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Chamomile, learn how to grow it in a pot or in your garden

by Eva

Chamomile, learn how to grow it in a pot or in your garden

Chamomile, the beautiful plant with its characteristic aroma and unique beneficial properties. Chamomile is a favorite herb that we find as native plants in the countryside and we often pick it up to enjoy it as a relaxing tea. All of us admirers of chamomile, we can grow it in the garden, as well as in pots in our yard or on our balcony, to make wonderful drinks in our home.

Fast-growing aromatic and medicinal herbs

Chamomile is a low-growing herbaceous plant that needs minimal care and is extremely easy to grow. In addition to the beneficial properties it has at our disposal and in our health, chamomile has a special decorative value due to the impressive numerous small flowers with white petals and a characteristic yellow color in the center of the flower that resemble small daisies. There are 2 main varieties of chamomile, the German or wild chamomile, an annual or biennial plant that has higher growth and the Roman or day chamomile of the garden that has lower growth and is perennial. Let’s see what care chamomile needs to be grown in the garden and in a pot on our balcony and to enjoy beautiful flowers and healthy drinks in our home.

What conditions does chamomile need to grow?

 Chamomile can be planted and thrive in both semi-arid and sunny places, giving us rich flowering. To plant chamomile in a pot on the balcony, we choose places with south, west or east exposure. Chamomile is planted in the spring with seed or ready-made plants and is harvested from late spring to mid-summer. Although chamomile does not have special soil requirements, it thrives best in light soils that have good drainage to remove excess water. For chamomile that we plant on our balcony or yard, we use relatively shallow pots or planters, 10-20 cm deep, as chamomile has a superficial root system and we fill them with general-purpose topsoil or special topsoil for aromatic plants and herbs.

How often does chamomile need watering and fertilizing?

Chamomile needs minimal care and has very low requirements for both watering and fertilizing. If we have planted chamomile in our garden, after the initial installation of the plant that needs a good watering, then we water only after a period of prolonged drought and heat. For chamomile plants that we have in a pot, we water every 2 weeks from mid-spring to late summer and once a month during the autumn period. Chamomile fertilizer should be limited to have a satisfactory flowering and high essential oil content. In the spring, we add organic fertilizer with high phosphorus and potassium content and low nitrogen content to avoid degrading the quality of the chamomile we collect.

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When do we collect chamomile and how do we dry it?

We collect chamomile from late spring to mid-summer, when its flowers are fully open and have a high content of essential oils. We avoid picking chamomile early in the morning when there is still morning humidity and it can cause problems in the quality of the harvest. When collecting chamomile, we cut only its flowers with a small pair of scissors, collect them and then dry them on trays that we place in shady and well-ventilated areas. After the chamomile flowers are dried, we store them in airtight jars that we keep in our cupboard to use when we want to make a drink.

How is chamomile propagated?

We can create new chamomile plants in 3 ways: by seed, by cuttings and by dividing the rhizomes. Chamomile seed is planted in early spring in the soil or in pots, at temperatures of 18-20. C and in a relatively humid environment. We can also make new chamomile plants using 10 cm long shoots after we have removed 2/3 of the leaves from the base and plant them in nursery pots that we place in a cool environment to take root. Another practical way to propagate chamomile is by dividing the rhizomes during the spring. In this case, with a sharp knife, separate the chamomile plant together with its rhizomes, and plant them in two separate nursery pots.

What are the uses of chamomile?

In addition to its use as a beverage, chamomile also has several beneficial properties for health, which is why it is widely used in medicine, as well as in the cosmetics industry. In particular, chamomile helps to relieve stomach problems, such as gastritis and ulcers, as well as to cleanse and disinfect the skin from wounds, burns and irritations due to various skin diseases. It is also used to cleanse and disinfect the eyes from various irritations and to fight colds, nausea and dizziness.

And a secret for chamomile

 Chamomile is a very hardy plant and is not easily infected by diseases and insects, so we are not used to doing preventive sprays to protect it. Only in conditions of severe drought, chamomile can be infected by the insects of meligra and thrips.
Images via: Pinterest

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