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Chamomile lawns offer a unique blend of beauty and functionality, creating serene and fragrant garden spaces. Ideal for areas with light foot traffic or challenging mower access, chamomile, particularly the Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’ variety, serves as an excellent ground cover alternative to traditional grass.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chamomile Types: Choose between Roman and German chamomile for your lawn.
  • Planting: Best planted in spring with well-draining soil and full sunlight.
  • Care: Requires minimal care once established, with drought tolerance and low maintenance.
  • Propagation: Can be propagated through seeds or stem cuttings.
  • Varieties: Several chamomile varieties suit different garden needs.

How to Grow Chamomile

Chamomile, a member of the daisy family, comes mainly in two types: Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Roman chamomile is a perennial, creeping plant known for its fragrant foliage and is best suited for lawns. In contrast, German chamomile is an annual and grows taller, making it less ideal for ground cover but great for harvesting flowers for tea.

How to Grow Chamomile
Soil and Climate for Chamomile:

  • Soil Type: Prefers well-draining, loamy soil.
  • Climate: Thrives in temperate climates, hardy to -20°F.
  • Sunlight: Requires full sun or light shade.

Where to Grow Chamomile

Chamomile lawns work best in sunny areas with light foot traffic. They can also be a charming addition to spaces where mowing is challenging.

Ideal Garden Locations:

  • Sunny Spots: Full sun is essential for thriving chamomile.
  • Soil Requirements: Well-draining soil, ideally sandy loam.

How to Plant Chamomile

Planting chamomile requires a bit of preparation to ensure a lush, fragrant lawn. The best times for planting are in the early fall or spring.

How to Plant Chamomile
Preparing the Soil:

  • Remove weeds and level the soil.
  • Amend heavy soil with sand and compost for better drainage.

Planting Techniques:

  • Seeds: Sow in spring or fall, lightly tamping the seeds into the soil.
  • Spacing: Plant seeds or seedlings about 7 inches apart.

Chamomile Planting Table

Aspect Details
Soil Preparation Remove weeds, amend with sand/compost
Planting Time Early fall or spring
Seed Sowing Surface sow, tamp lightly
Seedling Spacing Approx. 7 inches apart
Watering 1 inch per week, less once established
Sunlight Requirement Full sun or light shade

Caring for Your Chamomile Lawn

Once your chamomile lawn is established, it requires minimal care but there are key practices to ensure its health and vitality.

Caring for Your Chamomile Lawn
Watering Chamomile:

  • Newly planted chamomile requires about 1 inch of water per week.
  • Established plants are drought tolerant and need less frequent watering.

Mowing and Foot Traffic:

  • Avoid walking on new chamomile lawns for 12-13 weeks.
  • Once established, chamomile tolerates light foot traffic.
  • Mow early in spring for lush growth. For non-flowering varieties, use shears for upkeep.

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How to Propagate Chamomile

Propagation is essential for expanding your chamomile lawn or replacing older plants.

How to Propagate Chamomile
Propagation Methods:

  • Seeds: Collect from mature plants.
  • Stem Cuttings: Take 4-inch stem cuttings with foliage but no flowers.

Propagation Steps:

  • Plant seeds or place stem cuttings in well-draining soil.
  • Water regularly and provide ample sunlight.
  • Transplant seedlings or rooted cuttings to the desired location.

Chamomile Lawn Care Table

Maintenance Aspect Recommendations
Watering 1 inch/week initially, less for mature plants
Foot Traffic Minimal for the first 12-13 weeks
Mowing Early spring for lush growth
Propagation Seeds or stem cuttings

Growing Chamomile: Problem Solving

Even the hardiest plants can encounter issues. Here’s how to manage common problems in chamomile lawns.

Growing Chamomile: Problem Solving
Common Pests and Diseases:

  • Aphids: Small insects that can be controlled with insecticidal soap.
  • Mealybugs: Treat with neem oil or manual removal.

Prevention and Control:

  • Regularly inspect plants for signs of pests or disease.
  • Introduce natural predators like ladybugs for aphids.

Chamomile Pest Management Table

Pest/Disease Identification Treatment
Aphids Small insects on the underside of leaves Insecticidal soap
Mealybugs White, cotton-like lumps on stems and leaves Neem oil, manual removal

Varieties of Chamomile to Grow

Choosing the right variety can impact the success and appearance of your lawn.

Varieties of Chamomile to Grow
Popular Varieties:

  • Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): Perennial, ideal for lawns.
  • German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Annual, taller, used for tea.