Hello. I am very interested in growing the chamomile flower to eventually make chamomile tea. Can you tell me when to plant the seeds and what kind of condition it can grow in. I have areas in my garden with lots of strong sun and lots of shade. Also, I am looking for seeds that are non-GMO and natural. Does the TBG have these seeds? I look forward to your reply.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question.
There are two popular varieties of chamomile, German chamomile and Roman chamomile. Roman chamomile is a perennial that is often used as a groundcover while German chamomile is an annual herb used for making tea. Although it looks quite delicate, German chamomile is surprisingly tough. It looks rather like a wildflower with its fragrant flowers and daisy-like white petals surrounding a yellow disk.
German chamomile likes both full sun and partial shade but flowers best in full sun. Its flowers usually appear in late spring.
Although it is an annual plant, it self-seeds easily, so you might think that it is a perennial. Start the seeds about six weeks before the last expected frost. Because the seeds need light to germinate, you should scatter them and press them firmly onto the soil, but do not cover them with soil. Germination should take place within seven to fourteen days.
It is also possible to direct seed German chamomile outdoors. You’ll get better germination if you do this in the fall and allow the seeds to stratify over winter so that you get a spring crop.
Although the Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend sources for purchasing seeds and plants, there are several reputable sources where you will be able to find non-GMO seeds.
Please see below for useful links on growing chamomile: