Chamomile: How to Grow and Use

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Are you a tea drinker? A gardener? A make-it-yourselfer? Do you like to dabble in home apothecary? Then welcome, friend! Today I am going to teach you how to grow chamomile. Then I will talk about when to harvest it and methods for preserving chamomile. Last, I am going to share how my family uses this herb almost daily. I assure you, it has more uses than just in our tea cups! 

Join me today as I talk all things chamomile and its uses!

A dressed table waiting for tea.

For years, I avoided growing chamomile because I was convinced it was somehow too hard. I purchased my tea from the store and sourced whole chamomile online. I stayed far away from making my own tea blends, because I was certain I would somehow mess it up.

A few years ago, I finally gave it a try. I must say, I have no plans on going back to my old ways! Not only does this lovely little flower add charm to any space it is planted in, but it is beneficial for pollinators. Because I keep my own beehives, this is an added perk. 

Growing your own chamomile saves you money, especially if you use it as much as my family does. It is also a hardy plant that requires minimal care and fuss. Because of this reason, it’s at the top of my growing list!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. A closeup of dainty white and yellow chamomile flowers. Learning how to grow chamomile.

Characteristics of Chamomile

There are two varieties of chamomile: Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. German chamomile is the most common used variety for teas and apothecary. It is what I grow in my garden. 

For the sake of simplicity, today I will talk about German Chamomile.

Chamomile has small white flowers with white petals that surround a yellow center. By comparison, they look very similar to a daisy. Chamomile flowers are fragrant, leaving their sweet floral scent on your hands. 

German chamomile grows to around 2′ tall, on billowy, delicate stems. Because of this, chamomile has a tendency to “flop” over. When planting chamomile, consider the other flowers or structures next to where the herb will grow. Leaning on a rock wall, fence, or even on a walkway are all beautiful places to grow chamomile. Although, flopping over and choking out  your lavender is another story.

Because of chamomile’s tendency to “flop”, this is a wonderful herb to plant in areas of your garden that are bald or need filling. 

Chamomile is an annual; however, it is a wonderful self-seeder. Because of this, once you plant chamomile, you will most likely find it growing the next season whether you want it to or not.

How To Grow Chamomile

I have grown chamomile from direct-seed and from transplanted seedlings. I did not find a noticeable difference when harvesting one versus the other. At this time, I plan to stick to direct-seeding. 

Chamomile seeds are incredibly small. In order to plant them, scuff up your soil and spread your seeds. There is no need to plant them below the soil. As a matter of fact, I simply cast my seeds in the area I want them grow. By all means, I don’t get very particular about spacing or rows. Once the seeds have been placed on the soil, gently pat or tamp the seeds. Last, you need to gently water the seeds. It is important to water the seeds using a gentle setting on your hose sprayer, or use a watering can. Seedlings should emerge in 7-14 days.

Chamomile seeds are small and are not buried in the ground. Consequently, you run the risk of a heavy rain or an aggressive watering session washing them away. I have had this happen and it can be frustrating. For that reason, take the time to tamp your seeds in the soil.

How To Harvest Chamomile

Chamomile is ready to be harvested when the white flowers have fully opened. I take my harvest basket out first thing in the morning and pluck the tiny flower heads off of the stem. 

Harvesting chamomile can be a daily task. Not only do the flowers bloom all summer, but regular picking encourages them to keep producing. If you have little ones, this can be an especially fun task for them to do. 

How to Dry Chamomile

Most recipes that use chamomile requires it to be dry. There are several methods for drying chamomile. Air drying, dehydrating using a food dehydrator and dehydrating via the oven. Let’s take a look at these methods. They all work in similar fashion. The glaring difference is the amount of time each method takes to get the job done.Dried chamomile flowers in a white bowl that sits on a blue plate, under a blue and white striped towel.

Air Drying Chamomile

To begin with, I will talk about air drying. All in all, this is the most practical way to dry chamomile if you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t want to use energy to get the job done. Consequently, depending on the humidity, air drying chamomile can take 1 to 2 weeks. 

In a single layer, place the chamomile flowers face side up on a baking sheet. While drying, place the baking sheet in a dark, warm place.

Using A Food Dehydrator

Once dry, chamomile is very light and delicate. Because of this, use a liner on your food dehydrator trays. This will prevent the blossoms from falling through the cracks of the trays. 

Chamomile (and other herbs) need to be dried at the lowest setting possible. Depending on the humidity, dehydrating chamomile can take 12 to 18 hours.

Using An Oven

This is the method I prefer and use most often. In fact, I use this method for other herbs, too. I find drying herbs in an oven to be a more efficient use of energy and my time, compared to the other methods.

To dry Chamomile in the oven, turn the oven to 180°F, or the lowest temperature your oven will allow. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, in a single layer, place the chamomile flowers face side up on the baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven with the door slightly ajar. It’s important to realize that depending on the amount of chamomile flowers you are dehydrating and the moisture content will depend on how long it takes them to dry. Because of this, watch them closely. You can, however, plan on at least a 30 minute dry time.

