Growing Chamomile from Seed to Harvest Posted on 30 Jul 14:07 , 1 comment
Did you know that there are 2 types of Chamomile? The first is Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and the other is German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, we carry both and the growing conditions are almost the same.
German Chamomile is the most popular herb used in medicinal teas and tinctures.
Roman Chamomile is a perennial, while German Chamomile is an annual that easily re-seeds.
Roman Chamomile grows like a creeping ground cover while German Chamomile grows up about 1 to 2 feet tall.
Chamomile likes to grow in a semi-shady spot with well-drained soil.
Planting Chamomile Seeds
Chamomile can be started indoors or direct sown.
Sprinkle seeds lightly over moist soil and gently top with seed starter mix or coconut coir, no more than 1/4 inch deep. Keep soil moist and warm but not waterlogged. Seeds should germinate in 7-14 days.
Once established, Chamomile is a pretty hearty herb that makes a great companion plant. It can also be grown in containers so this is a great plant for just about any gardener.
From seed to harvest, Chamomile can be ready in as few as 8 to 9 weeks. Chamomile can easily re-seed so if you don't want it to spread, harvest often.
Companion Planting with Chamomile
Companion planting with herbs can increase vegetable yields, repel pests, and provide "trap crops" depending on your planting goal. We use companion planting in all of our gardens as our first line of defense.
Are you ready for this awesome list? Chamomile is a companion plant for garden vegetables like cabbage, onions, beans, cucumbers, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Flowers also benefit, such as Bee balm, Phlox, Roses, lilacs, zinnias, petunias, and snapdragons.
Beneficial insects and friendly pollinators are attracted to chamomile while helping to rid your garden of pests and improve pollination. Poor soil is no problem for chamomile, so plant it generously in, around, and near your garden.
Chamomile flowers are ripe when the petals curl back toward the center in late summer or early fall.
Allow flowers to fully dry on a drying rack or screen away from direct sunlight in a well ventilated area. Store fully dry flowers in a labelled container.
What pest would eat the small seedlings after they have just emerged out of the ground? I sowed the seeds in the ground -they all seemed to come up and looked beautiful—the next few days there were none.
So disappointed. Any ideas?