It is so easy to have chamomile in the garden that we see no reason to remind you that it is an essential plant in the garden, medicinal and aromatic plants .
It has calmed and continues to calm the stomachs of all humanity, as well as other parts of the body, so let’s look at some interesting things.
WHAT IS THE CHAMOMILE THAT WE USE AS AN INFUSION?
The first thing we must know is which of the known chamomiles is the one we must have. We distinguish between:
- Field chamomile ( Anthemis arvensis )
- Common chamomile ( Chamaemelum nobile )
- Sweet chamomile ( Matricaria recutita or also called Matricaria chamomilla )
Within these varieties of chamomile , we can find annual and perennial species. The German variety ( Matricaria recutita ) is annual while the Roman ( Anthemis nobilis ) is perennial.
It is the variety of sweet chamomile that we propose for the garden for all its properties so well known to all.
Distinguishing the true chamomile from the others with the naked eye is somewhat complicated. They are very very similar and it is not easy to recognize them.
The little that we can be guided by is the smell and especially the taste. The common name is overwhelming. Sweet chamomile .
Well that. It smells and tastes sweet. The rest have a bitter taste. If you run your hand over the plant and shake it a bit, the aroma should be pleasant.
If you do not trust your sensory capacity, you can always buy some plants in a nursery and transplant them into your garden so it is difficult for you not to do so in this regard.
GROWING CONDITIONS FOR CHAMOMILE
Any. When we say anyone, it is anyone. The truth is that as a spontaneous plant that it is, it does not need large amounts of anything, if not almost none.
It is the most grateful for any climate, soil or amounts of water.
As a note, it can be said that it supports acidic soils well, and to prefer, it prefers drained soils and good light conditions .
In very dry climates we may have to water it from time to time for better development but it is not something that we should worry too much about. What more could you want!
PESTS AND ASSOCIATED DISEASES
Although chamomile is a plant that can grow wild, it is sensitive to being visited or attacked by certain pests and diseases.
The most common is the presence of pests such as thrips or aphids , since they are quite polyphagic species that can resort to this crop when the time comes, if there are no other more attractive species in the area.
COLLECTION AND DRYING OF CHAMOMILE FOR FUTURE INFUSIONS
Its flowering occurs from mid-spring, and in the coldest areas until summer. We must collect the flowers when they have just fully opened and before the petals are thrown “back.”
PRUNING AND REMOVING DRIED FLOWERS
To encourage flowering, it is necessary to remove withered flowers and lonely stems that hinder the development of new ones. They can be cut flush with the ground as they are useless for the plant and will gradually dry out.
With this energy management of the plant we are able to take more advantage of the water and nutrient resources that we provide and, therefore, we will increase the flowering and size of its flowers.
You have to spend a good time collecting flower by flower until we have a considerable amount. The most important thing in harvesting is to do it with the Sun at the highest point.
The reason is as simple as avoiding a high moisture content at harvest time that will make subsequent drying difficult.
Once the desired quantity has been collected, the flower should be spread as much as possible on a cloth or blotting paper and stored in a cool, dry, dark place and, if possible, ventilated. All this will promote proper drying.
If they become caked and the conditions are not suitable, they can ferment or even mold.
Once it is completely dry, we can store it in hermetic containers or in the typical infusion cans.