Chamomile’s daisy-like flowers are a beautiful and practical addition to your garden. Roman and German chamomile are two common types of this popular herb. Learn differences between the two types and how to grow chamomile with these 5 tips.
5 Tips for How to Grow Chamomile
1. Understand the differences between German and Roman Chamomile
German and Roman chamomile have many similarities but also a few key differences:
- Also called English or Russian chamomile
- Low-growing mounding perennial (1′ tall)
- Often used as a ground cover
- Spreads by rooting stems
- Foliage is fine and feathery
- Single flower on each stem
- Fewer blossoms than German chamomile
- Tolerates light foot traffic
- Click here for organic Roman chamomile seeds.
2. Plant chamomile correctly and at the right time.
- German chamomile does best started from transplants. Plant German chamomile after last spring frost date.
- Roman chamomile does best started from transplants. Plant Roman chamomile when soil temperatures reach 45°F.
- Space both types of plants 8 inches – 12 inches apart.
- If growing from seed, scatter chamomile seeds and lightly cover them with dirt. Keep soil moist until the seeds sprout. Thin to groups of 2 or 3 plants about 8 inches apart.
- In the low desert of Arizona, plant chamomile seeds and transplants beginning in December through April.
- Chamomile grows in full sun, but needs partial shade while roots are getting established.
3. Care for chamomile correctly
- Chamomile needs regular water; do not let the plant dry out.
- Keep flowers cut back to encourage leaf production.
- Does not require supplemental feeding.
- Chamomile grows well with most other herbs and vegetables.
- Chamomile reseeds easily.
4. Harvest chamomile often
- Harvest flowers for tea when the white petals begin to curl. Remove petals before drying to prevent damaging yellow centers.
- Harvest by snipping with pruning snips. (I link to my absolute favorite ones).
- Harvest in the morning so flowers have the highest moisture content.
- Dry flower heads by placing them in a single layer in a cool, dry place for several days.
5. Use chamomile in many different ways
Chamomile is best known for making a calming tea. Other uses for chamomile include:
- Natural hair lightener
- Rinse for sore or swollen gums
- Chill used tea bags to help relieve puffy eyes
- Relief for upset stomach