How To Harvest Chamomile For Tea

Chamomile, with its pleasant aroma and soothing properties, is an all-time favorite for herbal tea lovers. With many people growing chamomile in their gardens, people ask: how and when do I harvest chamomile?

Chamomile tea

When to Harvest Chamomile?

Choosing the right time to harvest chamomile is crucial. Typically, the best time to harvest chamomile flowers is in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. At this time, the oils in the flowers are at their peak, providing the most potent aroma and flavor.

Timing is not just about the hour of the day. It also matters how mature the flowers are. Look for chamomile flowers that are fully open, with petals that curve downward. This indicates that they’re at the peak of their maturity and ready for harvest.

Harvesting Chamomile: Step-by-step Guide

Now, we get to the crux of our article: how to harvest chamomile for tea. Follow the steps below for a successful harvest:

Prepare Your Tools

Firstly, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears or scissors and a basket or a container to hold the harvested flowers.

Select the Flowers

Look for fully open chamomile flowers. The petals should be curving downwards. Avoid flowers that are wilting or have started to brown.

Harvest the Flowers

With your pruning shears, cut the stem just below the flower head. Ensure that you do not damage the surrounding buds that are still developing.

Collect the Harvest

Place the harvested chamomile flowers in your basket or container. Avoid packing them too tightly to prevent damage.

Post-harvest Care: Drying Chamomile Flowers

Once you’ve harvested your chamomile flowers, the next step is to dry them. This process ensures the flowers retain their flavor and potency.

Preparing for Drying

Spread out the chamomile flowers on a clean, dry surface. Make sure they’re in a single layer and not touching each other. This will facilitate even drying.

Drying Chamomile

Choose a well-ventilated, dark place for drying. Exposure to sunlight can degrade the essential oils in the flowers. The drying process usually takes around 1-2 weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature.

Storing Dried Chamomile

Store your dried chamomile in airtight containers away from heat and sunlight. This will help maintain the quality of your chamomile tea for up to a year.


Harvesting chamomile for tea is a rewarding process that invites you to engage more deeply with nature. The results are worth the effort – a cup of homemade, aromatic chamomile tea that soothes and relaxes.

However, if you determine that harvesting and drying chamomile for tea isn’t for you, consider these store-bought options.


What Part Of Chamomile Is Used For Tea?

The part of the chamomile plant most often used for tea is the flower. More specifically, the flower heads are harvested. These are the white, daisy-like blossoms with yellow centers. They are the storehouses of chamomile’s essential oils, which provide the plant’s characteristic aroma and beneficial properties.

Do You Have To Dry Chamomile To Make Tea?

While you can make chamomile tea with fresh flowers, drying them is more common and has certain advantages. Drying chamomile flowers helps to concentrate their flavors and allows you to store them for longer periods. If you have an abundant harvest and want to enjoy your chamomile tea year-round, drying the flowers is the best option.

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