How to Grow Chamomile in a Pot?

Chamomile in a Pot
Chamomile in a Pot (Source: Unsplash)

The Chamomile plant, which can be grown well in a pot, is one of the best plants you can invest in for your health.

This little herb can curb insomnia, treat menstrual cramps, reduce stress and anxiety, and its oils even have cosmetic properties.

However, growing them at home might be tricky.

These incredible plants might give you cute little daisies, but they can quickly get unruly in the garden. Or, you just might not have an outdoor space to plant your miracle plant.

Generally, Chamomiles can be grown well in a pot with the correct measurements, the right location with at least 4 hours of sunlight, ideal humidity, and the right type of fertilizer.

Chamomile Plant in Bloom (Source: Pexels)
Chamomile Plant in Bloom (Source: Pexels)

Growing a Chamomile plant can get tricky at first, but once you dive into the article, your Chamomile plant is sure to thrive so that you can get a year-round supply of calming herbal tea.

So stick around as we go through all these tips and tricks to grow your Chamomile in a pot.

The Types of Chamomile Plant

The two widely used and commercially sold Chamomile plants are the Roman Chamomile and the German Chamomile.

Other plants like the Moroccan Chamomile, the Cape Chamomile, and the Pineappleweed are also considered Chamomiles but don’t compete with those two.

When you decide between which of the two you should plant for yourself, you must consider a few of their differences.

Both the Roman and the German Chamomiles have medicinal and calming properties, and they have a sweet smell like apples. However, they differ in how they grow.

The differences between Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile are below in the table.

AttributesRoman ChamomileGerman Chamomile
Height 12 inches24 inches
LifespanPerennial (i.e. regrow in spring) Annual (i.e. grow only for one season)
How to Grow Seeds, cuttings, root divisionSeeds
Blooming SeasonEarly Summer to the onset of Autumn Early Summer
Plant hardiness zones4-11
(-30°F to 50°F)
5-8
(-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 more preferred for tea and essential oils.

It is because the 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?

As pretty and dainty as its flowers are, the Chamomile plant can be quite unruly in the garden. They eventually self-seed, meaning more of them 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.

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 over-watering.

So why not use the easy solution of a pot to tackle that instead of adding to your garden upkeeping chores?

When is the Best Time to Grow Chamomile?

You might want to start sowing your chamomile seeds right away, but we recommend waiting for the right season.

Some months better suit the needs of the chamomile plant and will increase the chances of your seeds germinating.

The best time to plant your Chamomile is in spring.

Harvested and Dried Chamomile Flowers (Source: Unsplash)
Harvested and Dried Chamomile Flowers (Source: Unsplash)

From March through June, the long hours of the day will give your Chamomile seeds the warmth they need to start growing while the soil is still cool enough for healthy root growth.

How Long Does Chamomile Take to Grow? 

Chamomiles are fast-growing plants. Provided you plant them in the right season, you will start seeing growth in a matter of days. They quickly progress to producing flowers as well.

It will take them just one to two weeks after sowing to start growing when it comes to germination.

As for the flowers, they can start blooming as early as one and a half months after germination if you plant them in the spring. At the latest, you will get flowers 3 months after germination.

With proper care, you will get flowers from July to September.

Requirements for Growing Chamomile in Pots

Chamomiles might take well to soil initially, but specific conditions give them the best chance to thrive and produce an optimal amount of flowers.

For instance, 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.

Chamomiles also prefer particular weather and temperature conditions, so you will want to find a spot in your room that facilitates these needs.

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 in.

First, if you are growing it for tea or cosmetic application, whatever material your pot is made of will seep into your produce, and you will end up consuming it or applying it to your skin.

So, you want to stay away from painted pots that might have toxic fumes and plastic containers that might get microplastic particles into your tea.

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 in them.

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. Small, quarter-inch holes spaced

We’ve compiled the key features into the table below:

FeatureDescriptionComments
Size1. German Chamomile - 12 inches width and 8 inches depth.

2. Roman Chamomile - 24 inches width and 8 inches depth.
Roman Chamomile likes to spread out is roots so opt for a wider pot.
Drainage HolesOpt for pots with multiple holes spaced 2-3 inches apart.Without drainage holes, the soil can get waterlogged and suffocate the roots.
Material Terracotta or wooden planter boxes are the best if grown for consumption. Painted pots can have toxic fumes whereas plastic pots can feed microplastic into the soil. Contrastingly, terracotta pots are non-toxic and also allow aeration of the soil.

If you move your Chamomile plant from indoors to outdoors frequently, you might want to opt for wooden planters since terracotta is easy to break. If not, go for this terracotta pot.

You can also refer to the video below to learn more about how you can line your containers with moss:

2. Choosing the Right Location

Chamomiles like mild temperatures. They survive below 100 degrees Fahrenheit and thrive between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

In cooler climates and seasons, you can expose them to a full day of direct sunlight. But be sure to give your plants about 8 hours of rest from the sunlight.

In the winter, bring your Chamomile indoors. They can not withstand extended periods of frost. You can use 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. This isn’t good for root health, and you want to avoid it.

