Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 10:40 am
Chamomile is quite common amongst many gardeners. It is used as an antidepressant and sometimes a sleep-inducer.
The plant has been around for an extended period and has managed to win the hearts of many gardeners, mainly because it requires less effort to grow.
Being of this high advantage, many gardeners make it an essential part of the garden. But how well will it do in winter, which is the scariest season for gardeners?
Does chamomile survive winter? Chamomile plants will stay overwinter as far north as USDA zone 4. However, it will need a little help to survive through periods of extreme cold with minimum damage. This is because the soil dries out a bit more slowly in cooler temperatures. Wet soil kills chamomile.
How Cold Can Chamomile Tolerate?
When we speak of chamomile being cold tolerant, the next big question is how tolerant. Usually, the chamomile plant grows best in planting zones 5 to 9.
The chamomile plant is cold hardy to -20°F, so it can be short-lived in hot summer regions. In addition, the plant is a resilient one that will survive very low night temperatures. These temperatures could even be –14°F (-10°C).
However, the best climate conditions for chamomile plants on average are long warm days as well as cool nights.
In planting zones 3 to 9, the chamomile will grow best in cool conditions. It should also be planted in part shade and receive just the right amount of shade.
Once the chamomile plant is established, it will require just a little care. Like most herb plants, this plant will grow best when it is not fussed over. In addition, chamomile is drought tolerant and only needs watering in cases of prolonged drought periods.
Can Chamomile Survive Frost?
The young chamomile seedlings are drought tolerant. This tolerance means they will tolerate and survive winters in mild climates. The most uncomplicated variety of chamomile to grow is the cool season annual.
Chamomile seedlings can be started indoors at about 3-4 weeks before the last frost. While planting chamomile seeds indoors, you should fill a seed tray with a well-draining potting mix.
After this, you can simply just scatter the seeds over the already loose soil and tamp it down lightly. You can water it in a light mist as this will help it survive frost better.
Germination will occur in temperatures as low as 45-55F (7.13°c), in full sun to part shade. Make sure the soil around the chamomile plant is consistently moist but should never be sopping wet.
Generally, chamomile plants need a bit of water every week for the rest of the growing season. However, fully grown chamomile plants can get by with less amount of water.
So when the plant has approached maturity or fully attained it, it is safe to allow the soil to dry up entirely after the previous watering before you re-water the plant.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Chamomile?
Chamomile is a hardy plant. It can survive in cold temperatures and frosty climates, but temperatures too cold for the plant’s comfort exist. So, most of the time, this plant is left to frost as seeds before planting to survive winter and frost during maturity.
Frost and freezing are two different conditions in general. Chamomile may survive frost but will not survive freezing. Temperatures in the snowy winter will freeze the plant and rip it off its original flavors.
If the chamomile plant in question is the perennial variety, it will die and lose its taste and flavors after freezing.
If you live in environments where the winter is very harsh, you should plant the annual chamomile (Romania Chamomile).
This is because by winter, the plant may have been completing its life cycle already, and much loss will not be sustained even if the plant remains are left to be harvested after the freezing period.
Any temperatures lower than 6°c will freeze the chamomile plant in the garden. A tip to keeping chamomile safe during the winter is potting. When you pot the plant and bring it indoors, you can provide grow lights whenever the weather becomes too cold.
It will most definitely reduce the number of plants you lose to the harsh winter weather if this is done.
Also, during the winter, you can minimize how often you water the plant to avoid it getting too cold. If it’s the rainy season, you might want to hold back entirely on the watering if it is planted outdoors. If it’s the snow season, the same applies to the garden chamomile.
The chamomile seeds will germinate best at a temperature of about 68°F (20°c). So, if you live in a cold house, you can place the pots on a heating mat or near a radiator.
Chamomile leaves are used in making herbal teas and for other health-related issues. This is because of its intense flavors and beautifully pleasant aroma.
As we all know, the weather is always a contributing factor to the growth and development of many plants, and chamomile is not an exception.
Despite being a hardy perennial or annual (depending on the variety), certain weathers are not favorable to the plant. They include excess drought and freezing temperatures.
In such temperatures, try as much as possible to give the plant all the plant it can get on your path to enable you to get the best results from your garden.