Dill is a beautiful herb with feathery leaves and tall stems covered with tiny yellow flowers. It is an aromatic plant that belongs to the parsley and carrot family. It has a long history of use as food and medicine, dating back to ancient times.
You can grow dill in your garden if you have the space and time. If not, you can try growing it in containers on a patio or balcony.
This article will look at how to grow dill and share some tips for growing it successfully.
In This Article
Quick Facts About Dill
Common and botanical names: Dill; Anethum graveolens
Type of plant: Biannual/perennial herb
Native areas: South-West Asia; South-East Europe
Sun exposure: Full sun
Size upon maturity: three to five ft. tall; two to three ft. wide
Type of soil and pH level: well-drained soil; slightly acidic between 5.8 to 6.5 pH
Hardiness zones: 2–11 (USDA)
Best time to plant: early spring to mid-summer
Best time to harvest: four to eight weeks after planting
Toxicity: non-toxic to humans, pets, and other animals
Vulnerable to: black swallowtail caterpillar, black swallowtail butterfly, root-knot nematodes, powdery mildew, root rot, etc.
Planting Dill Seeds
Here are some useful information to keep in mind when planting dill seeds:
Dill plants need full sun and at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
If you plan to grow dill indoors, you’ll need to place the plants near a window with plenty of sunlight. You can also place a grow light over the plants to keep them healthy and thriving.
Dill plants do best in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. The soil pH should be between 5.8 and 6.5. You can mix some compost or manure into the soil before you sow seeds to help improve drainage and fertility.
If you are planting dill seeds directly into the ground, you will need to dig a hole for each dill seed. Just put a few seeds into each hole, about one inch deep. Ensure the soil is well-amended with compost or other nutrients before planting the seeds.
Your dill seedlings will need plenty of water to thrive. Make sure that the soil is moist and well-drained but not soaking wet. If you notice that your dill plants have yellow leaves or are wilting, they are getting too much water.
The soil should not be left to dry out between waterings, so make sure that you check the soil daily and give it good watering when it is dry.
Humidity and Temperature
The ideal soil temperature range for dill is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Dill is a very hardy plant and can handle temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although dill can tolerate low temperatures, you should also be aware that dill is sensitive to frost. Therefore, you must protect your plants from cold weather by covering them with plastic or a light blanket when temperatures drop below freezing.
It is ideal to plant dill during early spring or early summer, so the plants have time to grow before the first frost. You can begin harvesting dill leaves after the spring frost when the dill flowers start to show. Dill can also be planted in late summer for harvest during the fall and winter.
Dill needs little to no fertilizer. However, if you want your dill seed to thrive, you may want to use a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of approximately 5:10:5 once. You can also use compost or other organic matter as natural fertilizers for dill.
Growing dill is easy, especially since they can self-sow, meaning they will grow back even if you don’t plant them again.
Dill can be sown directly into the ground or in pots as long as it’s done early enough for the plants to mature before the first frost.
When you grow dill from seed, you must plant the seed in well-draining soil about one inch deep and keep it moist until they germinate. Make sure your garden soil is rich in organic matter. Once your dill grows and is established, weed and water them regularly, especially when it is young.
If your dill is growing in a pot, make sure that it has enough room to grow. You should also be mindful not to overwater the plant since it can rot if too much water accumulates around its roots.
When the young dill plants are about 6 inches tall, thin them out so that there is only one plant per pot or each space between two rows of seeds. If you’re growing your dill in the ground, use a hoe to dig up some soil with the roots attached, put it into another container, and then plant it in the same spot again or somewhere else that needs some help.
Sow seeds continuously to keep your dill plant producing all season long. Dill is a cool-season vegetable. This means you should plant it in spring and then again in late summer for a continuous harvest of fresh dill all year long.
The best time to start harvesting your dill weed is when it begins to flower. You can also harvest the leaves throughout the season as needed. On the other hand, try not to gather more than 20% of the plant at once. To harvest a dill weed, simply pinch off a few stems and use them fresh or dry them for later use.
