My chamomile plants sit in my backyard herb and flower garden nestled next to my patio where I have my swing and rocking chairs.The tall plant adds height next to the sprawling mint that I can’t seem to contain no matter how hard I try, and the delicate flowers smell so wonderful when we brush against them.Did you know people in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome valued it for its medicinal properties?Historically, this multi-purpose herb was used to treat a variety of ailments, from hay fever to menstrual disorders.Speaking of, do you enjoy a cup of hot chamomile tea before you head to bed?Roman chamomile spreads via rhizome and can take over an area if you aren’t careful.If you plant Roman chamomile, be sure to select a permanent spot or consider growing it in a container.It’s low-growing, so it makes a charming ground cover or pot filler around taller flowers.Treneague is a non-flowering variety that forms an evergreen mat in areas with mild winters.German chamomile is an annual plant that grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4-9.Bodegold is a German variety that has large flowers and a high level of essential oils.Chamomile seeds should be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in springtime.Give seedlings ample sunlight or keep them under a grow light for several hours each day.A good choice is a complete indoor houseplant food at half strength.If you planted your seeds in small cells, transplant them into 4-inch pots once the seedlings have 2 true leaves.Plant to direct sow chamomile seeds in late spring or early summer to avoid frost.Seeds need plenty of water to germinate, so mist the area daily.Loosen up the root ball, place the plant into the hole and fill in with dirt.It will fill in the air pockets around the plant and help the roots come in good contact with the soil.Growing chamomile needs full sun or part shade if you live in a hot area.If you have poor soil quality, German chamomile can live in tougher conditions.To increase your soil quality, mix organic compost throughout the planting zone.For earth that drains well but needs a nutrient boost, add a slow-release fertilizer into the soil before planting.If you need to adjust the pH level, use limestone or wood ash to make the soil less acidic.Planting once the threat of frost passes ensures the proper soil temperature.Chamomile grows well in pots, making it a great choice for your patio garden.A succulent mix or regular potting soil with perlite or coco coir is ideal.If the temperatures exceed 90℉, move the plant to a shady, cooler location.I’ve let my chamomile plants go and found they lived without any intervention, but of course, they do much better with attention and the right care.Try aged bark or shredded leaves which will break down and add nutrients to the soil.Plan to keep your plant water regularly, especially during hot and dry spells.If you’re growing Roman chamomile as a perennial, use a phosphorus-rich soluble fertilizer in the springtime.For perennial chamomile, gardeners need to prune the entire plant back to prepare it for winter.Removing a cutting from chamomile isn’t as easy as other plants because you need to take some of the earth with you.Store in a cold frame, next to a window, or a shady spot in your greenhouse.Aphids are green, red, or black sucking insects that feed on the underside of the leaves.If you find flat, wingless insects that have a white, waxy shell on the plant, you might have mealybugs.These pests love to drink the juices from the leaves and stems of plants, leading to weak growth.To treat mealybugs, wash the chamomile plant and try to remove the insects.If you find tiny, spider-like pests the size of a grain of pepper, you might have a spider mite infestation.The best way to control spider mites is with a neem oil spray every other day.Scale weakens plants, causing them to be more vulnerable to other pests and diseases.Try to scrape them off with your finger or use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to remove them.Botrytis blight turns the plant a fuzzy grey, and it sends a cloud of spores when touched.Powdery mildew can weaken your plants because it stops their ability to create carbohydrates from sunlight.Make sure you get rid of the infected plants to help increase air circulation.This disease is called damping off and its caused by a fungus that grows in areas that have abundant moisture and warmer air temperatures.Rabbits are adorable, but they are also ferocious eaters and will devour your chamomile plants.Chamomile has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it’s helpful to place near plants that have mildew, fungus, or mold issues.In fact, you can spray plants with chamomile tea to help ward off these diseases.For vegetable gardens, chamomile helps to improve the growth and flavor of certain plants.When it’s time to harvest, the petals go flat or start to fall back from the center.If you harvest your plants daily, chamomile will continue to bloom throughout the summer.If you harvest the blossoms without stems, you can layer the flowers on a plate or baking sheet.Chamomile is a wildflower, so they tend to be a hardy flower that grows in many conditions and situations.The antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a fantastic plant to grow throughout your entire garden.When growing chamomile, remember that the herb loves full sun and well-draining soil. .

