Chamomile: How to Grow and How to Care

Growing Chamomile With Care and Harvesting Tips

There are two types of Chamomile most commonly used are wild or German chamomiles (Matricaria recutita) as well as Roman, English, or garden chamomiles (Chamaemelum mobile). Growing chamomiles is a great investment because they are rich in essential oils and antioxidants, which are relaxing and calming.

Chamomiles are often used in herbal infusions, and teas to treat hay fever, inflammation and muscle spasms, insomnia, and other gastrointestinal disorders. Chamomile plants are ornamental. They produce white, daisy-like flowers that have a yellow center throughout the summer and into autumn.

Chamomile Tea

Steps To Growing Chamomile

Cultivating Chamomile

Chamomile should be grown in warm, sunny areas for best results. German chamomile can be grown in partial shade and light shade, they can thrive in clay soils. Roman chamomile prefers fertile, well-drained soils.

Chamomile varieties

  • Chamaemelum Nobile – a perennial with dark green, aromatic leaves, and small, white flowers throughout the summer. It is a low-growing and non-flowering species that can grow up to 30cm (12in) in height. It is mostly used as ground cover or for creating a chamomile grass. You will need to purchase plants as it is not possible to grow from seeds.
  • Matricaria recutita – an annual that bears larger white flowers, can grow up to 90cm (3ft).

Growing Chamomile

Plant seeds in February and March using pots or trays with moist seed sowing soil at 18-20°C. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transfer them into pots measuring 7.5-10cm. Keep the seedlings cool for at least 10-14 days. After that, plant them out after the risk of frost with 15-30cm spacings.

Planting chamomile

Young plants can be purchased at nurseries, garden centres and mail order suppliers. You can plant perennial varieties at any time of the year, but it is best to plant them in autumn or spring.

You can add lots of organic matter to the area you are planting, such as compost or planting soil, especially if your soil is clay or sandy. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball.

Place the root ball into the hole. Adjust the depth of the planting hole so that the crown of the leaves is at soil level.

Add more organic matter to the soil excavated and fill the hole. Sprinkle a general granular fertilizer over the soil and water the plants well.

Suggested planting locations and garden types

  • Flower borders and beds
  • Patios
  • Containers
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal gardens
  • Wildflower gardens
  • Lawn

How to care for chamomile

You can prolong the life of your plants by watering them whenever you need to, such as in spring and summer. To encourage more blooms, apply a granular plant feed to the plants in spring. Or feed them with liquid food every few weeks during the growing season.

To encourage more blooms, deadhead faded flowers or harvest them before they become brittle.

After they have finished flowering, you can tidy up perennials and reduce their stems to the ground in autumn. Don’t worry, chamomile is usually free of pests.

Harvesting Chamomile

Chamomile tea is made with chamomile flowers. There is no harvest date because the flowers bloom all summer. Remember to only pick the flowers and not the stems.

Flowers can be dried before being used. Spread the flowers out in a warm, well-ventilated area to dry completely from direct sunlight, but indoors. After drying, the flowers can be stored in a sealed container for up to one year.

Tea should contain approximately 1 teaspoon of dried flowers and twice as much fresh chamomile. The taste of chamomile tea is bitter so add some honey to sweeten it. Before you take chamomile tea, consult your doctor.

Can You Make a Chamomile Lawn?

Chamaemelum nobile is also a good choice to make chamomile grass. Chamomile lawns do not thrive on clay soils. You should choose a sunny spot with light soil. Chamomile lawns can only withstand light foot traffic and become patchy if walked on too often.

Chamaemelum Nobile Treneague, which is compact, low-growing, and doesn’t flower, is the best option for Chamomile lawns.

Before planting, prepare the soil thoroughly. Add lots of organic matter such as compost to it. Depending on the size of the plants, space them at 10-20cm (4-8in).

For the first year, keep your feet off new chamomile grass for 12-13 weeks.

 

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