One famous herb that grows in many herbs gardens and can be found in tea is chamomile. Since you’re here to learn about how to grow chamomile, you must first learn about the best and most common varieties of chamomile to grow. Then choose the right method to grow this herb at home.
- 1 Best Chamomile Varieties to Grow
- 2 How to Grow Chamomile
- 3 Growing Chamomile Tips
- 4 Companion & Pests
- 5 Harvest & Storage
Best Chamomile Varieties to Grow
Chamomile has 2 different varieties that are best for home herbs gardens. The first one is chamaemelum nobile or roman chamomile and the second one is matricaria recutita or German chamomile. Before you learn more about how to grow chamomile, choose one between 2 varieties below:
1. Roman chamomile
The other names of this chamomile are English chamomile and Russian chamomile. If you have tried growing spearmint, you’ll figure out that spearmint and roman chamomile have the same character: they’ll cover the garden ground just like a mat.
Roman chamomile produces flowers that look like small daisy flowers with white petals and yellow centers. This perennial herbs plant has feathery leaves.
2. German chamomile
This chamomile and the previous variety above has a similar look. The difference is that German chamomile can grow upright and reach 30 to 61 centimeters tall. Besides, German chamomile is an annual reseeding plant.
German chamomile is a perfect herb plant to grow in some parts of Florida since this variety grows well especially in the USDA hardiness zones between 4 and 9.
Which one between both varieties of chamomile above is the better one to grow? It depends on your goal in growing chamomile. If you want to grow chamomile to make tea, you must learn how to grow chamomile, the German variety. But if your goal is to beautify a garden, roman variety is the best.
How to Grow Chamomile
How to grow chamomile successfully? You must prepare the soil, provide enough light, and give enough nutrients to your chamomile plants. And you better learn how to grow chamomile in several different ways and mediums so you will find the right method to grow chamomile for your conditions.
1. How to grow chamomile tea indoors
Growing German chamomile or chamomile tea indoors is preferred by many newly born gardeners since this is easier than planting chamomile in the garden ground. Besides, growing chamomile inside the house will ease you in taking harvesting the flower when you want to use it.
However, it is important to choose the best site to grow your chamomile tea. Here are some clues to help you find the right place to grow your chamomile tea.
- Chamomile is able to attract many beneficial insects such as hoverflies, bees, butterflies, and even parasitic wasps. It is important to know how to grow chamomile indoors but stay close to the vegetable or herb gardens.
- Your chamomile plants love to stay in cool places. During summer, your containers may get warmer. If you live in the tropics, find spots that are partially shaded. Consider moving the containers if the spot becomes too hot. If you live in the cooler climates, full sun exposure is okay.
- Avoid placing your container chamomile close to the brick wall or in any other location where the temperature can be hotter as the day gets brighter. If the temperature climbs up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you must move the pot to another cooler spot.
- Can chamomile grow in shade? Once again, it depends on the climate. Chamomile plants will appreciate the shade if the heat increases and will grow better indoors during the cold weather.
Find more details about how to grow chamomile in the pot or containers below, under the fourth method.
2. How to grow chamomile from seed
There are various ways to grow chamomile successfully. You can grow this herb plant from divisions, transplants, or seed. If you prefer growing chamomile from the seeds, start the seeds indoors between 6 and 8 weeks before your area’s last frost. Doing this will give you a growing season that is longer.
- Sow chamomile seeds in the trays or seed cells if you want to transplant the plants later. Or you can consider sowing the seed directly in the permanent container if you want to grow it indoors.
- Sprinkle chamomile seeds on the potting soil’s top. Then cover the seeds lightly with sand. But it is okay if you don’t want to cover them with sand.
- Chamomile seeds can germinate by the help of light so it is important not to plant the seeds too deep. Always keep the potting mix evenly moist. In 2 weeks the seedlings will emerge.
- Place the seedlings container or pot in the window so they’ get 6 hours of sunlight a day. If there’s no ideal window you must provide the artificial grow light.
- When the seedlings grow to 1 to 2 inches tall, you must thin them. Fill a cell with one seedling only. If you have a 12 inches sized container, it will be an ideal house for only one chamomile plant.
- Once your chamomile plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall, they’re ready to be transplanted. That’s how to grow chamomile lawninside before you transplant the plants to your garden.
Many people believe that they can grow German chamomile from the tea bag. If you’re also wondering about how to grow chamomilesuccessfully from a tea bag, the instructions below are for you.
3. How to grow chamomile from tea bag
There are tools and supplies you must prepare first before you go start growing chamomile from a tea bag. Make sure you prepare these first:
- Pointy objects such as a knife to make some draining holes in the container or pot you’ll use.
- A plastic bag that will be useful to create artificial greenhouse that helps the germination.
- Plastic containers like the yoghurt pot, vegetable container, or milk jug. How long your chamomile tea can grow depends on how big the containers you prepare.
- A chamomile tea bag.
