How to Grow Carum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Caraway

Carum is a hardy biennial herb.

They flower in their second year. From the spring to early in the summer.

Carum is also known as Caraway and Ajmud.


carum seeds
Carum seeds by Breki74.

They reach from 60 cm to 1.2 metres (2 to 4 feet) in height. When in bloom they have white flowers. The leaves are fern-like. The seeds of carum are used in cooking.

Carum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Caraway, Persian Cumin, Meridian Fennel
Life Cycle: Hardy biennial.
Height: 24 to 48 inches (60 to 120 cm).
Native: Old World.
Family: Apiaceae.

Growing Region: Zones 3 to 8.
Flowers: In the second year from spring through to early summer.
Flower Details: White, pink. Flat. Tiny. Clustered
Foliage: Herbaceous. Fern-like.

Sow Outside: Seeds: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Three weeks before the last frost or towards the end of autumn. Germination time: two weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Spacing 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: No need. Carum plants bought at a nursery can be transplanted following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Soil pH 6.0 to 7.0.  Light but fertile soil. Give nursery transplanted Carum a feed when planting. Feed again when plants start to grow with vigour. Propagate: Allow to self seed.
Miscellaneous: Caraway is grown for its seed. Harvest seeds by cutting off the flower heads once the seeds turn brown in the middle of summer. Place the heads in a paper bag. Rub the bag gently to loosen the seeds.
Carum seeds are susceptible to insects; therefore once seeds have been harvested they should be put into boiling water to remove any insect infestation. Next the seeds should be dried in the sun for a couple of days. They can now be stored in a Tupperware or other suitable container until they are required.

How to Grow Caraway - Carum

Seeds of carum should be sowed at a depth of 3 mm (1/8th inch) into a light soil with good drainage (pH 6 to 7). Sowing can be done in either early autumn or early spring.

It is best to sow from fresh seeds. It should take them about two weeks to germinate.

If you buy Caraway plants from garden centers, then they should be spaced out at a distance of 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches).

Carum should ideally be grown in a sunny part of the garden. Once established the plants should not be moved.

They are fairly easy to look after, they do however require feeding, both at the time they are planted, and when they are growing at their most vigorous.

Harvesting Carum Seeds for Use in Cooking

If you plan to use Carum seeds for culinary purposes, then they should be harvested when the seeds become brown in the middle of summer.

Common Questions

How many members does the Carum genus have?

The Carum genus contains about 20 species, including Caraway used in cooking.

Do members of Carum make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Carum carvi (Caraway) can be an interesting addition to a herb or kitchen garden, and its flowers attract beneficial insects.

Which Carum species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most frequently grown species is Carum carvi (Caraway), known for its edible seeds used as a spice.

Are members of the Carum plant genus fragrant?

Yes, Carum carvi (Caraway) has a distinct aroma, especially its seeds that are often used as a spice in cooking.

What is the perfect location to grow Carum?

Carum species prefer full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. They're fairly hardy and can grow in a variety of conditions.

Is Carum invasive in the USA?

Currently, Carum species are not considered invasive in the USA. Caraway, for instance, is often grown in herb gardens.

How do I remove Carum plants from my garden?

Removing Carum requires pulling or digging up the plants. If they have seeded, regular monitoring will be necessary to prevent regrowth.


The Carum genus, part of the Apiaceae family, is native to various regions worldwide. The most familiar species, Carum carvi or caraway, is a biennial plant known for its feathery leaves and small white or pink flowers that bloom in summer, as well as its aromatic seeds used as a spice.

To grow Carum, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in the spring or autumn. Regular watering is necessary. They are often used in herb or vegetable gardens for their edible and aromatic seeds.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Carum plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Astrantia, Fennel plant, and Myrrhis plants.