Chamomile is a well-known herb that has been used in traditional medicine and as a soothing beverage. It is renowned for its ability to promote relaxation.
Many people enjoy a mug of warm chamomile tea to wind down at the end of the day, but the plant itself is something to be enjoyed as well as it produces pretty foliage and cheerful daisy-like flowers.
While it is easy to grow outdoors, many people just don’t have the space to do so or want to ensure their chamomile survives for many years. Is there a solution?
Can you grow chamomile indoors? Chamomile can be grown indoors easily, though it may not grow quite as robustly as when grown outdoors. Roman chamomile is the recommended variety for indoor growing. Provide chamomile with 4-6 hours of sunlight, water when the top layer of soil is dry, and lightly fertilize once per month.
If you want to have these fragrant flowers available to grab at any time, you’ll want to provide ideal conditions for indoor chamomile plants to thrive.
By properly caring for your indoor plant, you can ensure that it will continue to provide beautiful blooms for years to come.
How To Grow Chamomile Indoors
The ideal setup for a chamomile plant is full sun and well-draining soil. Luckily, these plants are adaptable and can survive indoors with less sunlight.
Prepare Soil & Container
Choose a container that is wider than it is tall. Chamomile tends to spread out and will enjoy the extra space.
Make sure your container has been thoroughly cleaned and has a drainage hole so the roots are never sitting in soggy soil.
Use an indoor potting mix for your chamomile plant (this one has never let me down). To make sure it will drain well while still retaining sufficient moisture, add some perlite to the mix.
This will also loosen up the soil and make it easier for the roots to grow.
Plant Chamomile Seeds or Transplant Chamomile Plant
If you are starting from seeds, fill your container with potting mix and spray with water to moisten the soil.
Sprinkle the chamomile seeds over the top, and gently pat them into the soil with your fingers. Place the container in a bright location.
You can expect the seeds to germinate within two weeks (as long as they are receiving adequate lighting).
Once the seedlings have started growing, thin them out to a distance of 2 inches between each one.
If you purchased a chamomile plant from a garden center, you can easily transfer it into a permanent container. Use a container that is 1-2 inches wider than the nursery pot.
Use the same potting mix that would for seeds. Water thoroughly after transplanting to help the roots adjust to the new environment.
Chamomile Light & Temperature Requirements
When grown outdoors, chamomile does best in full sun. It can also tolerate some partial shade.
Indoors, you’ll want to try to provide 4-6 hours of direct sunlight if possible. This is best achieved near a south-facing window.
Normal room temperature is usually fine for chamomile (although slightly warmer is better). Avoid placing the chamomile in a location with dramatic temperature shifts or a dry draft.
Water & Fertilizing Indoor Chamomile
Chamomile will appreciate moist soil that is not soggy. Achieve this by checking the soil before watering. Water the plant when the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
This plant is drought tolerant, but you should try to avoid letting the soil dry out completely.
Since chamomile is not a heavy feeder, fertilizer does not need to be applied frequently.
Pruning & Harvesting Chamomile
Chamomile is self-sowing and can get out of hand when grown in the right environment.
Pruning will help keep the plant to a manageable size. In addition, remove flower buds before they dry out and drop their seeds.
You can harvest chamomile flowers at any point. Always use sterile scissors to prevent any infection from affecting the plant.
Fresh flowers can be used as décor or to make tea. The fresh flowers can be dried in an oven or dehydrator to preserve them.
To collect seeds, allow the buds to dry out before collection. Chamomile leaves can also be collected for use in cooking and herbal mixtures.
Best Chamomile Varieties To Grow Indoors
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is the most popular variety of chamomile and it is the best variety to grow indoors.
It is shorter than other varieties and fills out horizontally. It is a perennial plant that will do well year round.
German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is the another common variety of chamomile.
Some have had success growing this plant indoors, but it is an annual plant that usually dies back during the cold weather of winter no matter where it is grown.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Chamomile From Seed?
Once the seeds are planted, germination usually occurs within two weeks. Within 60-90 days of planting, you can expect to see blooms.
Since there is less sunlight available to indoor plants, growth can take longer.
Does Chamomile Grow Well in Pots?
Chamomile is a great plant for growing in pots. It has shallow roots that do not need extensive space.
In addition, chamomile “grows like a weed” and can take over a garden after a couple of seasons.
When Should You Plant Chamomile?
If you are starting seeds indoors for an outdoor garden, plant the seeds 4-6 weeks before the expected last frost date. Transplant the seedlings once the fear of frost has passed.
You can plant seeds or transplant a young chamomile plant for indoor use at any time because the weather is not an issue.
Can You Grow Chamomile From Tea Bags?
You can grow chamomile plants from tea bags because chamomile tea is made from dried chamomile flowers (which include the seeds).
The fresher the tea, the higher probability of successfully germinating seeds.
Can You Grow Chamomile From Dried Flowers?
You can grow chamomile plants from dried flowers as long as the drying process did not damage the seeds. The seeds are located in the yellow center of the plants.
Having a chamomile plant indoors allows you to enjoy the fragrant blooms or quickly brew a relaxing cup of tea, and it’s really not a difficult plant to grow.
When given just the basics of adequate sunlight, routine water, and occasional feedings, it should thrive with minimal effort on your part.