A step by step guide for Growing Chamomile
Today, we go through the complete details of the techniques of growing Chamomile in the home garden. You can apply the same information for growing Chamomile in pots, indoors or backyards. Now let us get into how to grow Chamomile from the seed. Chamomile is a herb which gives flowers which are pretty and look like a daisy. Chamomile flowers are usually made to get dry and are used for the preparation of herbal teas which are used for both relaxation and medication purposes. It is also used in the oils which are infused and compressed. It is not that difficult to grow this herb which looks very beautiful in your garden. You can start sowing the seeds either in the indoor locations or the outdoor locations. You will have to then nurture your seedlings of Chamomile until you see that the flowers of it are ready for harvesting.
Planting and growing Chamomile in the indoor locations:
- If you are planting Chamomile in the indoor locations, then it is always better to start it at the end of winter. The best time for starting of seeds would be about 40 days prior to the last frost dates. The timing has to be adjusted depending on your locality’s climatic conditions.
- Growing Chamomile in pots is also possible. But you can make use of a tray which has multiple containers for sowing. For this, you can go ahead and purchase a seedling tray. This will be available in any of the garden centers present in your locality. These trays will consist of small containers in them and these can be used to start many plantings in a single tray.
- Now it is the time for adding the compost which is used for moist seed sowing to the containers present in your tray. Purchase a soil mix which is especially meant for sowing the seeds. This can be found in any of the gardening centers available in your locality. Each and every container has to be filled with ¾th of the soil. Add sufficient amount of water for making the soil moist.
- The seeds have to be placed under a soil covering which is very light. The Chamomile seeds have to be poured in a bowl which is empty. You can make use of your finger to take a hand full of seeds. You can put at least six seeds in each of the containers by spreading the seeds with the nails. The seeds have to be covered slightly by making use of a little amount of soil.
- The covering should be in such a way that you should be able to see the seeds slightly.
- Now you will have to mist the seeds by making use of some water. This water can be sprayed using the spray bottle immediately. Make sure that you are monitoring the seeds on a regular basis in order to ensure that the soil is in a moist condition. But also make sure that it is not soaking. The seeds have to be sprayed with as much water as you can as you will need to keep the soil moist. This can be done approximately one time a day.
- The seeds can be kept covered by making use of a plastic wrap if you feel that the soil is not staying moist in a sufficient way.
- The plastic sheet will keep the moisture. Some space has to be left for the circulation of air and you will have to make sure that you are removing the plastic completely as soon as you are seeing any green signs.
- The temperature has to be adjusted to encourage the process of germination. The best temperatures for growth will be between 19 to 30℃. At the time of day, the plants have to be kept in a place which is sunny so that it will provide high temperatures for them. At night time, you can make the temperatures a little bit colder. This will make the natural temperatures appear to be similar to the climatic conditions available in the outdoor locations.
- One of the seedlings can be removed when the plants reach a length of 2 inches. This will let you leave one seedling in each of the containers. For the thinning of Chamomile seedlings, you will have to cut the seedlings from the level of the ground. Make sure that you are not pulling the seedlings out from the roots as they will cause some sort of disturbance to the roots of the plant which you are growing.
- You must prepare your plants for transplantation for about 15 days. You will have to harden the Chamomile. This will prepare them to live in outdoor locations. You can start this by keeping the plants in the outdoor locations in an area which is covered. This can be done just for a few hours a day. You can increase the exposure to outdoor locations by a few hours on a daily basis for about 15 days.
- You will have to do this when the climatic conditions are favorable. If the temperature decreases or increases suddenly or if there are any harsh winds, your plants have to be kept inside for protection. Slight breezes would be good for little plants.
- The exposure of plants to the sun has to be altered by reducing the shade over the time of 15 days. Always make sure that you are keeping the soil moist at this particular time.
- The plants have to be kept in the indoor locations at night times while you are hardening them.
