Chamomile is well-known for its herbal and medicinal properties. Whether the variety is Roman, German or wild, they all belong to the large Asteraceae family.
Important Chamomile facts
Name – Chamomilla recutita
Family – Asteraceae
Type – perennial
Height – 8 to 40 inches (20 to 100 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Flowering – June to October
There are a great many chamomile varieties, and the blooming season differs slightly for each, even though all in all they bloom from June to October.
Exposure for Chamomilla recutita
All the chamomile varieties are inclined to full sun emplacements, even though oftentimes light shade is enough, especially if the weather is hot and dry.
- You can propagate your plant through crown division.
Chamomile spontaneously self-seeds and you’ll learn that when planted in the ground, it tends to naturally spread out wherever space is available.
- To sow chamomile seeds, opt to sow directly in the ground in spring, after any risk of freezing has disappeared.
- It is also possible to sow a bit earlier, provided it is protected with a cold frame.
- It can then be transplanted to the growing bed at the beginning of summer.
Pruning and caring for chamomile
Chamomile requires virtually not the least bit of care because it is an easy-going plant that has the advantage of growing without being followed-up at all.
Cutting off wilted flowers as soon as they wilt will spur the plant into growing new flower heads, but this practice isn’t absolutely necessary.
At the end of the season, cut the stems as short as you can and it will burst back in the following spring.
- You can cut back your chamomile to the shape of a ball before winter for it to grow in a round shape in spring.
Potted chamomile, like all plants that grow and bloom in garden boxes or pots, requires regular watering.
- Water when the surface of the soil is dry.
- Add flower plant fertilizer once a week in order to stimulate and extend the blooming.
Harvesting chamomile for herbal tea and infusions
Chamomile flowers are harvested when they are still freshly opened while already having matured to the point where is different parts are clearly visible and distinct.
- Collect preferably in the morning.
- Dry the flowers by spreading them on a flat, dry surface in a well-ventilated spot.
- Keeping them away from light is a bonus while drying.
- After a few dafys, when the flowers start turning brown and falling apart, they’re dry enough.
- Store the chamomile flowers in a dry, airtight container.
Preparing herbal tea with chamomile
To prepare a good mug of chamomile herbal tea, simply steep about a full table spoon of flowers in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Health benefits and properties of chamomile
Medicinal properties of chamomile
Thanks to its relaxing effects and its benefits for digestion, chamomile is probably one of the most used flowers.
Its impact on sleeping disorders make it a very common plant in evening herbal tea.
And it also helps treat certain anxiety disorders when used over several weeks.
Chamomile even has properties beneficial for plants, which it helps fortify them and protect them from insects, aphids and cabbage moth especially.
Chamomile, a flavorful herb
Its flowers also impart delicious flavors, and the growth of the plant will lead to even more flowers if exposed to the sun.
You can thus use its flowers in mixed salads, infusions or to flavor gravy.
- Check out other edible flowers to savor.
Smart tip about chamomile
Dried flowers of this plant will keep for many long months, and are perfect for your winter evening herbal tea!
Chamomile on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Field of chamomile by Evgeni Tcherkasski under Pixabay license
Chamomile teacup (also on social media) by Natalia Koroshchenko under Pixabay license