How To Store Dried Chamomile

Before storing, chamomile needs to be thoroughly dried and cooled. Store dried chamomile flowers in a sealed vessel. For this purpose, I store mine in glass jars with a screw top. 

Label your jars with the contents and year of harvest. The jars should be stored in a cool, dark place, since light and heat can degenerate the color and properties of any dried herb. A white bowl with a white spoon sit in front of a window with a yellow curtain. A jar of dried flowers sits in the background.

Uses for Dried Chamomile

Nevertheless, the growing season is over and your jars of dried chamomile are tucked snugly in your pantry. Meanwhile, fall is starting to set in and as the days shorten, you find yourself with more time inside. 

Do you get a bit stir crazy in fall? I do! For the most part, I am on the backside of long hours in the garden. This has been followed by long hours of butchering animals to fill our freezers. Despite this, even longer hours have been spent in the kitchen canning and preserving the gifts of the garden and farm. 

I should welcome this down time, but if you know me, you know that my idea of relaxing is to “do”.  Fall is when I am able to create. Soap and lotion are made in preparation for the coming winter months. A big batch of elderberry syrup is made and stored in anticipation of cold and flu season. And I find uses for all of the herbs I so diligently stored all summer. Ingredients sit on a tabletop with a blue and white striped towel.

Chamomile Tea

Let’s go ahead and get the most obvious use for chamomile out of the way: Chamomile Tea. I bet it’s the first place your mind goes when you think of chamomile. Chamomile has countless medicinal uses. To name a few, it can aide in digestion and help with anxiety. Although, using chamomile in a tea is the easiest way to benefit from its healing and medicinal properties.

Below, I am going to show you how easy it is to make your own chamomile tea. I prefer to drink my tea using bags, but this recipe is easily adapted for loose tea making. 

And don’t worry, if you don’t grow your own chamomile yet, I have you covered with some suggestions!

A set table waiting for tea to be served.

Homegrown Chamomile Tea

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Save yourself money by making your own Homegrown Chamomile Tea!


  • Dry Chamomile Flowers
  • Teabags


  1. To get started, place a pie plate or a large bowl on the surface you will be working over. This will collect any falling chamomile.
  2. Gently open the top of your teabag. Using your fingers, place 2-3 teaspoons of chamomile flowers in the teabag.
  3. Gently pull the teabag closed. Repeat until the desired amount of teabags have been filled.
  4. Store your teabags in a sealed glass jar until ready to use.


  • To make chamomile tea, place a teabag in your cup. Pour hot water over the teabag and let steep for 5 minutes. Enjoy as is, or with honey.
  • If you don't yet grow your own chamomile, Starwest Botanicals sells delicious whole organic chamomile flowers. Before growing my own chamomile, this is where I sourced my chamomile from. I've included a link for shopping ease.

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Chamomile is safe for baby and toddler consumption. As a result, when my toddler is fussy, having a bad day or teething, I make a cup of chamomile tea for her. First, I cool it with a few ice cubs and then put it in a cup appropriate for her age. This seems to do the trick to mellow her out. She also feels like she is getting a special treat! My older children regularly enjoy a warm mug of chamomile tea, too.

Chamomile Tea, Uses and Your Skin

Did you know that chamomile is good for your skin? Additionally, chamomile has many uses in skincare products. Chamomile has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, these properties can relieve skin irritations.

My oldest daughter suffers from sensitive skin. Summertime can be especially hard for her. Mosquito bites are torturous for her. Additionally, there have been times her skin welts from unknown irritants from being outside.

My solution to easing her irritated skin is to use chamomile tea. I run the tub with warm water, then add 6-7 chamomile tea bags. Additionally, for added relief, I add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Then I let her soak and play. 

My daughter emerges 15-20 minutes later with renewed skin. The inflammation from her welts and bites have gone down, and they certainly no longer itch. 

Other Uses For Chamomile

  • Chamomile tincture for teething babies
  • Chamomile infused oil for skincare products
  • As a natural hair lightener

Gift Giving Chamomile Tea

Giving homemade tea to a good friend or loved one is such a heartfelt way to show them you care. When giving as a gift, I include a notecard listing the benefits and uses of chamomile. Another great thing to include would be how to make tea using the chamomile. Additionally, suggested uses for chamomile tea, like a tea bath or as an eye detox would be helpful. 

Looking For More Homemade Gift Ideas?

Do you enjoy chamomile? I would love to hear in the comments how you incorporate chamomile into your daily life!

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  • I use these Unbleached Tea Bags for all of my tea blends!
  • Don’t grow your own chamomile yet? No Problem! Click HERE for dried organic whole chamomile flowers.Learn how to grow, harvest and store chamomile. I also include chamomile uses and tips for use.




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