The Q&A Archives: Herbs not growing

Question: Good Afternoon:
I planted chamomile & rosemary in my garden going on 2 weeks ago (from seeds). The spot receives plenty of sunlight and I water the garden regularly. The seeds still have not sprouted. At first I blamed it on the weather because the last 2 weeks have been overcast or rainy. However, the lavender seeds I planted a week after the chamomile & rosemary are sprouting.

Answer: It is extremely difficult to get rosemary seeds to germinate. They can take weeks and sometimes months to sprout. I'd suggest purchasing a plant and taking cuttings if you'd like several plants. Cuttings are quite easy to root. Even professional greenhouse growers take cuttings rather than try to get the seeds to germinate. So, why not take a cue from the professionals and purchase a plant!

I'm afraid you are facing similar stumbling blocks with chamomile seeds. Germination is not high in most of these plants (range 40-60% is average). And, the seeds need cool soils to germinat (55-65F) so they are typically sprouted indoors in early spring for transplant outdoors in April. To further complicate things, chamomile seeds need light to germinate so the seeds should be sown on the soil surface which makes them susceptible to being buried or washed away in hard rain or being eaten by birds if they are sown out in the garden.

Wish I had more encouraging news for you!

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