For the past two years, I’ve grown chamomile for tea. It’s the absolute best evening ritual. However, I also use it to soak washcloths for teething babies, to add to meals as a sweet green apple scented garnish, or to a bath for eczema-skinned toddlers.
I’ve found that chamomile loves to self-sow and to spread. She’ll pop up under a lemon tree, push up out of clay soil, and overall wants to be grown. Bless it! I recently transplanted some from a local nursery to see how she’d do in late summer and the jury is in, she loves it.
Based on my experience here in zone 10B, here are my tips for growing chamomile:
- Either seeds or starts are fine, as the roots don’t mind being disturbed a bit. When sowing seeds directly, just dust them over the top of the soil – don’t bury too deep.
- Chamomile isn’t picky about soil – though well-draining is best, more dense clay-based soil will work too. Try adding chamomile into tricky spots.
- Full sun is most ideal in shoulder seasons, but some partial shade (especially away from afternoon sun) in the hotter months will yield a happier plant.
- When it comes to watering, as you’re establishing the plant water well, about 1″ a week. Once established she needs little fussing and can be forgotten about, with sporadic watering or deeper, less consistent watering.
- Mulching will help retain water and soil health, meaning even less watering for you!
- Deadhead often – use her up! The more you gather, the more she grows.
Now that you have some tips for growing your chamomile, let’s talk about why it’s such an amazing plant in general.
Chamomile flowers and leaves are edible, with beautiful wellness benefits. Here are some of my favorites:
- Promotes sleep (falling asleep and staying asleep)
- Boosts immunity
- Soothes an upset tummy
- Reduces stress
- Helps with menstrual pain and overal cramps
I hope this inspires you to plant your own chamomile either for tea or even just as a cut flower. She gives and gives! If you live in a temperate climate like we do, be sure to cut your plants back which allows them to grow as perennials all year.
Check out one of my favorite ways to use chamomile in THIS summer cocktail recipe.