Chamomile Growing Guide
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Chamomile Growing Guide

What is Chamomile?

German Chamomile is an annual that produces small, daisy-like flowers. Plants produce sweet, pineapple-like, aromatic blooms. Grown for medicinal use, chamomile is known to aid with digestion and boasts anti-inflammatory properties. It also makes for a great ground cover and can also be grown in raised beds or containers.

How to Start Growing Chamomile

Chamomile does best in a well-drained, sunny location. To start indoors, sow about a month before planning to transplant with a lightweight soil. When transplanting, be extra careful not to disturb the roots. In fact, it may be best to plant the entire pot with the seedlings. If starting outdoors, plant after the last spring frost in rows. Chamomile blooms best in a location with full sun, but it will grow in partial shade, too. In fact, in hot Southern climates, chamomile benefits from a bit of afternoon shade, which will help keep the blooms from drooping. Before planting chamomile, prepare your garden bed by adding compost or other organic material to the soil, especially if your soil is primarily clay or sand. Press firmly into the soil and water. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Expose seedlings to direct light.

Did You Know?

People that are allergic to ragweed will probably exhibit an allergy to chamomile. A reaction can be triggered after application of a cream containing chamomile or after consumption of tea.

Our Favorite Chamomile to Grow

Chamomile Plant Spacing

In-Ground Planting

Row Spacing - 18 inches

Plant Spacing - 6 to 8 inches

Planting Depth - 1/4 inch

Raised Bed Planting

Row Spacing - 18 inches

Plant Spacing - 6 to 8 inches

Planting Depth - 1/4 inch

Chamomile Soil, Irrigation, & Fertilizer

Soil Requirements to Grow Chamomile

  • Loose, well-draining soil
  • pH between 5.6 and 7.5
  • Rich in organic materials
  • Good quality compost added to the soil

Chamomile Irrigation Requirements

Chamomile plants need at least 1 inch of water per week. Using drip irrigation is always recommended to be sure that your plants are getting moisture directly to their root system. If you’re using conventional overhead watering techniques, try and use something like the Dramm Watering Can and water and fertilize at the base of the plant to keep moisture off the leaves.

Raised Bed Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 5.6 – 7.5, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

¼ cup Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

In-Ground Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 5.6 – 7.5, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

¼ cup Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

Chamomile Pest & Disease Protection

Insects

Organic Controls

Horticulture Oil
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Thrips

Bug Buster-O
Aphids, Flea Beetles, Whiteflies, Moths, Armyworms

Monterey BT
Caterpillars, Cabbage Loppers

Take Down Garden Spray
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Moths

Diatomaceous Earth
Cutworms, Ants, Slugs

Sluggo Plus
Slugs

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Common Diseases

Organic Controls

Complete Disease Control
Gray Mold, Leaf Spots, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Harvesting, Preserving, and Storing Chamomile

When & How To Harvest Chamomile

Chamomile flowers are best harvested around midday on a sunny day. This is when the flowers are most open and the essential oil content is at its highest. Simply harvest the flowers by cutting them off at the stem just below the flowerhead. Take care to hold the chamomile flowers as gently as possible – handle them as little as possible during harvesting and never wash them afterwards. Chamomile flowers are ready to harvest when they are at full bloom. Ideally, the blossoms are open to their fullest, just before the tiny white petals begin to droop down, as that is when their beneficial properties may not be at their fullest.

Storing & Keeping Chamomile

Dry the flowers of the German chamomile straight after harvesting in a dry, dark room. With these conditions, the drying time is about two weeks. If using an oven, it is recommended to use a low temperature − around 86°F. Drying out the chamomile at higher temperatures can degrade the medicinal substances of the chamomile. Dried correctly, the chamomile flowers can be stored in a glass airtight container for up to a year without losing effectiveness. You can also freeze chamomile to preserve it. This is quicker than drying, but frozen flowers are less suitable for making tea. Frozen, the flowers will keep for up to six months.

Come See Our Chamomile!

Chamomile Growing Tips & Tricks

Quick and Easy Grower

Chamomile grows easily—in fact, the annual version self-seeds so prolifically that in some areas, it may be considered a pest. If your bed or garden becomes overrun with chamomile, simply pull them out or snip the seedlings to ground-level. Keeping your plants in a raised bed will also limit spreading.

Support, Please

Chamomile can get top heavy especially in the warmer months when the blooms are at their peak. Deadhead often and consider using supports like a trellis or stakes.

Relaxing Tea

Chamomile makes an excellent nighttime tea. Use 1 tbsp. of dried chamomile flowers per 8 oz. cup of water. Place crushed chamomile flowers in a tea infuser, pour boiling water over the flowers, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the infuser, add ice, and enjoy!

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