I got coriander plant from market but it seems like it is dying. I watered it but the excess water came out of pot hole (which I think is way of telling that it was water extra). Can I still safe the plant? How? Should it be in sunlight or window sill in morning?

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  • When you say you purchased the plant at a market, do you mean something like a grocery store? Farmers market? Large department store? It looks like there is more than one plant in that pot.
    – Jurp
    Mar 4, 2023 at 13:41
  • The pot size is for about 3 coriander plants. Or throw in a spoonful of seeds as done here, and pull plants freely for use. Mar 5, 2023 at 18:44
  • @Jurp I got it from grocery store. It is only coriander.
    – localhost
    Mar 5, 2023 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


You don’t have “a coriander plant”, what you have is a cluster of seedlings.

These pots are produced for the convenience of home cooks, who want to extend the shelf life of their kitchen herbs. Compared to cut herb bundles, the pots stay fresh for longer and there may be some additional growth over time. However, these pots usually lack nutrients for longer time, but the bigger issue is that the seedlings are far too dense and struggle for resources, outcompeting each other. Them being basically plant babies and in a stress situation makes them also very sensitive to even small issues like being too dry (happens often when too long at the store), too dark (dito) or cold.

Looking at the overall pale yellow leaf color, you should probably consider to compost/discard this pot and start over. You can even try it with a few coriander seeds from your spice stash, if you have some. Seed packets should also be affordable and for the price of what you probably paid for this pot you get multiple harvests.

If you really want to try to fix this, you should still thin out the seedlings - three per such a pot is really a good start as mentioned in the comments. Then ensure plenty of light, but not immediately full sun. For watering, you need to familiarize yourself with the signs of wet vs. dry soil - the finger test you mentioned is a good start. Water generously and leave the pot in the water-filled saucer for a while, but discard the excess after about half an hour, which should suffice to evenly saturate the soil and avoid it being too much. If they really make it, you should probably start fertilizing, but carefully, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and if you plan to eat the coriander, choose one that is safe for edible plants.


It seems to me that perhaps it doesn't have enough water. It could be that the soil is too free draining. I would put a slightly deeper dish under it and leave water in the dish. That way, if the soil becomes dry, it will get soaked up.

Yellow leaves can also indicate that it is not getting enough sunlight, so I would shift it closer to a window.

The leaves also go yellow when the plant is mature and is seeding. But that's not the case here.

I looked for some references - found one

  1. Not Enough Sunlight
  2. Lack of Consistent Watering
  3. Poor Soil Nutrients
  4. Damage From Pests

From 4 Potential Causes of Your Cilantro Plant's Yellow Leaves

I don't have an affiliation with the website.

Some photos of my wifes garden. Everything has a tray or reservoir of water. Some planters have an air gap, some don't.

Waiting to be planted

Waiting to be planted

Tomatoes in the front, the cream planters at the back also have reservoirs


Strawberries in front, the grey pots n the right have raspberries and blackberries - again reservoirs at the bottom.


  • My fear is if I put the pot in the dish, it might suck up more water or be flooded like stranded in the water and die? I am very new to all this as I wanna start growing my veggies at home. When u say slightly deeper? is this not deeper? I can pour one glass of water in it and it will still be almost full.
    – localhost
    Mar 4, 2023 at 12:30
  • It is hard to see from the angle of the photo. For most outside potted plants, we have a dish an inch deep, And we top the dish up every few days. Doing it this way, only the bottom of the soil is wet and it will suck up as required. Its 1:35am, I will post some piccies of our pots tomorrow. Mar 4, 2023 at 12:36
  • So I did water it, it soaked up 99% of it, 1% the next day. should I water the base again. what is the rule for watering that I don't overwater them.
    – localhost
    Mar 6, 2023 at 10:47
  • Every few days is good enough. Mar 6, 2023 at 12:40
  • reservoirs are great. I watered 3/4 of cup and it sucked up the whole thing in 2 hours. I watred them last night 1/4 and this morning it was gone too. If it become empty does it mean it is time to water them? I read somewhere that if u poke ur finger in compost and if it is not moist at a level (forgot number) then water it. It did turned a lot of leaves and stems dry when it was out of water
    – localhost
    Mar 8, 2023 at 16:14

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