If you open up a small indoor herbal garden, add Chamomile as the first pick. You can grow Chamomile in a pot readily with manageable space!
Chamomiles will surely flourish and spread their fragrant flowers in wider planters. So, learn to grow Chamomile in a pot and follow the article for deeper insights about the plant.
Table of Contents Show
- The Types of Chamomile Plant
- Why Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
- When is the Best Time to Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
- How Long Does it Take to Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
- Requirements for Growing Chamomile in a Pot
- Ways to Grow Chamomile in a Pot
- Tips to Harvest, Dry, and Store Chamomile
- FAQs About Growing Chamomile in a Pot
- Wrapping Up…
The Types of Chamomile Plant
The two widely used and commercially sold Chamomile plants are the Roman Chamomile and the German Chamomile.
When you decide which of the two you should plant for yourself, you must consider a few of their differences.
The differences between Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile are below in the table.
|Features||Roman Chamomile||German Chamomile|
|Height||12 inches||24 inches|
|Lifespan||Perennial (i.e. regrows in spring)||Annual (i.e. grows only for one season)|
|Methods of Growing||Seeds, cuttings, root division||Seeds
|Blooming Seasons||Early Summer to Early Autumn||Early Summer|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||4-11|
(-30°F to 50°F)
(-20°F to 20°F)
The Roman Chamomile is known as “True Chamomile,” whereas the German one is called “False Chamomile,” even though the latter is preferred for tea and essential oils.
However, German Chamomile has a higher concentration of the oil “chamazulene.”
Essentially, it is the chemical compound that gives Chamomile its herbal superpowers.
Why Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
Chamomile plants can be quite unruly in the garden. They eventually self-seed, meaning more will pop up when you’re not looking.
Additionally, another reason you might want to grow your Chamomile in a pot is so that you have easier access to it for caring and harvesting.
Also, Chamomiles have shallow root systems which cannot thrust into the soil to deeper layers. So, growing them in sizeable pots is the best option.
Not only does a container-grown Chamomile plant add to the indoor aesthetics with its daisy-like flowers, but you can also check in on them conveniently for pests or signs of under and overwatering.
When is the Best Time to Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
You might want to start sowing your Chamomile seeds immediately, but we recommend waiting for the spring.
The best time to plant and sow the Chamomile seeds is in spring.
However, some months better suit the needs of the Chamomile and will increase the chances of your seeds germinating.
From March through June, the long hours of the day will give your Chamomile seeds the warmth they need to start growing.
How Long Does it Take to Grow Chamomile in a Pot?
Chamomiles are fast-growing plants. If you plant them in the right season, you will start seeing growth in a few days.
As for the flowers, they can start blooming as early as 1.5 months after germination if you plant them in the spring.
At the latest, you will get flowers 3 months after germination. So, with proper care, you will get flowers from July to September.
Requirements for Growing Chamomile in a Pot
Chamomiles might take well to soil initially, but specific conditions give them the best chance to thrive and produce an optimal amount of flowers.
However, the kind of pot and composition of the potting mix you use will determine the plant’s root health and the frequency with which you water it.
1. Finding the Right Pot
There are a few reasons you want to be mindful about the type of pot you use to grow your Chamomile.
First, if you are growing it for tea or cosmetic application, whatever material your pot is made of will seep into your product, and you will end up consuming it or applying it to your skin.
I love to use terracotta pots for my indoor plants. Since they’re made of baked soil, I don’t have to worry about toxins.
It is also easy to drill more drainage holes into them. Not only are they functional, but they also add a rustic aesthetic to the room.
Speaking of drainage holes, you want a pot with several of them at the bottom. This is because wet, soggy soil can cause root rot and kill your Chamomile.
If you move your Chamomile plant from indoors to outdoors frequently, you might opt for wooden planters since terracotta is easy to break. If not, go for the terracotta pots.
You can also refer to the video below to learn how to line your containers with moss.
2. Choosing the Right Location
Chamomiles like mild temperatures between 60 to 85°F.
In the winter, bring your Chamomile indoors as they cannot withstand extended periods of frost.
You can use frost blankets around your pot to keep it warm if your winters are harsh.
Sunny, south-facing windows are optimal indoor locations for Chamomile.
If it gets too hot in warmer climates and seasons, you want to bring your Chamomile to a shaded area since the soil can heat up quickly in a pot.
Chamomiles also attract pollinators, so you can place them next to your vegetable garden so they can reap the benefits!
These plants don’t have specific humidity requirements.
However, avoid placing them somewhere hot and damp most of the time because this can attract pests like powdery mildew.
3. Preparing the Potting Mix
Your Chamomile likes sandy loam soil with a pH of 5.6 to 7.5. But remember that it has to be well-draining soil.
So, you will want peat moss, coconut coir, and organic perlite for the mix.
The peat moss helps your soil hold nutrients, the coconut coir absorbs water and gives moisture to the roots, while the perlite promotes aeration and drainage.
4. Adding Fertilizer
The Chamomile plant doesn’t necessarily need additional fertilizer and will fare well.
You can top the soil with a half-inch thick organic compost layer.
Add fertilizers in moderate amounts since overfeeding your Chamomiles can reduce the number of flowers it gives you.
5. Watering Schedule
Chamomiles are generally drought-resistant and do not like to sit in soggy soil.