The fresh herbs are best used in salads, sauces, and dips. At the same time, the dried dill weed can be used to season meat or fish dishes, soups, and stews. Dill pickles are another popular use for dill.
You can also cut off pieces of the fresh leaves at different times during the growing season and let them dry out completely before storing them in an airtight container.
On the other hand, you can harvest dill seeds by simply snipping off the entire plant and hanging it upside down in a warm, dry area. When the seeds ripen and are ready to harvest, you’ll see them falling out of the dill leaves and into your container.
You can cut the entire flower head off for the edible dill flowers and use it in salads or sandwiches. The umbrella-shaped flower heads have a robust flavor and are often used as garnishes. These flower heads can also be folded into dill butter or dill cheese, which are two popular ways to add the flavor of dill to a dish.
Lastly, when you harvest dill, you can use the yellow flowers as an addition to floral arrangements. The flowers are beautiful and make incredible decorations for various occasions, including weddings and other events.
There are several ways to preserve dill, depending on how long you want to keep it. These methods ensure that your dill will stay fresh and flavorful until you need it again:
Refrigeration is the most popular way to preserve dill. Simply place your fresh dill into a sealed container and put it in the fridge. This will keep the moisture from escaping and keep your herbs crisp and flavorful for several days.
You can also wrap them in cellophane or plastic wrap and then place them in the fridge. If you don’t have any of these materials on hand, you can simply wrap the herbs in a damp paper towel or cloth and place them inside a resealable plastic bag before storing them in the fridge.
If you want to preserve your dill for extended periods, drying it is an excellent solution. To do this, simply hang bunches of fresh dill upside down in a paper bag. Hang in a dry place until the leaves are crispy and dry to the touch. The seed head will also become dry and brittle, and the dill seeds will fall out of the flower head and into the paper bag.
Freezing is another excellent way to preserve fresh dill. Just chop your fresh dill leaves and place them in a freezer bag. You can also add some olive oil to help prevent moisture loss and keep your herbs from turning brown when frozen.
Placing the fresh dill leaves in a deep container or jar with a tightly fitting lid is another storage option. Ensure the container is airtight and put it in a dark, cool spot.
Pests and Diseases
Like most aromatic plants, dill is susceptible to several pests and diseases. The feathery green leaves of the plant attract several insects.
Aphids – Aphids are common dill pests, as are small flies. If you see any of these insects on your dill plant, treat them with an organic insecticide or try handpicking the pests off by hand.
Black swallowtail butterflies – The black swallowtail butterfly is a common pest of dill. These butterflies lay eggs on the plant, which hatch into caterpillars that damage the feathery foliage of the host plant. You can avoid this problem when you plant dill in an area not frequented by these butterflies and by harvesting your herbs regularly, so they do not attract them in the first place.
Root-knot nematodes – These tiny worms can cause a lot of damage to dill seedlings and even mature plants. They are microscopic but visible under a microscope and can be found in soil samples taken from your garden. They will feed on the roots of your dill plant, which causes them to become stunted and yellowed. Treating with an organic pesticide may help prevent root-knot nematodes from harming your plants.
Carrot motley dwarf – This fungal disease affects dill seedlings, causing them to yellow and die. It’s caused by the carrot motley dwarf virus, which can also affect carrots and parsley. To prevent this disease from affecting your plants, make sure they are grown in well-drained soil and avoid planting them near any other members of the carrot or parsley family (Apiaceae).
Carrot red leaf virus – This disease causes dill plants to develop a red leaf coloration, which can spread to other members of the Apiaceae family. It’s caused by a carrot red leaf virus that can be transmitted from infected plants to others via insects or windblown dust. To prevent this disease from affecting your dill, avoid planting your seeds near any other members of the Apiaceae family (carrots, celery, or parsley).
Carrot mottle virus – This disease causes carrot plants to develop a yellow-green coloration on their leaves and stems, along with developing mottled spots. This virus is transmitted by carrot mottle insect pests and can be carried on the wind as dust. To avoid getting this disease, do not plant any members of the Apiaceae family near your plant.