How to Thin Out Crowded Seedlings

Here's and easier way: When the first true leaves appear, snip off the extra seedlings at the soil line.When handling the seedlings, grasp them by their leaves or roots; avoid holding the stems, which can be damaged easily. .

Learn About Chamomile

The seedling emerges and appears healthy; then it suddenly wilts and dies for no obvious reason.Burpee Recommends: You can remove infected plant areas, increase air circulation, and try to reduce the humidity in the room.Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves.Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps who feed on aphids.Burpee Recommends: If the roots are circling around in the pot (rootbound), clip them and repot the plant.Mealybugs: Flat wingless insects with a white waxy shell that form cottony looking masses on stems, branches and leaves.Scale: Insects similar to mealybugs, they feature a waxy outer shell and suck the juices from plant stems and leaves.Burpee Recommends: If they are in the crawler stage (moving insects) they may be controlled with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, or you may be able to scrape them off with your fingernail.They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. .

How To Thin Seedlings {Herb Garden Series}

We also definitely have some chamomile and catnip seedlings that have been growing for a week, and this weekend we saw the first leaves pop up above the soil in the third tray as well!But (explanation below) I managed to mix up all the labels when I planted, so I am not sure if it’s the rosemary or the spearmint that sprouted 🙁 Time will tell!You plant a bunch of seeds, nurture them with care, water, love, and maybe a few encouraging stories (“The Little Engine That Could”, or “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”).By thinning your seedlings you give your plants the proper space and nutrients they need to grow larger and faster.But you also don’t want to wait until you can see visible signs that some in a pot or clump are struggling to grow.Most people are tempted to pull the extra seedlings up out of the ground, like you would with a weed, but DON’T!Instead, take a pair of kitchen scissors or garden shears and cut the seedling’s stem right at the soil level.She pointed out in the comments below (very nicely, I might add) that perhaps the dill and basil labels were switched in my original photograph 🙂 And of course, she was right!I don’t have any experience with dill, but I know what basil looks like and I kept thinking to myself “I wonder when these leaves are going to broaden and thicken up a bit…” Well, turns out they aren’t going to.*facepalm* And, to make it even worse I actually think I switched every single label for all six of our plants! .

