Can you grow Chamomile indoors?

ber40August 20, 2007

Hi -- has anyone successfully grown chamomile to full bloom indoors? If so, what conditions did you provide? How was the harvest? I started some seed a while ago but I obviously gave it too much water (it was in a six-pack with other, thirstier herbs). The other herbs -- cinnamon basil, borage, and fennel -- all grew quickly but the chamomile lagged. I wonder if it's even worth it. Any thoughts?



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Why bother? Chamomile is a ground-cover, intended to cover large areas like a lawn. The larger the area, the more flowers you get, and the whole purpose (really) of growing chamomile is to get large numbers of flowers. Those flowers are small, and they shrink considerably on drying. I don't see the point of having half a dozen flowers when you really need hundreds of them!

IMO, growing herbs indoors is good only to get them started, at best. Gee, I can just see all those herbs fully grown on your windowsill! Well, actually, I can't. Each will get to more than a metre tall and just as wide - or they would if they were outside where they'd all be much happier. You just wait until they get a big bigger and you'll find they'll quickly begin to suffer from cramped quarters, lack of sunlight and fresh air and bug attacks.

Well, you DID ask!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 5:17PM
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Yes. I've grown German chamomile inside in the winter for years, just never on purpose. There's a lot of it outside and the seeds find their way into the majority of the pots that're brought in at the end of the season.

By the time everything is hauled inside there's chamomile in several stages of growth: barely-sprouted to several inches high. Plus, it pops up all winter long and thrives. I always have several large pots of chives and by spring they're usually about half chamomile.

Outside it can grow to 2' tall, but inside it often blooms at about 10". I've even had it grow and flower on unheated porches with only western exposure. Keep it on the dry side, don't fuss over it, and good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 6:43AM
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