Gardening

How to plant chamomile

Chamomile is a name given to several plants that have flowers similar to small daisies. The two most cultivated chamomile species are German chamomile ( Matricaria chamomilla , also called Matricaria recutita ) and Roman chamomile ( Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis). Both are called true chamomile and false chamomile, varying which is known as true and which is known as false according to the region. The flowers (actually floral chapters, which contain many small flowers) of both species are used for various medicinal purposes and to make tea. Flowers or their essential oils are used in the preparation of some alcoholic beverages (liquors, wines and beers), sweets (candies, chewing gum, ice cream, etc.) and in various hygiene and beauty products (shampoos, soaps, pastes) tooth, etc.). Both are also grown as ornamental plants in gardens.

Differences between German chamomile and Roman chamomile

German chamomile can reach 1 m in height, being more erect than Roman chamomile, which has a more crawling habit, reaching about 25 cm in height. The leaflets (segments of the leaves) of Roman chamomile are flatter and thicker than those of German chamomile, and their inflorescences are solitary and terminal, whereas German chamomile inflorescences appear in clusters. In addition, the German chamomile inflorescence receptacle is generally hollow while the Roman chamomile inflorescence receptacle is solid.

Climate

Chamomile grows best in mild weather, with temperatures between 7 ° C and 26 ° C. Although it can be grown at higher temperatures, the plant tends to flower early in these conditions, especially if there is low humidity.

Brightness

The ideal is to cultivate with direct sunlight, but it also tolerates partial shade, as long as there is good light.

Ground

Cultivate preferably in well-drained, light, fertile soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 and 6.8. However, this plant can grow well in many types of soil, including poorly fertile soils, as long as they are not too acidic.

Irrigation

Irrigate to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.

Planting

German chamomile is propagated from seeds. Roman chamomile can be propagated by seeds or by dividing well-developed plants.

The seeds can be sown in the final place or in sowing and modules, transplanting the seedlings when they are 2.5 to 5 cm high. Sow to a maximum depth of 0.5 cm, or just lightly press the seeds into the soil. Germination usually takes a week or two.

The spacing can be 30 to 45 cm between the plants. Both species can also be grown in large pots and planters.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients, especially at the beginning of cultivation.

Harvest

Harvesting usually takes place 3 or 4 months after planting. Inflorescences should be harvested as soon as they open completely. Older flowers, which are darkening or have white petals (ligulas) facing downwards, have less flavor and aroma. The harvested inflorescences must be dried before they can be stored. Pick the flowers without the stems and leave them for several days in a dry, well-ventilated place, until they are completely dry.

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