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Cumin Seed - How to grow Cumin ?

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum), is a warm season annual in the family Apiaceae. Cumin is grown for its seeds that are used whole or ground. This pungent herb is commonly used to spice Mexican, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern foods. Cumin has medicinal and culinary uses.

To harvest seeds, allow pod to ripen and turn brown.  Remove from the plant and dry.  Rub pods to remove the seeds. The whole stem can be cut and hung upside down in a bag to collect the seeds. Use fresh or store in an airtight container.

Growing the Herb Cumin

Start seeds inside 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost.  Start outside 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost and when the temperatures are warm. Plant a group of 4 seeds at a depth of ¼ inch every 4 to 8 inches.  When seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin to 1 plant every 4 to 8 inches. Seed should germinate in 7 to 14 days.

Growing Cultures

Outdoors, containers, and hydroponics.

Plant Height

Cumin grows to heights between 6 and 24 inches (15-60cm).

Plant Spacing

Cumin plants should be spaced between 4 and 8 inches (20 and 30 cm) apart in the row, while rows should be spaced 18 inches apart.

Preferred pH Range

Cumin will grow in a relatively wide pH range between 6.8 (mildly acidic) and 8.3 (alkaline), with an ideal range between 7.0 and 7.5.


From seed. Direct sow outdoors well after last frost when soil has warmed. Or start seeds in propagation starter cubes or plugs indoors between four and six weeks before planting outdoors after soil has warmed.

Seed Germination Period

Cumin seeds will germinate in soil in approximately 7 to 14 days, but can germinate in as few as 5 or 6 days in dedicated propagation. It is recommended to soak the seeds for approximately 8 hours prior to sowing for better germination rates.

Sun & Lighting Requirements

Cumin grown outdoors prefers full sun.

Cumin will grow indoors satisfactorily under high output T5 fluorescent plant lights, compact fluorescent, and especially well under high intensity discharge (metal halide or high-pressure sodium) plant growing lights.