- The transplantation has to be done after all the danger of frost is gone. This has to be done after about 40 days since the day you have started the seeds. You will have to loosen the soil in a gentle manner and the plantings have to be removed from their respective containers, and place them in holes which are double the size of their root balls. These have been placed at a distance of 10 inches from each other. The holes have to be filled back with a soil mix and a slow-release fertilizer.
- The plantings have to be watered for about an hour prior you go with the transplantation. Then you can mist them in a gentle manner once they are placed in the ground.
- The holes have to be sufficiently deep so that the leaves’ base is at the level of the soil.
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Planting and growing Chamomile in the outdoor location:
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- Choose a location which is warm and sunny for growing Chamomile. Chamomile would be able to handle some amount of shade, but it will always prefer plenty of sunlight. Always select a spot in your garden where your Chamomile will enjoy a lot of sunlight all across the day.
- The soil has to be raked and should be made a uniform for preparation. Make sure that you are removing any rocks, weeds or any soil clumps by hoeing and raking the spot. You will have to go to a depth of a minimum of 1 foot. Then you will have to rake the soil back into its actual place and make sure that you are packing it down to get a planting surface which is smooth and nice.
- If you have very poor soil in your garden, then you can go with the plantation of Chamomile. This would be a better choice than any other varieties as it will be a little bit harder. German Chamomile will be able to handle some amount of clay or less nutrition in the soil.
- German Chamomile is actually an annual which means that it requires replantation every year. Anyways, it is the one which self-seed, so you will not require to perform any replantation. This means that it basically acts like a perennial plant.
- Roman Chamomile can be planted in the soil is well-drained and fertile. Roman Chamomile will do good in the soil which has a high quality. Roman Chamomile is a perennial, and it can be replanted on a yearly basis.
- If you want to increase the soil quality, combine the soil with a slow-release fertilizer before you start sowing the seeds.
- The seeds have to be sown at the end of the spring or summer for avoiding the frost. Always make sure that all the danger of frost has passed away prior you start sowing. This time will change based on the locality you are residing in.
- The seeds have to be sprinkled on the soil’s top. Sprinkle the seeds all across the soil. You can take a handful of seeds to place them in the soil. There is no need to worry about where to place them. You can make them into rows in the later stages. Make use of your hands to cover them in a gentle manner with a little amount of soil as these are the seeds which require light for the process of germination.
- You should be able to see the seeds under the soil covering.
- The seeds have to be watered until the soil is in a moist condition. The seeds require plenty of water for the process of germination. So you can begin this process as soon as they are the plantation is done. The mist or shower can be set up to make the soil moist. The soil has to be kept moist all across the period of germination and when the seedlings of Chamomile are still small. This will require watering on a daily basis.
- The seedlings have to be thinned when they reach the length of 2 inches. You will have to leave approximately 10 inches of space in between the seedlings. This will make the rows neat with the plants which are spaced. For thinning the seedlings, the tiny plant has to be removed from the level of the ground. Make sure that you are not pulling the seedlings totally from the ground as it may cause disturbance to the roots of the seedlings which are remaining.
- The Chamomile which is pre-grown has to be planted at the time of spring or autumn. If you wish, you can purchase the Chamomile plants at any of the garden centers present in your locality instead of starting the seeds in indoor locations or outdoor locations. You can also dig a hole which would be twice the size of the root ball and sufficiently deep so that the base of the leaf will be at the level of soil when the plant is kept in the hole. Some amount of slow-release fertilizer can be combined in the soil, then you will need to pack it in a loose manner and watering has to be done until the soil has turned wet.
- As the perennial plants can be grown all across the year, they will grow their best when you start them at the starting stage of autumn season or at the end of the spring. Annual plants have to be planted during these particular times.
- The best time for plantation will change based on the locality you are residing in, but you will have to normally decide a season when the climatic conditions are turning and becoming either warm or cold. Make sure that you are avoiding to plant them in extreme climatic conditions.
