How to Grow Matricaria Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Chamomile

Matricaria plants carry white daisy like flowers and golden pompom shaped flowers. These are often used to create herbal drinks.

Matricaria can be either hardy annuals or perennials, but are usually grown as half hardy annuals by gardeners.

The plants reach an height of between 10 cm and 60 cm (4 to 24 inches).

It is the flowers of Matricaria plants that are used to make chamomile tea.

German chamomile

Matricaria german chamomile

If you want to harvest flowers for making Chamomile tea, then it is best to collect flowers on a sunny day (ensuring that the flowers are fully open), then dry them in the sun.

Discard the stems and leaves, and store the chamomile flowers in an air tight container.

Some of the common names for Matricaria include Sweet Chamomile, German Chamomile, Feverfew, and False chamomile.

Matricaria recutita
Matricaria recutita – German Chamomile by Eran Finkle; creative commons.

Matricaria discoidea
Matricaria discoidea - Pineapple Weed Photograph by Arran Edmonstone under CC licence.

Matricaria Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: German Chamomile, Mayweed, Pineapple Weed, Feverfew. Chamomile: Common; Blue; Sweet; False.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual. Hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 2 to 24 inches (5 to 60 cm).
Native: Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 4 to 10.

    Flowers: Summer.
    Flower Details: White, yellow. Symmetric. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Pompoms. Fragrant.
    Foliage: Glabrous. Bipinnate. Lobed.

Sow Outside: Surface. Before last frost or in autumn. Spacing 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Poor soils. Provide a feed early in the growing season. Pinch tips. Deadhead to promote further blooming. Perennials should be cut back to the ground in autumn.
Family: Asteraceae.
Miscellaneous: Matricaria recutita is synonymous with Chamomilla recutita (German chamomile/camomile) and is the plant that is used to make chamomile tea.

How to Grow Sweet Chamomile and other Matricaria Plant in the Garden

Sow the seeds of sweet chamomile outdoors on the soil surface at the start of spring; chamomile should have a light frost for best germination.

They can grow in either lightly shaded or sunny parts of the garden, but should have good drainage. The soil type should not be rich and sweet chamomile can grow in poor soils.

When starting to grow sweet chamomile seedlings indoors then start about 7 weeks in advance.

It should take the seeds about one to three weeks to germinate at 18 to 24 degrees Celsius (75°F).

Once ready, transplant into the garden at about 20 cm (8 inches; small Matricaria varieties) to 40 cm (16 inches; large Matricaria species).

Caring for Chamomile Plants

It is easy to maintain sweet Chamomile and other Matricaria plants in the garden. The young plants should be pinched back to encourage bushy growth, and they should be fed in the spring.

Once the growing season has finished, cut back the plants in the autumn, or ideally remove the old plants and let new ones grow from seeds the following year, for increased intensity.

Common Questions

How many members does the Matricaria genus have?

The Matricaria genus comprises about 23 species, the most known of which is Chamomile.

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

Yes, Matricaria species like chamomile are popular in gardens for their daisy-like flowers, pleasant scent, and medicinal properties. They're also great for pollinator gardens.

Which Matricaria species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile), appreciated for its lovely flowers and uses in herbal teas.

Are members of the Matricaria plant genus fragrant?

Yes, many Matricaria species, such as chamomile, have a sweet, apple-like fragrance, especially when the leaves are crushed.

What is the perfect location to grow Matricaria?

Matricaria prefers a sunny location with well-drained soil. It tolerates poor soil and can be a good choice for rock gardens or borders.

Is Matricaria invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Matricaria is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Matricaria plants from my garden?

Matricaria can be removed by hand-pulling or hoeing, making sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.


The Matricaria genus, including the popular chamomile, is a group of flowering plants in the aster family. Known for their daisy-like flowers, they're often used in teas and traditional medicine, as well as garden ornamentals.

Matricaria plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Plant them in the spring, after the last frost. Water them regularly but avoid overwatering. These plants are fairly hardy and require minimal maintenance once established.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Matricaria plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Annual Chrysanthemum, Gentiana plant, and Aster plants.