German chamomile, also known as wild chamomile, is native to Europe and Asia and but it was brought into gardens thousands of years ago and became widely cultivated for its sweet, floral, apple-scented flowers and its noticeable medicinal properties.
German chamomile is an easy-to-grow annual that can be sown directly after the last spring frost or started indoors six to eight weeks before. The plants are showy and recognizable, making for a nice conversation piece in the garden. The plants with feathery leaves are multi-branching, meaning they produce multiple stems from the base. In optimal conditions, German chamomile will grow to 24 inches, but you can also control the height by pinching and trimming back the stems to promote bushier growth and more flowers. Harvesting and deadheading regularly will also help ensure a bountiful supply of daisy-like flowers all summer long!
- Latin Name: Matricaria recutita
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 60-65
- Planting Depth: 3-4 mm
- Plant Spacing: 15-20 cm
- Growth Habit: 40-60 cm tall
These pretty, petite flowers are synonymous with a good night’s sleep. The dainty white daisy-like blooms are adorable as a garden border and just happen to have a delicately delicious flavor when brewed as a bedtime tea.
German chamomile is considered a self-seeding annual. It grows upright, reaching heights of 15-60 cm. Stems branch off from the main stalk and bloom prolifically throughout the season. German chamomile is the better choice for the cultivation and harvest of flowers.
Roman chamomile has more of a perennial life cycle but does prefer milder climates. Because of its creeping and spreading growth habit, it may be difficult to transfer Roman chamomile indoors as winter approaches. Try covering outdoor plantings with mulch or other insulation to help survive the cold months. Roman chamomile will only grow 7.5-10 cm tall but is perfect as a fragrant groundcover. It doesn’t bloom as often as German chamomile, but the flowers tend to be more substantial.
Seeds can be started indoors six weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds on the surface of your planting medium and gently press them in to initiate contact. Do not cover the seeds as they will need light to germinate. Mist the tiny seeds well and keep them moist, they should germinate in 1-2 weeks. Because chamomile prefers not to be transplanted, use compostable peat or coco pots. Direct sowing is also possible.
Sow seeds or transplant pots into the garden when the threat of frost has passed. Select a site that receives full sun and your chamomile should thrive and bloom happily without any special attention. Seedlings need to be kept moist, but established plants will become much more drought-tolerant.
About 90-120 days after planting, your chamomile will be ready to harvest. A good indication is when the petals begin to curl away from the center of the flower. Choose dry, sunny days to harvest continually throughout the season and enjoy the multitude of your chamomile’s fragrant flowers.
- Chamomile has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient Egyptians.
- Chamomile stimulates weight loss and also reduces bloating to a great extent. Loaded with calcium, potassium and flavonoids, chamomile's ability to detox the body helps in getting rid of toxins and excess water.
- Both types of chamomiles have a similar scent, flavour profile and medicinal benefits. They have both been cultivated for thousands of years, but there are some slight differences between the two.
- The annual German chamomile is often used as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as to help soothe the digestive system, relieve pain and muscle tension, alleviate menstrual cramps and treat skin conditions. German chamomile is the variety that is the most widely cultivated and is often used in different industries for its higher concentration of active medical compounds.
- The perennial Roman chamomile is most commonly used as a sedative and a sleep aid, as well as a way to reduce anxiety and stress, soothe the digestive system, alleviate menstrual cramps, treat skin conditions and reduce fever.
- Chamomile seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!