How to Grow Chamomile:
Chamomile is known for having many medical and herbal effects. Camomile is a cheery herb that can brighten anyone's garden and can have many seductive qualities to it. Chamomile is both physically pleasing to the eye as well as useful for a variety of different practical uses.
The two main kinds of chamomile that are grown in a garden are Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The Roman Chamomile is known as the traditional kind of chamomile, however, when it comes to herbal effects German Chamomile is used for other similar herbal uses.
Seed Sowing Depth: Chamomile seeds should be sown at a depth of about 1/16" inches beneath the soil while leaving about 8 to 10 inches of space between each chamomile plant that is planted to allow adequate space for the seeds to spread as they grow. Some growers even surface sow the seed in a controlled environment, which proves to yield the most success on germination.
When to Sow: Chamomile seeds are best when they are planted in the spring time (April to May time frame) as it is a plant that will only grow for one growing season. Planting should not occur before the last frost is surely gone as chamomile plants will not endure frosts well.
Sowing Indoors/Outdoors: Chamomile is only recommended to be grown outside and is generally not suitable for containers or for being grown indoors. Chamomile will do best when grown outside as part of a landscape where they are planted in large clumps to create mass clumps.
Plants Height & Width: The chamomile plants will end up growing to be about 20 to 30 inches (50 to 70 centimeters) tall.
Leaves Colors & Descriptions: When fully grown, chamomile plants will have double-divided and have a feathery appearance. Chamomile leaves are a light green color and somewhat skinny in nature.
Growth Habits: Chamomile grows in either a partially-shady or totally sunny environment when the last frosts of the winter have passed. Chamomile will need at least some sunlight for it to be able to grow adequately.
It's also important to realize that if there is a frost while the chamomile is trying to grow, the likelihood of the chamomile surviving the frost are slim.
The average germination period for a chamomile seed once it's planted in the soil runs between 7 and 14 days (1-2 weeks) but some varieties of chamomile can germinate in few as 4 to 5 days. This is especially true if the chamomile seeds are in an environment where or a grower that encourages rapid growth of the plant such as Oasis Rootcubes, Rapid Rooters, or Stonewool growers.
The entire time from the seed being planted to the chamomile being able to be sold will total about 4 to 6 weeks.
Chamomile can only grow inside satisfactorily if provided with fluorescent lights to help ensure that the plant is getting adequate sun to make the plant grow the way it should. Otherwise, growing the plant outside and planting it in large masses and clumps is the most recommended practice to help grow your chamomile plants.
General Information & Uses of Chamomile: Chamomile is known for having many medicinal and herbal effects including properties to help improve the quality of one's skin, can treat infections by acting as an antibiotic, and it can help treat bites/rashes/itches by acting as it is hypoallergenic so it neutralizes free radicals that infect the skin.
Chamomile is often used to make teas that help fight anxiety and depression (have a calming effect), has an anti-inflammatory agent, treats muscle spasms, helps naturally treat PMS, helps treat insomnia (allows people to sleep better), helps treat skin disorders, and can treat ulcers to name a few powers that chamomile tea can have.
Chamomile is also used as an ingredient in homemade tincture which has been used in the US alone for centuries. It can help calm fussy babies and can even help treat bruises and other minor injuries by making them feel more relaxed and less painful.
Chamomile oils can be used to help create a shampoo, conditioner, or other hair care product that will promote youthful looking hair. Same can be said for adding chamomile oils to bath soaps to help skin looks younger.
Chamomile is also used as it is added to bath waters and salts to give a relaxing aroma to your evening time bath. It can also be used as an essential oil and helps treats minor aches and pains that may creek up in the body over time. Many people swear by it as a natural remedy to help them feel better and treat arthritis, muscle stiffness, spasms, or other conditions as well.
When chamomile leaves are dried out they serve great purposes in aromatherapy and other herbal medicinal uses.
The entire part of the chamomile plant from the ground up can be used for the various purposes listed above. Chamomile is a great plant to grow in your garden as none of it goes to waste, and it serves a variety of practical purposes both in food and in medicine as well.
Pests & Diseases: Chamomile is a pretty hearty plant that is no\t subject to suffering from very many pests or diseases, however be sure to keep an eye out for both aphids and mealybugs. Propagate healthier plants by regularly collecting chamomile seeds to keep them continually growing new ones.
Harvesting Information & Storage: When harvesting chamomile the best practice is to pick the flowers early in the morning just after the dew has evaporated for the day but before the sun rises high in the sky for the day. Select flowers that are very close to opening, but have not done so yet. Pinch the stalk just below the head and then pop off the bloom that you have selected. Collect them in a tightly-woven basket so they do not slip through the openings in the basket.
Dry them out by spreading them in the single layer in a dark, cool, dry place to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Use 2-3 teaspoons of dried seeds per 1 cup of boiling water after the flowers are left to dehydrate in a dehydrator tray for 1 to 2 weeks to ensure that none of the dried out flowers fall through the tray.
After the flowers are dehydrated you can store them in plastic bags or even preserve them dried in an airtight container like parsley or garlic chives that have been dehydrated as well. One great trick is to chop the flowers into tiny pieces and store them in ice cube trays till they are ready to be used. It's a convenient storage method for these flowers till they a ready to be used.
Edible Uses & Flavor: Chamomile flowers are edible as they are an ingredient used to make chamomile teas as well as the oil is used for a host of purposes as well. Besides being able to be drank in teas and other drinks, it can also be used as an ingredient that is added to salads and goes best with ingredients including chopped butter lettuce dressed with olive oil, salt, and lemon zest to name a few ingredients that go very well with the chamomile to make a delicious, mouthwatering salad.
Chamomile is often added to yogurt to provide an extra bit of taste or it can be added to certain dips to give them some extra pizazz and flavor as well when it is used for dipping crudités.