How to Grow Chamomile in Containers

Or maybe you don’t have the space to dedicate to an in-ground plot for your favorite herbs, but you long for the fresh taste of homegrown chamomile tea.You can still enjoy those pretty little white flowers, even if you only have a tiny spot in the corner of your apartment balcony.When it’s located close to your kitchen, as part of your patio or deck decor, it’s that much easier to bring in a harvest when you need it.Bringing the color and scent closer to home, immediately outside your office window, for example, means you can more readily enjoy the flowers as they bloom.And when garden space is at a premium, it’s often much easier to find a new place to plop a pot than it is to eke out a few more square feet of raised bed or in-ground row.A few years after you put your first chamomile plant in the ground, you may find volunteers popping up in places where you didn’t want or expect them.I’ve reused paint cans, an old chicken feeder, an antique sink, and drawers from a dresser that had broken.Whatever you use, make sure it’s sturdy enough to not get knocked over easily, and that it doesn’t contain any potentially harmful chemicals if you plan to consume your harvest.Keep in mind that if you use something like cement or terra cotta and you plan to move the container in and out of doors, it may crack due to the changes in temperature.It’s tempting to look at those pretty pictures on Pinterest that show compact, overflowing herb containers, but many of those plants don’t have enough space to spread and grow.If you plan to grow it with a companion plant like basil, select a container that is at least 18 inches wide.Chamomile attracts all kinds of beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and parasitic wasps, so you might consider keeping your containers near your herb or veggie garden, or other potted edible plants that require pollination.It also likes to stay cool, and containers tend to get warmer during hot weather than plants growing in the ground.Put your pots in an area where they will be partially shaded during the heat of the day if you live in a warm climate, or plan to move them as needed.If temperatures in your area climb above 100°F, move your container to a shadier, cooler spot during the hottest days.Select a good quality potting soil mix that contains peat moss, vermiculite, or coconut coir, which helps to retain water and improve drainage.Below you’ll find a brief synopsis of these methods, with additional details catered specifically to container growing.You can start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost to give yourself a longer growing season.This is especially useful if you live in an area with sweltering summers, since chamomile stops growing when temperatures approach 100°F.To do this, place the container in a sheltered, sunny location for a few hours per day, gradually increasing over the course of a week.Fertilize by watering with fish emulsion once a month at half the manufacturer’s recommended amount, after the plants have reached their mature height.While chamomile can happily survive without fertilizer when it’s growing in the garden, it needs a little extra love in a container, since it doesn’t have as much access to nutrition.To harvest chamomile, pluck the flowers at the base with your fingers or a pair of scissors, and leave the stems behind.But I find just leaving them on a baking sheet with plenty of space between each, in an area with good ventilation, will get the job done in a matter of days.I like to use some chopped leaves in salads, and my guests always rave when I top soup or fish with some whole fresh flowers. .

Chamomile Plant, Tea, and Oils: Health Benefits and Uses

Chamomile has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs.One product with chamomile and other herbal medicines has been shown to ease upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. .

Chamomile Plant Growing

Easy to grow, harvest, and use, chamomile looks lovely planted among veggies in the garden, tucked into raised beds filled with herbs, or added to a pretty container on your patio or balcony.In fact, ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans sang the praises of chamomile, using it as an herbal remedy for ailments ranging from inflammation to insomnia.Most popularly, though, dried, crushed chamomile flowers and leaves have, for many years, been used to brew tea that aids sleep, relieves anxiety, and calms stomach upsets.Mix a continuous-release fertilizer into the soil at planting time and replenish as directed during the growing season.Harvest flowers with pruning sheets after blooming, when petals begin bending backwards.Chamomile, as you might guess from its pretty white flowers with yellow centers, is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae).That means our plants don't have to travel far to reach your local retail location, so they experience less transport stress.).In fact, in hot Southern climates, chamomile benefits from a bit of afternoon shade, which will help keep the blooms from drooping.To give your chamomile a great start, add aged compost-enriched Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All-Purpose In-Ground Soil to your garden bed.Chamomile's shallow roots benefit from a layer of mulch around the plant's base to help prevent weeds and retain soil moisture.Because chamomile stems, which grow about 2 feet high, can get floppy in poor, nutrient-deprived soil, make sure to feed your plant regularly.For a convenient way to feed container-grown chamomile, use a water-soluble fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition every week or two throughout the growing season.Or, if you have space, plant your chamomile in a sunny area and let it spread—your friends and neighbors will be happy to share in your bounty!Chamomile can get a little top heavy as the season goes on, so a support—like a peony ring or bamboo stakes with twine—can help keep it upright and looking lovely.If aphids become a problem, spray them off the plant with water or treat it with insecticidal soap if there's a serious infestation.To extend your harvest time in fall, a hoop house or row cover should give your plants some protection from early cold spells.Harvest flowers after they fully open, when the petals begin arching backwards toward the underside of the bloom.Place the flowers and leaves on a screen or parchment paper in a cool space out of direct sun, allowing them to dry thoroughly, which usually takes about two weeks.While chamomile is most famous for its use in tea to help ease stress, relieve stomach upset, and to boost the immune system, it's also an excellent addition to baths.Add a cup of fresh or dried flowers for a soothing, aromatic soak that can help relieve itchy and inflamed skin conditions like eczema, sunburns, and rashes. .


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