How to Grow Chamomile from Seeds : Plant Care & Harvest Tips

Posted by

Key Takeaways

  • Choose quality German chamomile seeds and plant in well-draining soil with a pH of 5.6 to 7.5.
  • Start seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost or sow directly in the ground in spring.
  • Water regularly and provide full sun to part shade for optimal growth.
  • Harvest chamomile flowers when they are fully open, then dry and store for later use.
  • Chamomile can self-sow and become a low-maintenance addition to your garden if allowed to spread naturally.


Imagine a garden where the air is tinged with a sweet, apple-like fragrance and the sight of dainty white flowers with golden centers greets you every morning. This can be your reality by growing chamomile from seeds. Chamomile is not just a beautiful addition to your garden; it’s a versatile herb that can be used in teas, as a companion plant, and for its soothing medicinal properties.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through each step of the process, from selecting the right seeds to harvesting your own chamomile blossoms. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, you’ll find that growing chamomile is a rewarding experience that brings beauty and utility to your green space.

Let’s embark on this journey together and transform your garden into a sanctuary of calm and tranquility.

Benefit Description
1. Promotes Relaxation Chamomile contains compounds that promote relaxation, reducing anxiety and stress levels.
2. Improves Sleep Quality Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can help improve sleep quality and alleviate insomnia.
3. Soothes Digestive Issues Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe digestive issues like indigestion and bloating.
4. Supports Skin Health Chamomile’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds promote skin healing and soothe irritation.
5. Boosts Immune Function Rich in antioxidants, chamomile strengthens the immune system and protects against oxidative stress.

Definition and brief overview of chamomile

Chamomile, known scientifically as Matricaria recutita for the German variety, is an annual herb that’s cherished for its aromatic, daisy-like flowers. It has been used for centuries, both for its delightful presence in gardens and its numerous health benefits when infused into a tea. The plant is relatively easy to grow from seeds and can thrive in a variety of conditions.

Importance of growing chamomile from seeds

Starting chamomile from seeds is not only cost-effective but also allows you to witness the full life cycle of this marvelous plant. Growing from seeds can be more rewarding than buying pre-grown plants, as it gives you greater control over the growing conditions and the satisfaction of nurturing your chamomile from the very beginning.

Understanding Chamomile Seeds

Characteristics of chamomile seeds

Chamomile seeds are tiny, with a dark brown color and a hard exterior. They require light to germinate, which means you should not bury them deep in the soil. Instead, sprinkle them on top of the soil and gently press them down. With the right conditions, you’ll see sprouts in as little as 7 to 14 days.

Different varieties of chamomile seeds

There are two main varieties of chamomile: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). German chamomile is an annual that’s typically grown from seeds, while Roman chamomile is a perennial that can be propagated through division or cuttings. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll focus on growing German chamomile from seeds.

Purchasing high-quality seeds

To ensure the best start for your chamomile, select high-quality seeds from a reputable supplier. Opt for organic, non-GMO seeds whenever possible. This choice not only supports sustainable practices but also leads to healthier plants and a more vibrant garden.

Preparing for Planting

Selecting an appropriate location

Chamomile thrives in full sun to part shade. Choose a spot in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. If you’re limited on space or just want to start small, chamomile also grows well in containers on a sunny windowsill or balcony.

Soil requirements for chamomile

The ideal soil for chamomile is well-draining with a neutral to slightly acidic pH, between 5.6 and 7.5. Before planting, work in some organic matter like compost to enrich the soil and improve its structure. If you’re working with heavy clay soil, consider raising your beds or using containers to provide better drainage.

When you’re getting your hands in the dirt, remember that soil preparation is key. Chamomile isn’t too fussy, but it does appreciate the effort you put into creating a comfortable home for it to grow.

Tools and materials needed

For planting chamomile, you’ll need the following:

  • Chamomile seeds
  • Well-draining soil or seed-starting mix
  • Containers or a designated garden spot
  • Watering can or hose with a gentle spray setting
  • Organic compost or fertilizer
  • Labels or markers to identify your chamomile plants

With these tools and materials at the ready, you’re all set to start your chamomile journey. Remember, the magic is in the details, so gather your supplies and prepare to be amazed by the wonders of nature.

