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Chamomile Propagation From Cuttings

Chamomile is an attractive plant in the garden, with daisy-like blooms that are often dried and used to make tea or potpourri. While German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is most familiar, English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is used in similar ways. Although chamomile is often propagated by planting seeds or dividing mature plants, propagation by cuttings is a viable propagation method for both types.
  1. Preparing a Container

    • To prepare for planting chamomile cuttings, fill a small plastic container with commercial potting soil. Dampen the potting soil with a spray bottle so that the potting soil is damp through, but not dripping. Use any container with a drainage hole in the bottom.

    Taking the Cuttings

    • Use a clean pair of garden shears or scissors to cut 3- to 5-inch stem tips from a healthy chamomile plant in spring or early summer. Place the cuttings in a picnic cooler or wrap the stems in a damp paper towel to keep the cuttings cool and moist until you're ready to plant.

    Preparing the Cuttings

    • Remove any buds or blooms from the cuttings, then pull the leaves from the lower half of each stem. Dip the tip of each cutting in a powdered rooting hormone. Although rooting hormone isn't required, it increases the chance that the cuttings will successfully root.

    Planting the Cuttings

    • To plant the chamomile cuttings, stick each cutting into the dampened potting soil, then mist the soil lightly to settle the soil around the stem. You can plant several chamomile cuttings in the container, but arrange the cuttings so the leaves don't touch.

    Caring for the Cuttings

    • Cover the pot with a zip-seal bag, then seal the bag securely. The bag becomes a mini-greenhouse, keeping the chamomile cuttings warm and moist. Place the bag in light sunlight and normally warm room temperatures.

    Planting the Chamomile Seedlings

    • New growth on the chamomile cuttings is an indication that the cuttings have successfully rooted. You can also test for roots by tugging lightly on the cuttings. If the cuttings have rooted, you'll feel a resistance to your tug. Plant the rooted cuttings outdoors in a sunny, well-drained spot and keep the soil moist until you notice new growth. Thereafter, chamomile is a drought-tolerant plant and needs water only during periods of hot, dry weather.