Cercospora leaf blight – This fungal disease causes dark-colored spots to appear on leaves, which will eventually turn brown and fall off. This fungus is spread through windblown dust, so if you want to avoid getting Cercospora leaf blight, make sure to grow dill in an area that is sheltered from the wind.
Damping off – Damping off is a fungal disease that causes seedlings to rot at the soil line. It can be caused by overwatering or planting seeds too deeply, so keep your soil moist but not wet when growing dill.
Downy mildew – This is a fungal disease that causes round, white spots to appear on leaves. These spots will eventually turn brown and fall off, leaving small holes in the leaf surface. Windblown spores spread downy mildew, so if you want to avoid getting downy mildew on your dill, make sure to plant them in an area that is sheltered from the wind.
Powdery mildew – Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes white powdery spots to appear on leaves. These spots can appear anywhere on the plant, but they are most common on the top of the leaves and around flowers. Powdery mildew tends to be more prevalent during warm and humid weather, so if you want to avoid getting this disease, make sure you plant your dill in an area with plenty of sun.
Root rot – Root rot is a fungal disease that causes the roots of your dill to turn brown and mushy. This can eventually lead to the plant dying, so if you want to avoid getting root rot, make sure you plant your dill in an area with well-draining soil.If you notice that your dill plant is growing poorly or has wilted leaves, it may have root rot. You can tell if your plant has this disease by gently pulling them up and inspecting its roots. If the roots look brown, mushy, and discolored, your plant likely has root rot.
Dill Varieties for Container Gardening
Dill is a great herb to grow in containers because it requires very little space. It will thrive in small pots and can even be grown indoors if you want to keep your dill growing year-round. Many varieties of dill are available, so if you’re looking for something specific, there’s sure to be an option that fits your needs.
Herkules (Anethum Graveolens)
Anethum graveolens is the common variety of dill with fragrant leaves and is commonly used for cooking. This dill attracts pollinators because of its small yellow flowers. This plant is a good option for container gardening because it doesn’t need much space to thrive.
This variety of dill is tall and has a mild flavor often used in canning and as condiments. It can be grown as an annual or biennial, which makes it great for extending your growing season.
The bouquet is a dwarf variety of dill that is a bit more tender than other types. The leaves are compact and only grow about a foot tall, making them ideal for growing in containers.
A tall variety of dill, Dukat is a bit more tender than other dill varieties. It has a mild flavor that’s often used in making dill pickles.
This dwarf variety has frilly and feathery foliage, which makes it perfect for growing in containers. The flavor is similar to Bouquet but tends to be a bit stronger.
Long Island Mammoth
This dill variety is a bit more tender than others and has a mild flavor often used in making pickles. Mammoth also tends to be taller than other varieties, which makes them great for growing in a deep container or a deep pot.
Is dill easy to grow?
Dill is very easy to grow and can be grown indoors or out. It prefers a full sun location with well-draining soil and moderate water throughout the growing season.
How long does it take to grow dill seeds?
Dill seeds will take approximately 10-14 days to germinate. You can start harvesting them in approximately 2-3 months.
When is the best time to plant dill seeds?
Dill is best planted in the spring or mid-summer. When you grow herbs like dill, it’s important to plant them at the right time of year.
If you plant too early, they may not have time to grow before winter comes and they freeze. If you plant too late, they will not have enough time to reach maturity before the growing season is over.
How far apart should I plant dill seeds?
You should plant your dill seeds in rows that are 10-12 inches apart from each other. This will ensure that you have enough space for the plant to grow.
How do I harvest dill?
You can start harvesting your dill whenever you want to use it. The best way to harvest is by cutting off the top 2-3 inches of the plant with scissors or pruners.
We hope this article has been helpful to you. Dill or Anethum graveolens is a versatile herb that can add flavor to your meals. Dill is also a good companion plant for other plants. It can help attract beneficial insects and repel harmful ones.
If you are looking for an herb to grow, dill is a good choice. It’s easy to care for and grows in no time at all. You will be able to harvest dill quickly and enjoy the benefits of this herb.