How to Grow and Harvest Chamomile: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you’re an avid tea drinker, you’ve probably encountered chamomile tea in your local café or grocery store. It’s a popular herbal tea that comes from chamomile flowers, known for their calming and soothing properties. But why spend a lot of money buying tea bags when you can learn how to grow and harvest chamomile in your own backyard?

Chamomile is a lovely plant that belongs to the daisy family, and it’s super easy to grow. This herb can be used for medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary purposes, making it a versatile addition to any garden. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of chamomile growth, how to harvest it properly, and some useful tips for maximizing your yields.

Detailed Discussion on Grow Harvest Chamomile

Choosing The Right Type of Chamomile

Chamomile is divided into two main types: Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). These two plants have different growth habits, with Roman chamomile being a low-growing perennial, and German chamomile being a taller annual.

German chamomile is the more popular type, as it produces more flowers than Roman chamomile. If you’re looking to grow chamomile for tea, German chamomile is your best bet. Alternatively, Roman chamomile can be grown as a ground cover or in rock gardens.

Planting Chamomile Seeds

Chamomile seeds can be sown directly into the ground, or indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Chamomile thrives in well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. Amend your soil with compost or aged manure before planting.

When planting chamomile seeds, sprinkle them on top of the soil and then lightly cover them with a thin layer of soil. Chamomile needs light to germinate, so avoid planting too deeply. Water the soil regularly, being careful not to overwater, as chamomile doesn’t like wet feet.

Caring for Chamomile Plants

Chamomile plants need full sun to part shade and regular watering. To encourage more flower production, you can fertilize your plants once a month with an organic fertilizer.

Chamomile grows quickly and can start flowering in as little as 6-8 weeks from seed. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to keep the plant looking tidy and to encourage more flowers.

Harvesting Chamomile

To harvest chamomile flowers, wait until they’re fully open and pick them in the morning, after the dew has dried. Clip the flower heads, leaving about an inch of stem attached.

You can also harvest chamomile by handpicking the flowers. This method is time-consuming but allows you to leave the stems intact and promotes the growth of new flowers.

Drying Chamomile

Once you’ve harvested your chamomile, you can dry it to use for tea or other purposes. Spread the flowers in a single layer on a screen or cloth, and leave them to dry in a cool, dry, and airy place for 3-5 days until they’re crispy to the touch. Store your dried chamomile in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture.

Concluding Thoughts on Grow Harvest Chamomile

In conclusion, growing and harvesting chamomile is a simple and rewarding process. Once you’ve planted your chamomile seeds, you’ll be enjoying fresh tea made from your herbs in no time. Be sure to properly care for your chamomile plants, as they can be temperamental if overwatered or under fertilized.

With some patience and care, you’ll soon have an abundance of chamomile flowers to harvest and use in tea, bath products, or as a natural insect repellent.

FAQs about Grow Harvest Chamomile

How long does it take for chamomile to grow?

Chamomile seeds can germinate in as little as 7-14 days and can start flowering in 6-8 weeks.

How often should I water my chamomile plants?

Chamomile needs regular watering, especially during dry periods, but avoid overwatering, as this can cause root rot. Water your chamomile plants deeply once a week, or more frequently if the soil is dry.

Can chamomile be grown indoors?

Chamomile can be grown indoors, but it requires a lot of light, so it’s best grown near a south-facing window, or under grow lights.

Is chamomile easy to grow?

Yes, chamomile is easy to grow, making it a perfect choice for beginner gardeners. It doesn’t require special soil or fertilizer and can be grown in an indoor container or outdoors in a garden bed.


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