How To Grow And Care For Chamomile

This joyful plant will make you happy every time you see it in your Southern garden.


Southern Living/Adrienne Legault

If you've ever wished your lawn was awash in flowers instead of grass, there's a summertime groundcover that can make your wishes come true. Chamomile is perhaps best known for its uses in beauty products and herbal teas, but it's also a lovely blooming addition to lawns.

Chamomile's scientific names are Chamaemelum nobile and Anthemis nobilis, and it has many other common names as well. It's also known as Roman chamomile, English chamomile, and garden chamomile. You may also hear it referred to as ground apple, sweet chamomile, or low chamomile.

It is a low-maintenance plant with a spreading habit that produces small white daisy-like flowers. In the South, the flowering season can stretch from summer into the autumn months. While often used in pots and borders, chamomile can also be easily adapted for use as a no-fuss lawn.

Plant Attributes

Common Name Chamomile, Roman chamomile, Barnyard daisy
Botanical Name Chamaemelum Nobile
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type  Perennial, Annual
Mature Size 3–12 in. tall
Sun Exposure Full sun, Partial shade 
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time Summer, Fall
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones USDA Zones 6–9
Native Area Europe
Toxicity Toxic to dogs and cats

Southern Living/Adrienne Legault

Chamomile Care

This low-maintenance planting has a spreading habit and produces small white daisy-like flowers and aromatic leaves that emit an apple-like fragrance. In the South, they flower during June and July, though the flowering season can stretch into the autumn months. While often used in pots and borders, chamomile can also be easily adapted for use as a ground cover. When planted in large quantities, it creates a fragrant, no-fuss lawn.

A chamomile lawn requires moderate water and full to partial sun in order to thrive. Once planted, heavy foot traffic will take its toll, while light and occasional walking is more likely to keep the lawn looking its best.


Southern Living/Adrienne Legault


German chamomile grows well in full sun to part shade, but if you’re looking for that explosion of little blooms, plant chamomile in full sun where more light and heat will result in fuller plants and blooms. If you find you get too much sun and the blooms are burning— which can happen in the South—you can plant them in filtered light.


Chamomile can grow in many soil types but prefers neutral soil. If you have poor soil, amend it with organic material to create a better growing environment. 


Established chamomile is pretty drought tolerant, but it’s best to let it dry out between waterings. When faced with drought, continue watering chamomile.

Temperature and Humidity

Chamomile prefers moderate temperatures, but it will continue to thrive in temperatures up to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Chamomile prefers dry climates and will not grow its best in excessive humidity.


You don’t need to fertilize chamomile. It will grow well without it!

Types of Chamomile

  • ‘Treneague’ is a nonflowering selection.
  • ‘Flore Pleno’ has double daisy-like flowers.
  • Matricaria recutita, formerly known as M. chamomilla is native to Europe, western Asia; naturalized in North America. Aromatic plant grows to 2 ft. tall and 1 1⁄2 ft. wide, with finely cut, almost fernlike foliage. White and yellow daisy-type flowers to 1 in. wide bloom in summer. Grows easily in most soils; sow seed in late winter or spring. Valued for its herbal use: dried flowers are used in making the familiar, fragrant chamomile tea.

Southern Living/Adrienne Legault

How to Grow Chamomile From Seed

For best results, plant chamomile seed in the spring. This fast grower will reach full bloom within about 10 weeks. The Roman chamomile variety is grown as a groundcover or in rocky walls or stone paths. The German chamomile is generally grown for making tea.

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