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, you do not want to place 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 from 5.6 to 7.5. But remember that it has to be well-draining soil.

For the mix, you will want peat moss, coconut coir, and vermiculite.

The peat moss helps your soil hold nutrients, the coconut coir absorbs water and gives moisture to the roots, while the vermiculite promotes aeration and drainage.

You can also add perlite for drainage.

4. Adding Fertilizer

The Chamomile plant doesn’t necessarily need additional fertilizer and will fare quite well on its own.

Add Organic Compost to the Soil
Add Organic Compost to the Soil (Source: Pexels)

However, if you feel that your soil isn’t very nourishing or just want to boost your plant, use a 5-10-5 fertilizer in spring. The Espoma Garden Food is a good option.

Add fertilizers in moderate amounts since overfeeding your Chamomiles can reduce the number of flowers it gives you. Read the instructions on the packaging carefully.

You can also add organic compost in a light layer over your soil.

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 plants? 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 your local nursery or online stores like Etsy.

Then, all you have to do is sprinkle the seeds over your soil and press them down lightly. Sunlight helps the seeds germinate, so don’t bury them in the ground.

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.

You can either sow the seeds directly in the planter you will use, or you can germinate them in a separate container and transplant the seedlings later. We will talk more about the latter in the next segment.

If you’re sowing directly into your planter, you will want to space the individual seedlings out by 12 inches. This gives each plant space to grow. You can transplant the other into another pot.

If you’re planting before the last frost to get a head start, keep the pot indoors and in an area that gets plenty of sunlight.

If you’re planting in spring, you can leave your pot outdoors.

2. Grow from Seedlings or Transplants

If you don’t want to start with seeds, most nurseries provide Chamomile seedlings.

To transfer these seedlings or the ones you germinated yourself, all you have to do is 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 once you’ve completed the transplant.

3. Grow by Root Division

For root division, dig into the soil and separate the stems at the base. Each branch should have some root growth on it.

Select the stems that don’t have flowers sprouting from them already. It is so your new plant can focus its energy solely on growing out 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. 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 quicker in water.

For water propagation, run your stem under some water to wash away the soil. Then, place the stem into a jar of water and wait for new roots to grow within 7 – 10 days.

Water Propagation of Cuttings
Water Propagation of Cuttings (Source: Pexels)

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.

Harvesting the Flowers

Harvesting Chamomile flowers is quick, easy, and highly relaxing.

All you have to do is spot the flowers that have freshly bloomed and pluck them right below their base.

Do not pluck the rest of the stem since more flowers can still grow from them – you need to harvest the flower heads!

You can either use scissors or your nimble fingers for that part. Place the flower between your index and middle fingers and pull- the flower will pop right off.

Take care not to nip the buds or let your flower have bloom for many days. Freshly bloomed ones are ideal for consumption.

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 now is to dehydrate the flowers and let the bugs, if any, crawl away.

Dried Chamomile Flowers
Dried Chamomile Flowers (Source: Unsplash)

There are five ways in which you can dry your Chamomile flowers.

Sun-dry Method

  • 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 keep them from being blown away.
  • Too much sun can cause the color and flavor to fade, so make sure to spread out your flowers and lay them in a single layer so that they dry quickly.

Air-dry Method

  • If you don’t want heat on your flowers, leave your tray in a dry and well-ventilated area that gets 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 to 115 degrees F and pop your flowers in there for about 4 hours.
  • Check-in frequently to see if the flowers are drying evenly.

Oven-dry Method

  • Dry the flowers at the lowest temperature. Too much heat can take away the flowers’ medicinal properties.
  • Check in constantly.

Microwave Method

  • Similar to the oven, go for the lowest temperature setting.
  • Put it on a 30-sec timer and check to see if the flowers are dry. If not, put the flowers back in for another 30 sec.

Here’s a helpful video about drying Chamomile flowers.

Storing the Chamomile

Once the flowers are dehydrated, you can store them in glass jars or any 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 (Bonus)

You have stuck around this far into the article, so I figured it is only suitable if you find your recipe for your Chamomile tea right here, without having to look anywhere else.

A Hot Cup of Chamomile Tea (Source: Unplash)
A Hot Cup of Chamomile Tea (Source: Unsplash)

Follow the steps below to prepare yourself a hot cup of healthy Chamomile tea.

Step 1: Heat a cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Step 2: Turn the heat off when your water starts bubbling and add one teaspoon of dried Chamomile flowers. You can also use fresh flowers. Also, add 2 teaspoons of fresh flowers per cup of water.

Step 3: Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the flowers soak for about a minute.

Step 4: Strain the flowers from the tea.

Step 5: Add honey to taste. Skip this step if you don’t like your tea to be sweet.

Step 6: Sit back, relax, and enjoy your homegrown Chamomile tea.

Conclusion

Who doesn’t love themselves a hot cup of Chamomile tea? And trust me when I say this; it tastes even sweeter when it comes from your garden.

I hope this article has given you a general feel of where to start when growing your Chamomile. It has us craving its calming aroma.

I am off to watering our Chamomiles. Happy planting!

Fun Fact: The global Chamomile market is projected to be worth around US $412 billion by 2025.

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