Daisy-like flowers of chamomile are not only attractive but are also popular to brew healthy tea too! Learn all about Growing Chamomile in Pots here!
Chamomile is loved for its sweet fragrance and attractive, daisy-like flowers. It’s an excellent choice for both herb and flower gardens. It does equally well in containers also. The tea prepared with this herb by infusing dried flowers in hot water is good for overall health. Not only it looks fabulous in a balcony or patio, but it also attracts bees, birds, and other pollinators. By going through this article, you will soon be Growing Chamomile in Pots easily!
Botanical Name: Matricaria recutita
Other Names: German chamomile, Roman chamomile, English chamomile
Check out our article on growing Lavender in pots here!
Types of Chamomile
There are three major types of chamomile available:
- Roman Chamomile: Native to western Europe, it has a cluster of thick green leaves and has several medicinal uses in treating gastrointestinal disorders and inflammation of the skin.
- German Chamomile: Native to Europe, Western Asia, and North America, its oil is used for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Egyptian chamomile: Native to Egypt, this is considered to be the best chamomile! It has a canary yellow color with a sweet, floral taste.
You can get chamomile seeds from a nursery or a garden center and sow them directly into the pots. The seeds take about a week or two to germinate. To get a head start, plant them 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date indoors or anytime outdoors after all dangers of frost are passed in spring.
Chamomile also grows from cuttings. For this, take 4-5 inches of cutting from a healthy plant and remove leaves from the lower half. Dip it in a rooting hormone and plant it in a pot. Keep the soil moist, and the cutting will develop roots in 5-6 weeks.
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Choosing a Pot
The first and foremost thing is for the pot to have drainage holes at the bottom. Choose a container that’s 10-12 inches in depth & diameter so that it can withhold the plant without any difficulty. You can go for any material!
Requirements for Growing Chamomile in Pots
Chamomile loves to reside in full sun but will also do fine in partial shade. When placing indoors, choose a south-facing window or any well-lit window. You can also place the container on your porch, rooftop, or balcony, where it receives ample sunlight.
The soil must be well-draining. Choose sandy-loamy soil as it drains well. Chamomile isn’t very needy when it comes to growing. It’ll even grow in poor soil, but it’s better to incorporate aged compost if the soil is deficient in nutrients.
Keep the soil slightly moist but never soggy. Letting the plant sit in water can cause root rot and untimely death. Make sure that the topsoil is dry to an inch before watering again when growing chamomile indoors.
Chamomile isn’t a heavy feeder. The plant has a little need for fertilization and using a phosphorous rich soluble fertilizer, diluted to half its strength, at the time of planting is sufficient.
Pests and Diseases
The good news is that apart from a few common pest problems, it’s resistant to both pests and diseases! Still, be on a lookout for aphids and mealybugs, and if you do find them, a strong stream of water is sufficient to get rid of them or use an insecticidal soap. Neem oil solution is also good.
- As the plant continues to flower in summers, you can harvest it daily during that time.
- It’s a good idea to harvest the flowers early in the morning before the sun is high and the dew has evaporated.
- Cut the flowers, just below the head, by pinching the stalk. Keep a basket in handy to collect them!
Drying and Storing
Keep your harvest in a dark room. Spread the flowers on a flat surface and allow them to dry. You can also use a dehydrator or a small fan to speed up the process.
Once the flowers are dry, keep them in an airtight, glass jar. Do remember to keep the jar out of direct heat and light.
How to Make Chamomile Tea?
Making chamomile tea is easy and fun!
- Take one cup of water and add 2-3 teaspoons full of dried chamomile. If you’re using fresh flowers, add 4-5 teaspoons full.
- Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, and your tea will be ready!
- You can also steep it overnight and consume it the next morning for additional benefits.