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Care and maintenance of your Chamomile plants:
- Your Chamomile plants have to be watered on a regular basis. This has to be done until the flowers start appearing on the Chamomile plants. This will provide them with the water they actually require to reach the stage of maturity. Make sure that you are not soaking the soil. Watering has to be done until the soil is moist.
- If you are residing in an area where there is plenty of rain, you may then decrease the number of times you are watering. Mainly, when the climatic conditions are hot, anyways, you will have to check the soil even if the climatic conditions are rainy.
- Once the establishment of the Chamomile plants is done, then you can decrease the watering. Chamomile is a plant which is hardy. Once it is grown completely, it will do fine even if it is provided with less amount of water. The soil has to be allowed to dry in a complete manner before you decide to water it and then you can go ahead and water the plants. This will generally take 7 to 15 days.
- The weeds have to be kept away as they are the ones which compete for nutrients of the Chamomile plants. So always make sure that the area of the plantation of Chamomile is free of weeds. Also, ensure that they are not disturbing the growth of your Chamomile. The plantation site has to be made free of weeds and this can be done every week.
- Chamomile plants are the ones which will mostly attract butterflies and bees towards them. There is no need to worry about the pests near Chamomile.
- The plants have to be covered with boughs which are evergreen for the protection at the time of winter. The plants of Chamomile can thrive outside at the time of winter, but they will require a small bit of protection from the winds which are dry and harsh. You can lay many evergreen boughs on the plants at the beginning of winter.
When and how to Harvest Chamomile:
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- You will have to wait for about two months for the plants to reach the stage of maturity. It generally takes about two months of time starting from the plantation of seeds for Chamomile for the production of Chamomile flowers. This should take place by the time of mid-summer or after about 15 days of transplantation of seedlings which are grown in the indoor locations.
- The flowers have to be cut all across the summer as soon as they have bloomed. The plants should continue to bloom all along the summer season. As you remove the blooms by making use of garden scissors, new ones should start growing in the same place. This will provide you with a lot of flowers to get dried and you can enjoy them all across the year.
- The flowers have to be removed at the base of each of their stems. You can start trimming the steps to the base of the blooms for getting dried.
- The flowers which are removed have to be dried by keeping them away from sun and dust. The flowers have to be placed on a plate and have to be kept in a cabinet. This will let them dry in a complete manner. You will have to wait until the plant starts to get crumbled in an easy manner even for a slight touch, generally after 7 to 15 days later.
- The Chamomile which is dried has to be stored in a jar which is sealed and make sure that you are placing it away from sunlight. The dried flowers have to be kept away from sunlight and moisture, which could cause harm to them. Mason jars are the ones which would work in a perfect manner for the storage of your Chamomile.
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Facts about Chamomile:
- Chamomile has to be planted at the time of spring either from seedlings or seeds. Growing Chamomile from seedlings will be easier than the seeds, but growing Chamomile from seed is also a bit easy. Chamomile will grow at its best in the climatic conditions which are cool and has to be planted in partial shade, but they will also grow in complete sun.
- Roman Chamomile is a perennial plant which grows from the same root every year. German Chamomile is an annual, but it will freely undergo self-sowing and it will not stop growing from then onwards.
- The seeds of German Chamomile will undergo the process of germination after about 7 to 15 days. When the seedlings reach the length of 2 inches, you will have to start thinning them so that they are at a distance of 8 inches from each other or you have to make the transplantation of the seedlings which are grown in the indoor locations in the garden at a distance of 8 inches from each other.
- Chamomile is the plant which can be paired with basil and mint. Doing this will improve the scent and taste of the Chamomile.
- Few more plants which would be good for companion planting with Chamomile are onions, kale, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
- In India, Chamomile Cultivation is in an upward direction.
That’s all gardeners about growing Chamomile in the garden. Keep gardening!.
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