha.
DH 228: Late in flowering suitable for leaf production; small-seeded with high oil content (0.66%); resistant to stem gall disease. Takes 160-170 days for maturity; seed yields 16-18 q/ha.
DWA 3: A dual-purpose variety; seed production in rabi crop; moderately tolerant to powdery mildew, black clay soils best suited; Seed yield 4 q/ha.
GC 1: Plants erect with medium-sized, round, yellow-colored grains. Moderately tolerant to wilt and powdery mildew. Matures in 112 days with an average yield of 11 q/ha.
GC 2: Plants semi-spreading habit with dense, dark green foliage and medium-sized grains. Moderately tolerant to wilt and powdery mildew. Matures in 110 days with an average yield of 14.5 q/ha.
Gwalior No 5365: A medium seed-sized variety with medium maturity; Seed yield 8-10 q/ha.
LCC 234: High-yielding leaf variety suitable for off-season production in Andhra Pradesh. Average leaf yield 15-18 q/ha.
Pant Haritima: Tall, erect, a dual purpose type, good yielder of leaves, smaller seeds with high oil. Resistant to stem gall wilt. Seed yield, 12 q/ha.
Rajendra Sonia: Plants tall, medium seed size, seed yield 12 q/ha.
RCr 20: Plants bushy and spreading with medium height. Produce oval, and large-sized grains. Moderately tolerant to powdery mildew, wilt as well as stem gall. Matures in 100-110 days with an average yield of 10 q/ha.
RCr 41: Plants tall, erect with small-sized grains. Highly resistant to stem gall and wilt but moderately tolerant to powdery mildew. Matures in 130-140 days with an average yield of 9.2 q/ha.
RD 44 (Rajendra Swathi): Plants medium-sized with fine, round aromatic grains. Resistant to stem gall and moderately resistant to wilt, aphids, and weevil. Matures in 100 days; average yield 13 q/ha.
RCr 435: Plants bushy with quick, early growth and medium-sized grains. Matures in 110-130 days with an average yield of 10.5 q/ha.
RCr 436: Plants bushy with quick, early growth and bold grains. Matures in 90-100 days. The average yield is 11.09 q/ha under limited moisture conditions.
RCr 446: Plants leafy and erect with a higher number of grains. Seeds medium-sized. Mature in 110-130 days with an average yield of 12 q/ha.
RCr 684: Plants leafy, tall and erect with a higher number of seeds/umbel. Seeds bold in size with a volatile oil content of 0.32%. Matures in 100-120 days and produces an average yield of 10 q/ha.
RCr 480: Plants bushy and erect with a higher number of seeds/umbel and high volatile oil content of 0.44%. Matures in 110-130 days and produces an average yield of 13.25 q/ha.
RCr 728: Plants bushy and erect with a higher number of seeds per umbel volatile oil content of 0.38%. Matures in 130-140 days and produces an average yield of 13.70 q/ha.
Sindhu: Plants dwarf with medium-bold, oval straw-colored grains. Tolerant to wilt and powdery mildew and resistant to aphids. Matures in 102 days with an average yield of 10.5 q/ha.
Sadhna: Plants semi-erect with bold, oval straw-colored grains. Tolerant to whitefly and mites. Matures in 100 days with an average yield of 10.3 q/ha
Swathi (CS 6): Plants semi-erect with medium bold (16.8 g/1000 grains), oval brownish-yellow grains Tolerant to whitefly, grain moulds, and wilt. The yield is 8.89 q/ha.
The last week of October is the optimum sowing time. Delayed sowing reduces plant growth and increases the incidence of diseases and pests. A seed rate of 10-12 kg/ha is sufficient under irrigated conditions, whereas 15-20 kg/ha is required for unirrigated conditions. Sowing should be done 30 cm apart in lines with a plant-to-plant distance of 10cm, whereas in heavy soils or fertile soils 40 cm spacing between rows is recommended.
Manuring and fertilization
Add farmyard manure @10-20 tonnes/ha while preparing the field. Apply 20 kg N, 30 kg P, and 20 kg K/ha at the time of sowing in irrigated as well as in unirrigated crops. In irrigated coriander, an additional dose of 40 kg N/ha should be applied in 2 equal splits 30 days and 60 days after sowing.
Thinning, first hoeing, and weeding should be done 30 days after sowing as the initial growth of coriander is slow. Second hoeing and weeding in irrigated coriander may be done between 50 and 60 days of sowing depending upon the regrowth of weeds. Pre-plant Fluchloralin @ 0.75 kg/ha, pre-emergent Oxyfluorfen @ 0.15 kg/ha or Pendimithalin @ 1.0 kg/ ha are effective herbicides.
Depending upon the climatic conditions, the moisture-retaining capacity of soil and variety used, 4-5 irrigations 30-35, 60-70, 80-90, 100-105, and 110-150 days after sowing are to be given.
Coriander crop is most vulnerable to frost damage at flowering and early seed formation stages. Frost damage can be minimized by spaying 0.1% solution of sulphuric acid, irrigating the crop prior to the incidence of frost, using windbreaks, and creating smoke cover in the early morning hours.
Diseases and pests
Wilt: The complete control of this disease is difficult but the incidence can be reduced by ploughing and soil solarization in summer and proper crop rotation, using certified/ TFL healthy and diseased free seeds, seed treatment with bavistin @2g/ kg, or Trichoderma @4-6 g/kg of seed. Resistant varieties where available should be preferred.
Powdery mildew: The disease can be controlled by dusting, which should be repeated after 15-20 days.
Blight: Blight appears in the form of dark brown spots on the stem and the leaves.
Stem gall: In stem gall, blisters appear on the leaves and the stem which deforms the seeds resulting in a reduction of yield as well as the quality of the produce. Seed treatment with Thiram + Bavistin (1:1 proportion) @2 g/kg of seed, use resistant/ tolerant varieties and spray 500-7001 solution of 0.1% Bavistin twice or thrice a 20 days interval and use of tolerant varieties reduce the gall formation.
Insects and pests
Aphids: Aphids suck the sap from tender parts and flowers. The infected plants turn yellow and produce shriveled and small seeds and thus reduce the yield as well as the quality of the produce. The insecticide used for controlling the aphids should not harm the honey bees as pollination is brought about by honey bees in coriander and it should have very low residual toxicity as the insecticide residual standards are strictly regulated in seed spices particularly in the International markets.
Spraying of insecticide in the evening hours does not cause much damage to the honey bees or careful spray, which can be repeated if necessary.
Mites: The mites frequently attack coriander crops at the stage of seed formation. The plant becomes whitish-yellow and appears sick, infestation is more severe on the young inflorescence. Yield is reduced and seeds become shriveled if the infestation is not checked in a timely.
Harvesting and post-harvest management
Its seeds should be harvested when 50% of seeds turn yellow. Leaf plucking (50%) 75 days after sowing helps generate extra income. The harvested material should be dried in shade to retain seed color and quality. Alternatively, the material should be kept in bundles upside down to avoid direct sun rays on seeds which reduces their quality. After drying, seeds are separated by light beating with sticks and winnowing. A yield of 12-25 q/ha under irrigated conditions and 7-8 q/ha under unirrigated conditions can be easily obtained. Clean and dried seeds filled in bags are stored in damp-free aerated stores.
Value addition: Volatile oil of coriander is a valuable ingredient in perfumes and is used as a flavoring agent for liquors, cocoa, and chocolate. The oleoresin is generally used for flavoring food, beverages, pickles, and sausage. Another product is dhania dal, which is good mouth freshener and also a major adjunct in supari and pan masala.