Water your seedlings every week. After it has grown, check for the soil to be dry, then water.
Do not drown your plant in water. Give it about an inch of water every time you water.
If you are using a terracotta planter, check your soil more frequently to see if it needs watering since the material makes it easy for moisture to evaporate.
Do you have a busy schedule and do not get enough time to water your African Violets? Check the 5 best self-watering pots and have a stress-free time.
Ways to Grow Chamomile in a Pot
Generally speaking, there are four ways in which you can start growing your Chamomile garden. Come with me as I cover them in more detail below.
1. Grow from Seeds
This one is pretty straightforward. You can get your seeds from online stores.
In this stage, you will want to water your pot regularly to promote growth from the seed. You will start seeing a change in about a week or two.
However, you can either sow the seeds directly in the planter you will use or germinate them in a separate container and transplant the seedlings later.
If you’re sowing directly into your planter, you want to space the individual seedlings by 12 inches.
Also, keep the pot indoors and in an area with plenty of sunlight if you’re planting before the last frost to get a head start.
2. Grow from Seedlings or Transplants
Most nurseries provide Chamomile seedlings if you don’t want to start with seeds.
To transfer these seedlings, you must make a hole in the soil for your seedling to fit in and fill it up after placing the seedling.
You will want to make a hole that is the same depth as the one in the previous pot so you can plant your seedling at the same level.
For ease and so you don’t make the roots too compact, make the hole wide enough for your seedling to slide in comfortably.
Water your soil after the transplant.
3. Grow by Root Division
Dig into the soil and separate the stems at the base for root division. Each branch should have some root growth on it.
Select the stems that don’t have flowers sprouting from them already. Your new plant can focus its energy solely on growing its roots.
Early spring is an excellent time to find stems without blossoms.
Then, transplant it into another pot. Water it frequently to encourage root growth.
Likewise, place the pot in an area that gets indirect sunlight until the roots grow out.
4. Grow by Water Propagation
You can also use water instead of soil to stimulate root growth in the stems that you have separated. I find that roots grow more quickly in water.
With this method, you might notice the water level going down from evaporation and your plant using it up.
Refill your container every once in a while, and switch out the water after the first week since the plant will have used up the oxygen in the water.
When you see enough root growth, transfer the plant into your planter.
Tips to Harvest, Dry, and Store Chamomile
Now that you have put your heart and soul into growing the tiny daisies, it’s time to harvest your rewards!
If only reaping what you sow were this delicious all the time.
1. Harvesting the Flowers
Harvesting Chamomile flowers is quick and easy.
All you have to do is spot the freshly bloomed flowers and deadhead them right below their base.
Do not pluck the rest of the stem since more flowers can still grow from them as you need to harvest the flower heads!
You can either use sterilized scissors or place the flower between your fingers and pull the flower to pop it right off.
Take care not to nip the buds or let your flower bloom for many days. Freshly bloomed ones are ideal for consumption.
2. Drying the Chamomile
After you are done with your harvest, spread out your flowers on a paper towel. Sort through any dying flowers and insects.
The objective is to dehydrate the flowers and let the bugs, if any, crawl away.
There are five ways in which you can dry your Chamomile flowers.
- You can place your tray of flowers in the sun for a few hours to dry them.
- Cover your flowers with a flimsy cloth to avoid being blown away.
- Too much sun can cause the color and flavor to fade, so spread your flowers and lay them in a single layer to dry them quickly.
- If you don’t want heat on your flowers, leave your tray in a dry and well-ventilated area with indirect sunlight.
- Make sure to spread them out in a single layer and not place them where it is damp.
- Your flowers should naturally dry in about a week.
Food Dehydrator Method
- Preheat the dehydrator to 95-115°F and pop your flowers in for about 4 hours.
- Check in frequently to see if the flowers are drying evenly.
- Dry the flowers at the lowest temperature.
- Too much heat can take away the flowers’ medicinal properties.
- Similar to the oven, go for the lowest temperature setting.
- Put it on a 30-second timer and check if the flowers are dry.
- If not, put the flowers back in for another 30 seconds.
Here’s a helpful video about drying Chamomile flowers.
3. Storing the Chamomile
Once the flowers are dehydrated, you can store them in glass jars or other air-tight containers.
They can last up to 6 months if you store them in a cool, dry place.
Avoid any dampness around the dried flowers since it can cause mold.
You can still use the flowers after 6 months, but they will have a less intense flavor.
Making Chamomile Tea
Follow the steps below to prepare yourself a hot cup of healthy Chamomile tea.
- Heat a cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Turn the heat off when your water starts bubbling, and add one teaspoon of dried Chamomile flowers.
- Also, add 2 teaspoons of fresh flowers per cup of water.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid, let the flowers soak for about a minute, and strain.
- Lastly, add honey to taste.
FAQs About Growing Chamomile in a Pot
Why does Chamomile grow in a deep pot?
Chamomiles have short root systems and cannot dig deep within the soil layers. A deep pot will only increase the chance of overwatering and root rot.
What not to plant with Chamomile in a pot?
Beets and Chards are some veggies that should be planted away from Chamomiles. Other plants to watch out for are potatoes, beans, peas, etc.
Use plastic wraps to seal the humidity and warmth for Chamomile seeds. You can start the seeds indoors about 3-4 weeks before the last frost date and get a first crack at germination!