How to Grow Cilantro In Paperpots (Paper Chain Pots)

Growing Cilantro in Paperpots

Better germination!

No hand transplanting!

Less transplant shock!

Cilantro can be hit or miss when direct sown in the field due to finicky germination and weed pressure when young. Growing Cilantro in paperpots can solve these issues, while also saving your back!!

“One investment that has really paid off is the Paperpot Transplanter. We are able to transplant crops like this Cilantro that would normally be direct seeded. Seeding into the paper chains allows us to germinate seeds effectively even in cold temperatures and grow them for a few weeks in the propagation greenhouse before transplanting outside or in the high tunnel.

If we tried to transplant something like Cilantro at this density using traditional plug flats, the transplant time would be unsustainable.

This Cilantro is probably 4 weeks ahead of where it would have been if we had direct seeded it. That means the total time for the crop in the field or tunnel is greatly reduced. It means more turnover in our beds and ultimately more food per acre going to our community members.”

-The Redfearn Farm

The Specifications for Paperpot Cilantro

ROWS PER 100’ X 30” BED3
TRAYS PER 100’ X 30” BED 6
KWIK KLIK™ TOP PLATE Plate: Paperpot (264 holes) / Thickness: 3mm / Hole Diameter: 7mm
SEED PER 100’ X 30’ BED4800 seeds (+/-) *Always round up when placing seed orders to ensure having enough
GERMINATION 5-7 days at 68°F
DAYS TO TRANSPLANT 30 days (+/-) *time from seeding to transplanting in the field
DAYS TO MATURITY 55 days (+/-) *time from seeding to being ready for harvest
HARVEST WINDOW14 days (+/-) *time crop is at ideal stage for harvest after reaching maturity
TOTAL DAYS IN FIELD 39 days (+/-) *DTM + harvest window - days to transplant
TARGET CROP YIELD 600 Bunches (+/-)
PRICE PER UNIT $3 *depending on local market pricing
REVENUE PER BED $1800 *depending on local market pricing
SEEDINGKwik Klik™ Drop Seeder, Paperpot Germination Trays, Paper Chain Pots
TRANSPLANTINGPaperpot Transplanter
TILTHINGPower Harrow or Precision Depth Roller (With no tractor: Tither)
AERATIONMeadow Creature Broadfork
SHAPINGBed Preparation Rake
CULTIVATIONFlex Tine Weeder or Collinear Hoe

Suggested Tools for Paperpot Cilantro

Bed Preparation for Paperpot Transplanting

  • Broadfork the bed to aerate and loosen the soil.
  • Smooth and shape the bed with a bed preparation rake, removing any debris.
  • Cilantro will do well in beds freshly amended with fertilizer.
  • Here are two options:
    • 1) Layer on 1” of compost, enough to mostly cover the native soil.
    • 2) Sprinkle on a combination of alfalfa meal and pelleted chicken manure.
  • If layering compost, do not tilth in hopes of smothering any surface weed seed.
  • If adding amendments, tilth the top 1-2” of soil to mix in amendments.
  • Irrigate for 10-14 days*, allowing any weed seed in the top layer of soil to germinate.
  • Flame weed the bed when the cotyledons of the weed seeds have emerged.

Planting Cilantro in Paperpots

Seeding Cilantro in Paperpots

Prepare trays with 2” paper chain pots, and fill with potting mix. 

Install Paperpot bottom plate and specified top plate into Kwik Klik™ (KK) Drop Seeder.

Pour Cilantro seed onto top plate and rotate until 2-3 seeds fill each hole.

Position the KK Drop Seeder over the tray, ensuring the holes are lined up with the cells, and click to drop the seeds.

Water trays and place in germination chamber at 65-70°. Emergence should occur at 5-7 days.

Transfer the trays to greenhouse tables after germination. 

Thoroughly water the trays before heading to the field for transplanting.

Using the Paperpot Transplanter, plant the three rows of Cilantro.

There should be 10” between rows, 5” from the outer rows to the edge of the bed.

Ensure paper chains are adequately buried to prevent drying out.

Reference for instructional videos if needed.

Transplanting Cilantro with the Paperpot Transplanter




Water the beds thoroughly with overhead irrigation, or four rows of drip.

Newly planted Cilantro must be watered regularly to avoid drying out.

Frequent shallow waterings will support root rapid growth.

10-14 days after transplanting, cultivate using the Flex Tine Weeder or Collinear Hoe. Repeat again after 7 days.

A wire weeder is also an effective cultivation tool allowing you to get very close to the crops.

Cultivation (Weeding)

Harvesting Cilantro



Cilantro can typically yield two harvests per planting, or even three if bolting is prevented.

Harvest by cutting bunches a few inches above the soil to allow for regrowth.



Submerge Cilantro in cold water after harvest to remove field heat and rinse any dirt. 

Allow to drip dry on a rack before packing. Cilantro tolerates being damp for storage or transport.

Bunches can be stacked in totes without being fulling dried.

Cilantro can be stored at 35-40° until taken to market.

Washing and Packing

Overall Paper Chain Pots are a great way to increase efficiency for growing Cilantro.

Ease of transplanting, higher germination rates, and less weed competition are some of the reasons why growing Cilantro in paper chain pots makes so much sense.

Get started growing Cilantro on your farm using a Paperpot Transplanter and download the Growers Notes below.


If you have any questions, please reach out or 877.850.1555.