Planting Chamomile Seeds

Best time for planting

The best time to plant chamomile seeds is after the danger of frost has passed in the spring. If you’re eager to get a head start, you can begin sowing seeds indoors about 3 to 4 weeks before the last expected frost. By starting indoors, you give your chamomile a protective environment to sprout and strengthen before facing the elements outside.

Proper seed preparation techniques

Chamomile seeds need light to germinate, so there’s no need to cover them with soil. Instead, simply scatter the seeds on top of the soil and press them lightly to ensure they make good contact. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Consistent moisture is crucial at this stage to encourage germination.

Sowing seeds in containers or directly in the ground

You have the option to start chamomile seeds in containers or sow them directly where they will grow. If using containers, fill them with a well-draining seed starting mix and follow the same seed preparation techniques. For direct sowing, choose a sunny spot and prepare the soil by loosening it and adding compost. Remember to space the seeds out to give each plant enough room to grow.

Caring for Chamomile Seedlings

Watering requirements

Once your chamomile seeds have sprouted, the seedlings will need to be watered regularly. Aim for a consistent watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s better to err on the side of too dry than too wet. A gentle spray is best to avoid disturbing the delicate seedlings.

As your chamomile grows, you’ll notice it’s quite resilient. Even so, paying attention to its watering needs will ensure your plants remain healthy and strong.

Providing adequate sunlight

Chamomile loves the sun, so make sure your seedlings are getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you started your seeds indoors, gradually acclimate them to the outdoors by setting them outside for a few hours each day, increasing the time over the course of a week. This process, known as hardening off, prepares the plants for the transition to the garden.

Fertilizing young plants

Chamomile isn’t a heavy feeder, but a little bit of compost or a balanced organic fertilizer can give your plants a boost. If you’ve enriched the soil at planting time, additional feeding may not be necessary. If you do choose to fertilize, do so sparingly to avoid encouraging too much foliage at the expense of flowers.

Managing Chamomile Growth

Thinning seedlings

As the chamomile seedlings grow, you may need to thin them out. This simply means removing some plants to allow the others enough space to reach their full potential. Aim for spacing your chamomile plants about 6 to 8 inches apart. The thinned seedlings can be transplanted elsewhere in your garden or shared with fellow gardening enthusiasts.

Controlling pests and diseases

Chamomile is relatively pest and disease resistant, but it’s still important to keep an eye out for common issues like aphids or powdery mildew. If pests are spotted, a gentle spray of water or insecticidal soap can help manage the problem. For diseases, ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to keep the foliage dry.

Mulching and weeding techniques

Mulching around your chamomile plants will help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and add nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Use organic mulch like straw or chopped leaves, and keep it a few inches away from the base of the plants to prevent rot. Regular weeding will also help your chamomile by removing competition for nutrients and water. For more detailed guidance, consider reading about planting chamomile seeds to ensure the best care for your herbs.

Harvesting Chamomile

Recognizing when chamomile is ready for harvest

The perfect time to harvest chamomile flowers is when they’re fully open, just before the petals begin to fall back. The flowers will have the most intense aroma and highest concentration of beneficial oils at this stage. Harvesting in the morning after the dew has evaporated will give you the best quality blooms.

Harvesting techniques for flowers

To harvest chamomile flowers, simply pinch them off at the flower base or use scissors to snip them. Be gentle to avoid damaging the plant. Regular harvesting encourages more blooms, so don’t be shy about picking flowers for your tea or drying them for later use.

Here’s a tip: when you’re harvesting, it’s also a good time to give your plants a quick check-up. Look for any signs of stress or pests and address them promptly to keep your chamomile thriving.

Drying and storing chamomile flowers and seeds

After harvesting, you can use chamomile flowers fresh or dry them for long-term storage. To dry chamomile, spread the flowers out in a single layer on a clean, dry surface and allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight. Once dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you’d like to save seeds for next year, let some flowers go to seed and collect the seeds once the flower heads are dry and brown.