Once everything above is ready on the table, you need to follow the steps below to plant this one of the best herbs to grow at home.
- Use your knife, stick, screw, nail, or any other thing you have prepared to complete your container with some draining holes. Those holes will remove the entire excess water and keep your chamomile plants healthy.
- Fill the container with potting soil. If the container is small, you can fill it with potting soil until it is full.
- Open the chamomile tea bag you have prepared then sow the chamomile seeds evenly over the potting soil. Burying the seeds is not necessary since they need the light to help the germination process. Water the soil.
- Get the see-through plastic bag and then use it to pack your container. Make sure there is enough air and oxygen inside the plastic bag before you seal the plastic bag using tape or twisted wire.
- Pace your potted chamomile in the sheltered place that gets a bunch of sunlight. Windowsill will be the best spot. Learn several types of plants for your window garden.
- Now you wait while watching the chamomile plant. Open the plastic bag once per few days in order to refresh the air inside the plastic bag. Water the soil to keep it moist if it looks dry. Your seeds will need 2 weeks to start germinating so you better be patient.
- When some little seedlings appear, you must remove the plastic bag because seedlings are delicate and can easily get burned if it is hot around them.
- Once your seedlings get bigger, transfer them into the pot or plant them outside in your garden ground.
The next way to grow chamomile is how to grow chamomile in the container from cuttings. Check out how to propagate chamomile cuttings below.
4. Growing chamomile in a pot
Before getting cuttings from the chamomile plants, you must water the plants deeply. Leave the soaked oil overnight and you can get chamomile cutting in the morning. These are the steps of how to grow chamomile you must follow:
- Find the 4 inches long stems of chamomile that have lots of leaves, thick and unblemished base, but no flowers at all.
- Cut the stem above ½ inch under the ground level. Wrap the cutting base using a paper towel that has been moistened. Find a shady spot to place it and keep the cutting base hydrated.
- Fill your pot with 1 part of perlite and 3 parts of potting soil. Add some water in order to settle the mixture. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes to let the soil drain.
- Next step of how to grow chamomile from cuttings is poking a 2 inches deep hole right in your potting soil’s center. Unwrap your cutting base and enter 2 inches of the cuttings into that hole you have made. Make sure the stem can stand upright.
- Water the soil once a week and check out any growth sign in 6 to 8 weeks. Then move your rooted cutting to a sunny and well-draining garden bed once the new growth starts emerging. Or you can let it grow in that pot. You can start learning how to Grow Herbs in Pots.
Below are some useful tips about how to grow chamomile herbs successfully for beginners.
Growing Chamomile Tips
Just like about how to grow lavender from seed, there are some things that will help you grow chamomile successfully. Here they are:
Another excellent tip about how to grow chamomile is providing regular water to keep chamomile blooms longer. Between the moderate watering, it is crucial to let chamomile plants dry out. But if you live in a really hot climate, provide more moisture to your chamomile plants.
Whether you’re going to grow small or big chamomile plants, it is important to provide full sun exposure to encourage the best growth of chamomile plants. But if the afternoon hours are too hot in your area, chamomile plants will appreciate the partial shade.
Next thing about how to grow chamomile successfully is using organic soil. Poorer mixtures can be tolerated but poor mixtures can cause floppier stems. Chamomile also doesn’t care about the soil’s pH level but you better provide neutral soil with the pH levels are between 5.6 and 7.5.
Companion & Pests
Once you’re done learning about how to grow chamomile, you need to practice and grow chamomile with some other plants. Chamomile will be a great companion plant for these plants:
Broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and turnips are all the favorite plants of harmful pests such as cabbage worms, cabbage moths, and cabbage butterflies. Growing chamomile herb close to those plants will protect them by providing a strong scent.
The scent of chamomile will also protect cucumbers. Chamomile’s scent can attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies and ladybugs. Those insects will eat the harmful pests such as aphids that love sucking the cucumber plants fluid.
The presence of chamomile will increase the essential oil amount that will be produced by basil. It is a good idea to grow chamomile along with basil in the herbs garden.
4. Fruit trees
Chamomile has the antifungal and antibacterial properties that will help apple trees as well as the other trees of fruits prevent the fungal infections.
Harvest & Storage
The final step in how to grow chamomile is harvesting the chamomile and storing them or using chamomile to make your favorite tea. Here is how you can harvest chamomile:
- Start harvesting the flowers of chamomile once the dew has completely evaporated in the morning and before the sun gets high.
- The best flowers to harvest are the ones that nearly open. Simply pinch the chamomile’s stalk under the head of the chamomile flower.
Completely easy, isn’t it? Now you can make chamomile tea directly from the fresh chamomile flowers or dry the flowers first so you can use them to make some chamomile tea when someone suddenly visits. About drying the chamomile flowers, there are different methods to use.
Using the food dehydrator is the easiest way but you can also use your oven on the drying setting, learn how to drying herbs in oven. Small fan inside the dark room can also be a great alternative to dry your chamomile flowers.