Anethum graveolens goes by many names, but the most common is Dill or Dill weed.
An annual (and sometimes biennial) herb, it is most often prized for its aromatic and culinary qualities, but it also makes an attractive addition to flower gardens or as an indoor potted plant.
Dill is a member of the Apiaceae family, and can be grown as a summer annual in U.S. hardiness Zones 3 to 7 or as a winter crop in Zones 8 to 11. In the UK it is considered hardy to about – 10°C (14°F) and classified in hardiness group H4.
Anethum graveolens photograph by Matt Lavin.
These edible herbs are distinguished by their slender 16" to 24" (40 to 60 cm) stems, feathery, light-green fronds, and parasol-shaped clusters of tiny yellow flowers.
In vegetable gardens, they make good companions with cucumbers, broccoli, onions and lettuces.
They provide a striking contrast in flower gardens featuring bright blooms and dark green foliage.
They are attractive to beneficial insects and butterflies, so are a welcome addition in butterfly gardens.
Dill seeds are used in vinegar for pickling and as a spice, and the plant's fresh or dried leaves are used in a variety of dishes, salads and sauces.
Anethum graveolens prefers full sun and well-drained soils and will typically grow two to four feet (60 to 120 cm) high with a spread one to two feet (30 to 60 cm) wide.
Its delicate taproot system makes it difficult to transplant, and as such, Dill is best grown from seed sown directly into the garden about 1/4-inch (6 mm) deep.
Best results can be had by first sowing in early spring with several more sowings thereafter into the summer.
When seedlings appear, separate them to about a foot (30 cm) apart.
By allowing some plants to go to seed each autumn, gardeners can generally eliminate the need to replant as they will self-sow and germinate again in the spring.