Chamomile is a daisy-like herb known for its sweet, floral aroma and its many therapeutic properties. There are two main types of chamomile used for medicinal purposes: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Both types have small, white daisy-like flowers with yellow centres and feathery leaves. Chamomile is often used to help calm the mind and promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, soothe digestive problems, and alleviate skin irritation. Chamomile can be consumed as a tea, taken as a supplement, or applied topically in the form of creams or ointments. It is also commonly used as an ingredient in natural beauty and skincare products. Chamomile can be grown in a variety of climates, but it prefers well-drained soil and full sunlight.
How to Grow Chamomile Organically
- Choose the right time: Chamomile is an annual or perennial herb that is best planted in the spring. Seeds can also be planted in the fall in mild-winter areas.
- Select a location: Chamomile prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It can grow in a variety of soil types, but prefers a pH range of 5.6 to 7.5.
- Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches and remove any rocks or debris. Add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve soil fertility and drainage.
- Plant the seeds: Chamomile is usually grown from seed. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 8-12 inches apart. If planting a large area, consider using a seed spreader.
- Water the plants: Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather.
- Fertilize the plants: Chamomile does not need a lot of fertilizer. You can add a light application of balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, once or twice during the growing season.
- Control pests and diseases: Chamomile is generally pest and disease-free. However, it can attract aphids and spider mites. Use organic methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests.
- Harvest the flowers: Chamomile flowers are usually harvested when they are fully open but before they start to wilt. Cut the flowers off the plant using a sharp pair of scissors or pruners.
Following these steps will help you grow chamomile and harvest its fragrant flowers. Chamomile is commonly used to make tea, and can also be used in a variety of other applications, including aromatherapy, cosmetics, and herbal remedies. It has a calming, soothing effect and is often used to promote relaxation and sleep.