Practical Tips and Troubleshooting

Growing chamomile from seeds is quite straightforward, but here are a few additional tips to ensure your success:

  • Be patient with germination. Chamomile seeds can take up to two weeks to sprout, so don’t worry if you don’t see immediate results.
  • Keep your seedlings protected from strong winds and heavy rains, especially when they’re young and fragile.
  • If you notice your chamomile plants aren’t flowering, they may need more sun. Consider moving them to a sunnier spot if possible.

And remember, the most important ingredient in gardening is not water or sunlight; it’s your care and attention. With these, you’ll be able to overcome most challenges that come your way.

Lastly, if you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to gardening communities or forums. The gardening world is full of friendly people who love to share their knowledge and experiences. After all, we’re all in this together, nurturing our love for the earth and its bounty.

Tips for successful chamomile cultivation

For those of you with a newfound interest in growing chamomile from seeds, here are some nuggets of wisdom to guide you on your way. First, always start with quality seeds; this can’t be stressed enough. Then, ensure your soil is loose, fertile, and well-draining. Chamomile is forgiving but does best with a little TLC in the soil department. Next, be mindful of spacing when you plant your seeds. Chamomile needs room to flourish. Water consistently but don’t overdo it – chamomile doesn’t like wet feet. And most importantly, harvest regularly to encourage more blooms. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a thriving chamomile patch in no time.

Common problems and solutions

While chamomile is relatively low-maintenance, like all plants, it can encounter issues. If your chamomile isn’t blooming, it may need more sun or a bit of fertilizer to boost its energy. Yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering or poor drainage, so adjust your watering schedule and ensure your soil isn’t too compact. For pests like aphids, a strong stream of water or insecticidal soap can help. And if you see powdery mildew, improve air circulation around your plants and avoid wetting the leaves when you water.

Remember, observation is key. Keep an eye on your chamomile, and at the first sign of trouble, take action. With these proactive steps, you’ll keep your plants healthy and productive.

Maintaining long-term chamomile growth

Chamomile, if left to its own devices, will happily self-sow and return year after year. To encourage this, allow some of your chamomile flowers to go to seed at the end of the season. These seeds will drop and, come next spring, you’ll find new chamomile seedlings sprouting. If you prefer a more orderly garden, collect the seeds by hand and store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant them next season.

Dividing your chamomile plants every couple of years will also keep them vigorous. This involves gently lifting the plant, separating it into smaller sections, and replanting. This not only rejuvenates the plant but also gives you more plants to spread around your garden or share with friends.


As we wrap up this guide on growing chamomile from seeds, remember that the journey is just as rewarding as the destination. With each step, from planting to harvest, you’re not just growing a plant; you’re cultivating patience, nurturing tranquility, and harvesting peace. Chamomile’s gentle nature and the simplicity of its needs make it an ideal plant for gardeners of all levels. So, take these tips, plant those seeds, and watch as your garden – and your passion for gardening – blossoms.


In summary, growing chamomile from seeds is a simple and fulfilling process. It requires patience and dedication, but the rewards are plentiful. With the right care, your chamomile will thrive, providing you with a bounty of flowers for teas, remedies, or simply to enjoy in the garden. So, don’t hesitate – start your chamomile journey today and discover the joys of this delightful herb.

Remember, “Chamomile is the star of the herb garden, turning sunlight into a constellation of earthbound stars that soothe and heal.” – A Gardener’s Musings


How long does it take for chamomile seeds to germinate?

Chamomile seeds typically germinate within 7 to 14 days when given the right conditions, which include a well-draining soil mix and plenty of sunlight. Keep the soil moist during this period to encourage sprouting.

Can chamomile be grown in pots?

Absolutely! Chamomile grows well in containers as long as they have adequate drainage. Just make sure to place your pots in a sunny spot and water them as needed. It’s a great option for those with limited garden space.

How often should chamomile be watered?

Chamomile should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. The frequency will depend on your climate and the weather, but a general rule is to water deeply once a week, adjusting as necessary during hot or dry periods.

What are the common pests that affect chamomile plants?

The most common pests you might encounter with chamomile are aphids and mealybugs. Both can be managed with a strong jet of water to knock them off the plants or by using insecticidal soap as a treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *