Find out how to Plant and Develop Dill

Anethum graveolens

The odor of dill takes me straight to my glad place: Mediterranean-style meals, heat spring days, and comfortable feathery vegetation.

Life doesn’t get a lot better than that does it?

Fortunately, these of us who love this fragrant herb don’t must rely in the marketplace for a recent provide, as we will simply develop our personal.

A close up of the green feathery foliage of Anethum graveolens growing in the garden. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

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I’ll take you thru each step within the technique of rising this splendidly decorative and engaging plant.

And so you understand what lies forward, right here’s what I’ll cowl:

Cultivation and Historical past

If dill makes you consider tasty Mediterranean dishes prefer it does for me, there’s a cause for that.

Whereas its actual origin is just not solely sure, this herb is probably going native to the Mediterranean area and western Asia – locations the place it’s extensively used within the native delicacies.

A vertical close up picture of the delicate yellow flower heads of the dill weed plant (Anethum graveolens) growing in the garden in light sunshine.

Nowadays, it simply naturalizes in different areas with Mediterranean-type climates, corresponding to California.

Nevertheless it additionally escapes cultivation and grows like a weed in locations with decidedly non-Mediterranean climates, such because the northeastern US.

Rising to a mature top of three to 4 toes tall on common, this annual plant has branching, hole stems graced with comfortable, fern-like leaves.

These feathery leaves are a cool toned, bluish-green hue.

A close up of the delicate, feathery foliage of dill weed, freshly harvested.

This herb holds its tiny yellow flowers up in a flattened cluster known as an umbel, which is about six inches broad.

Though dill seems to be rather a lot like fennel, these two fragrant vegetation are in the identical household, however usually are not as carefully associated as you may assume.

Along with fennel, dill has many different tasty and aromatic kin, together with caraway, parsley, anise, and cilantro.

These herbs and spices are all members of the Umbellifer (Apiaceae) household, so known as due to their umbrella-shaped flower heads.

A close up of the yellow flower heads of dill, Anethum graveolens, growing in the garden, pictured on a soft focus background.

Dill’s genus identify Anethum comes from the Greek phrase for this plant, which implies “sturdy smelling.”

The English identify refers to not its odor, however to its medicinal use.

The phrase “dill” is believed to have Norse origins, coming from a phrase that meant to lull or to appease, referring to its repute as a abdomen soother.

However dill goes again even additional in time than the Vikings, having been used as meals and medication for 1000’s of years.

The identify anethum is talked about within the Bible, and it was used as a flavoring in historical Egypt, tracing its culinary use not less than way back to 5,000 years in the past.

A close up of a palm holding dried Anethum graveolens seeds.

Like its cousin cilantro, each the foliage and the seeds of this plant are used culinarily.

The leaves are used as an herb known as dill weed, distinguishing it from its dried fruits, which you’ll discover on spice racks labeled as dill seed.

Important oils are extracted from each the seeds and the leaves, and are utilized by herbalists for medicinal functions.

A close up of a small glass bottle containing oil, set on a wooden surface, with freshly harvested Anethum graveolens foliage and seeds to the left and right.

Keep in mind the soothing origins of the English phrase for this plant?

Its medicinal use has been widespread, to deal with gastrointestinal points in Asian, European, and Native American conventional medication, and the medicinal properties of assorted components of this plant are nonetheless being studied as we speak.

Fashionable analysis backs up its conventional use as a carminative, to scale back or stop flatulence.

The important oil from this herb has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, and it’s even used to assist protect meals in industrial meals manufacturing.

Along with culinary and medicinal makes use of, this plant additionally has a well-deserved place in decorative gardens.

Its feathery foliage offers a comfortable backdrop for backyard vegetation with contrasting textures, and its vivid yellow flower heads add a wispy layer of colour – each of that are helpful in designing one’s personal charming little cottage backyard.


With all these fantastic makes use of, you’re in all probability prepared to begin your personal patch of homegrown dill!

There are a few issues it is best to know earlier than you get began.

A close up of a bowl of Anethum graveolens seeds set on a wicker surface, with fresh herbs to the right of the frame.

The primary is that it’s a cool season herb that’s hardy to 25°F, and may be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 11.

Meaning it’s accessible to most of us North American gardeners, however is finest grown in springtime – each time spring occurs to happen in your space!

You may sow seeds as quickly as you may work your soil within the spring, supplied temperatures don’t fall beneath 25°F.

A close up, top down picture of a row of young Anethum graveolens plants growing in the garden in moist, rich soil.

The opposite factor you should know earlier than you plant this herb in your backyard is that though it’s an annual, it tends to self-sow.

When seeds from mature vegetation fall in your backyard soil, they’re glad to develop into full sized vegetation subsequent 12 months with none assist from you.

So when you plant this herb as soon as, you might not must plant it once more.

A close up of pumpkin plants growing in the garden surrounded by Anethum graveolens as a companion plant.

That is even the case in my backyard in northeast Utah the place vegetation must cope with extraordinarily dry circumstances, harsh wind, sub-zero winter temperatures, and brief summers.

Since beginning seeds a couple of years in the past, I discover volunteer dill vegetation scattered all through my backyard yearly.

I contemplate this a boon as a substitute of an issue since dill is considered one of my favourite herbs, and it appears I by no means have an excessive amount of.

Nonetheless, if free dill in future rising seasons doesn’t sound like one thing you need, I’ll make some suggestions on the right way to stop these weedy volunteers a bit of later.

From Seed

The easiest way to plant this herb in your backyard is to develop it from seed as a substitute of setting out transplants.

A close up of a hand sowing small seeds into freshly tilled soil, in bright sunshine.

It is because it has a protracted, delicate taproot, becoming a member of a couple of different backyard staples, like carrots and beets, that don’t recognize transplanting.

When dill is transplanted, it tends to right away bolt – that’s, if it doesn’t merely die. So do your self a favor and go the most effective route by planting this herb from seed.

While you’re able to sow your seeds, right here’s the right way to do it:

  • Plan to sow your seeds two to 3 weeks earlier than your final spring frost.
  • Put together your soil by mixing in some compost, even out the floor of the soil, after which moist it down flippantly.
  • Press the seeds gently into the floor of the soil. Dill seeds want mild to germinate, so they need to both stay naked on the floor or cowl very flippantly with soil, about 1/8 of an inch.
  • Plant a bunch of three seeds each 4 to 6 inches, in rows spaced 12 inches aside.
  • Present a mild every day watering till seedlings emerge.
A close up of tiny shoots of Anethum graveolens shortly after germination, pictured on a soft focus background.

Simply so you understand, germination can take 10 to 14 days, or generally longer.

When the seedlings are a couple of inches tall, skinny out the weaker ones so that there’s one plant spaced each 4 inches.

And don’t overlook to eat the thinned seedlings!

For those who reside in a dry local weather like I do, rising your dill vegetation 4 inches aside will work nice.

Nonetheless, when you reside in a extra humid local weather, go away six inches between every plant as a substitute.

Offering vegetation with a bit of further room will enable for higher air circulation and assist stop illness, whereas nonetheless permitting you to maximize your harvest.

A close up of a hand from the top of the frame cultivating the soil between two rows of dill (Anethum graveolens) plants, on a sunny day.

And regardless of its repute, this herb is just not an aggressive grower, so be certain that to take away any weeds round your younger seedlings.

Find out how to Develop

Dill is fairly low upkeep so far as herbs go. It provides and provides, and it actually doesn’t ask for an excessive amount of in return.

A garden scene with rows of dill growing, with upright stems and yellow umbel flower heads, pictured in light sunshine.

However in order for you it to present you all it’s acquired, do it a favor and supply it with the very best rising circumstances.


This herb grows finest in a full solar location, with six to eight hours of daylight per day.

A close up of the delicate yellow flower heads of Anethum graveolens growing in the garden in light evening sunshine.

You may nonetheless develop dill when you’re working with half shade, however its stems is not going to be as sturdy, so you might must stake it.

One other scenario the place staking may be useful is that if your space is susceptible to excessive winds.

In my backyard, we ceaselessly obtain sturdy afternoon winds, and to this point my dill vegetation – grown in full solar – have managed to stay upright with out staking.

I believe since they’re skilled from a younger age to face up to these winds, they develop stronger stems in consequence.

So contemplate your rising circumstances and resolve whether or not staking is prudent on your scenario or not.


This herb’s essential requirement is well-draining soil, with a barely acidic pH of 5.6 to six.5.

In case you are beginning with clay soil, work some compost into it, or contemplate rising in a raised mattress or in containers.

A vertical close up picture of a raised wooden garden bed with rows of Anethum graveolens growing close together, and a white sign in the foreground.

Other than requiring good drainage, dill is just not very choosy and may develop in poor soils, which is why it has such a simple time establishing itself with out assist from the gardener.

For those who aren’t certain what sort of soil you have got, contemplate conducting a soil take a look at by means of your native extension workplace to seek out out.


As soon as established, this herb is pretty drought tolerant. Simply be certain that established vegetation obtain about an inch of water per week.

A close up of a metal can watering small Anethum graveolens plants growing in the garden.

And when watering, attempt to water on the soil degree with a watering wand or drip irrigation traces.

Overhead watering, corresponding to with sprinklers, can put your herb at the next danger of an infection since many fungal illnesses thrive in moist circumstances.

Rising Suggestions

This herb is fairly simple to develop – any plant that may self-seed so simply should be pretty versatile by nature.

However to assist guarantee a profitable dill crop, listed below are a couple of extra suggestions:

  • This herb grows finest when the soil temperature is about 70°F. Scorching summer time temps will trigger it to bolt.
  • Sow seeds each two to 3 weeks for a gentle harvest.
  • If rising in containers, be certain that your pots are not less than 12 inches deep to permit room for his or her taproots to develop.
  • Take away flower heads as they seem, to encourage foliage manufacturing; allow them to develop in order for you seeds.
  • Keep away from rising this herb subsequent to different members of the carrot household, to discourage pests and preserve illness from spreading.
  • Develop with companion vegetation corresponding to soybeans, garlic, leeks, and onions.

I discussed earlier that dill self-seeds from one 12 months to the subsequent fairly simply.

If you wish to let this herb perpetuate itself, however not wherever it desires to, attempt sowing it right into a devoted mattress and take away any seedlings that pop up elsewhere in your backyard.

However, if you wish to stop self-seeding altogether, reduce flower heads whereas they’re nonetheless yellow, to stop mature seed from forming and probably escaping into your backyard.

These flower heads are extraordinarily aromatic and can be utilized in cooking or in flower preparations.

Cultivars to Choose

Keep in mind, this plant provides quite a lot of completely different makes use of – you may develop it for the foliage, for its seeds, or simply for backyard beautification.

A close up of Anethum graveolens growing in a cottage kitchen herb garden with feathery green foliage and bright yellow flowers.

Some cultivars are finest suited to specific makes use of.

Some are slower to bolt, that means you get an extended harvest of leaves. Others go to seed earlier, offering you with seed heads for cucumber pickling at an earlier date. And there are top variations as effectively.

A square image of dill growing in rows in the garden.

A. graveolens

If you wish to develop the species plant, yow will discover A. graveolens seeds accessible in packets of fifty from Earthbeat Seeds.

Take into consideration your most popular makes use of for this herb and select your cultivars accordingly. Listed here are a couple of choices:


‘Bouquet’ flowers early and produces an abundance of seeds. This can be a nice selection in order for you numerous recent reduce flowers or seeds to make use of within the kitchen.

This cultivar can develop to 24 to 36 inches tall at maturity and has a four- to eight-inch unfold.

A close up of a bunch of freshly harvested Anethum graveolens 'Bouquet' set on a wooden surface.


‘Bouquet’ is able to harvest in 40 to 60 days.

Natural ‘Bouquet’ seeds can be found for buy in an assortment of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.


‘Elephant’ is a late-flowering selection, which implies you’ll have scrumptious recent dill weed all through extra of the rising season.

This cultivar reaches 30 to 48 inches in top, and has a 16- to 24-inch unfold.

A close up of a freshly harvested bunch of Anethum graveolens 'Elephant' set on a wooden surface.


‘Elephant’ involves maturity in 60 to 90 days.

‘Elephant’ seeds can be found in quite a lot of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.


‘Hera’ is taken into account a bunching dill, producing a lot of aromatic foliage. It’s slower to bolt than many sorts.

This cultivar can be on the smaller aspect, reaching 18 to 24 inches in top with an expansion of eight to 12 inches.

A close up of the feathery foliage of the Anethum graveolens cultivar called 'Hera' on a soft focus background.


‘Hera’ reaches maturity in 40 to 60 days.

Natural ‘Hera’ seeds can be found for buy in packs of 400 seeds from Burpee.

Managing Pests and Illness

Fortunately for lovers of this herb, dill tends to draw extra associates than foes within the backyard.

A close up of a herb garden growing dill weed plants (Anethum graveolens), with bright yellow umbels, pictured in bright sunshine.

Deer don’t take care of it, and many of the bugs which can be drawn to it are all in favour of feeding on the nectar from its flowers, not munching on its leaves.

Nonetheless, this herb is susceptible to the identical illnesses and pests as its shut relative caraway – you may be taught extra about these in our in-depth article on caraway illnesses and pests.

There are a couple of bugs you’ll need to look out for as effectively.


Usually, dill is extra engaging to useful bugs corresponding to pollinators than problematic ones, making it an excellent companion to have within the backyard.

Since some bugs can unfold illness, ensure you examine your vegetation for the next undesirable pests:


Aphids generally colonize this herb, and in the event that they do, they will transmit viruses.

Your first protection in conserving an aphid downside in verify is to examine vegetation usually.

A close up of tiny aphids infesting the foliage of Anethum graveolens.
Aphids on dill plant.

For those who spot aphids on the foliage, wash them off with a powerful jet of water from the hose to take away them.

To forestall aphids from organising camp in your dill patch, work on attracting useful bugs corresponding to parasitic wasps, inexperienced lacewings, hoverflies, and ladybugs, all of which can prey on aphids and assist preserve populations in verify.

Fortunately, this herb attracts all of those useful bugs.

However you’ll need them round earlier than your dill blooms, so ensure you produce other pollinator-friendly vegetation round to offer them with meals and shelter all through the gardening season.

One other option to stop aphid issues is to make use of companion vegetation to repel them.

There are lots of analysis research displaying that alliums corresponding to garlic and onions are efficient at repelling numerous kinds of aphids to guard all kinds of essential crops – ranging from cereal crops in China to tomato crops in Zambia.

If aphids are a priority, attempt rising alliums together with your dill.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

This herb is a number plant for black swallowtail caterpillars – which flip into black swallowtail butterflies.

Though it would nibble in your dill, many gardeners don’t contemplate this caterpillar to be a pest.

A close up of a small parsley worm munching on tiny yellow flowers on an Anethum graveolens plant.
Black swallowtail caterpillar

The caterpillar kind has a couple of completely different levels – so earlier than you squish any caterpillars you discover on this plant, ensure you determine it correctly.

Black swallowtails are additionally drawn to different members of the carrot household. The grownup butterflies lay eggs on these vegetation, and when the eggs hatch, the caterpillars use them as meals.

Most gardeners are prepared to sacrifice a bit of dill to those guys in the event that they present up, in change for the possibility to view them flitting round of their lovely mature kind.

A close up of a swallowtail butterfly landing on a dill weed flower head, pictured on a soft focus background.
Black swallowtail butterfly and flowering dill

Nonetheless, if wanted, the caterpillars may be relocated. A stand of Queen Anne’s lace, one other member of the carrot household, could be an excellent different, offering them applicable meals and shelter.

Root-Knot Nematodes

Root-knot nematodes – to not be confused with useful nematodes – additionally have an effect on carrots, kale, and lots of different broadleaf vegetation you might be rising in your backyard.

Above-ground indicators of those pests may be tough to acknowledge – vegetation might seem stunted, or might wilt for no obvious cause.

Pulling up the plant will reveal knots on the roots, thus the identify of this pest.

To handle an current downside, attempt solarizing your soil to kill the pests, or giving the issue space a break from veggie rising and as a substitute develop a canopy crop of marigolds within the infested space.


In step with its easygoing nature, this herb isn’t significantly susceptible to illness.

Most illnesses may be prevented by ensuring you don’t develop these vegetation in overly moist or humid circumstances. Don’t overwater, present well-drained soil, and permit ample spacing between vegetation to encourage airflow.

A close up of Anethum graveolens foliage suffering from a fungal disease called powdery mildew.
Dill affected by powdery mildew

Usually, gardeners in humid climates usually tend to have issues with illness than these in arid climates.

Listed here are among the illnesses that may have an effect on this plant:

  • Carrot motley dwarf
  • Carrot redleaf virus
  • Carrot mottle virus
  • Cercospora leaf blight
  • Damping off
  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Root rot

To be taught extra about managing illnesses in dill vegetation, be certain that to seek the advice of our article on this matter – coming quickly!


Hopefully, your dill-growing journey will take you straight to reap time with no pest or illness points. That is normally the case.

When your vegetation attain maturity, you should have the selection of harvesting both the foliage or the seeds from this fragrant plant – or each!

Dill Weed

Your dill weed harvest can start as quickly as your seedlings are a couple of inches tall.

A close up of the freshly harvested foliage of Anethum graveolens in a basket set on a concrete surface.

Harvesting leaves will encourage the vegetation to develop bushier and can assist to delay flowering – that is essential when you’re extra all in favour of leaves than seeds.

Younger leaves include probably the most fragrant oils and are subsequently the tastiest. So don’t watch for them to get greater, go forward and harvest the leaves usually because it grows.

To reap the leaves, merely pinch the stems off together with your fingers – or use a pair of backyard scissors.

Simply be certain that to not defoliate the plant – take not more than 1 / 4 to a 3rd of the leaves from every plant at harvest time.

This herb must preserve a few of its leaves in order that it is going to be capable of photosynthesize and proceed to develop.

And remember that leaves style finest when they’re freshly picked.

So, throughout the rising season, harvest your herb simply earlier than you’re going to make use of it reasonably than choosing heaps without delay and storing it within the fridge.

One other good time to reap is correct after flower buds kind – that’s when new leaves would be the most fragrant.

At this level you too can reduce the flower heads again to encourage your plant to maintain producing foliage.

Or, you may let your plant go to seed, wherein case it would direct its power away from foliage manufacturing to seed manufacturing.

Dill Seeds

If you wish to develop your homegrown spice assortment, planting dill is a simple option to get began.

A close up of a seed head, drying in the afternoon sun, of Anethum graveolens, or dill weed, with seeds ready to harvest, pictured on a soft focus background.

Let your vegetation flower and go to seed, however preserve your eye on the flower heads because the seeds develop – once they flip tan coloured, it’s time for motion.

Reduce off the umbel and place it in a paper bag.

As they dry, the seed heads will shatter and drop their seeds. By amassing them in a paper bag, you may maximize the variety of seeds collected. For those who enable them to dry on the plant, the seeds will drop off and fall onto your backyard soil.

A close up of seeds drying on a seed head in the garden, pictured on a soft focus background.

Set the paper bag apart in a heat, well-ventilated spot to let the seed head proceed drying out.

Alternatively, you too can unfold seed heads on a window display screen to allow them to end drying.

A close up top down pictured of harvested and dried dill (Anethum graveolens) seeds in a wooden spoon.

To check in case your seeds are dry, attempt urgent your fingernail into a couple of of them. If the seeds bend, they don’t seem to be prepared but. In the event that they break or shatter, that could be a signal that they’re good and dry.

When seeds are totally dry, retailer them in a small spice jar and place it – with delight – in your spice rack.

And you might need to bundle some so as to add to your seed assortment for sowing subsequent 12 months too!


Don’t wash the herbs till you might be prepared to make use of them.

A close up of freshly harvested dill weed, Anethum graveolens on a wooden chopping board, with a knife to the top of the frame.

You may retailer recent leaves within the fridge. Place them in a plastic bag at 32 to 41°F and you’ll count on your harvest to maintain for one to 3 weeks.

Like basil, dill is at its finest when recent. Nonetheless, if you wish to protect some for later, drying and freezing are nice methods to create a stash for your self for the chilly months when your backyard is at relaxation.

My most popular option to protect this herb is to mince it, place it in a small ramekin, cowl with oil, put the lid on the ramekin, after which retailer it within the freezer.

I discover that dill preserved on this method is sort of nearly as good as when it’s loved recent from the backyard – and what a pleasant shock it makes once I’m digging by means of the freezer searching for meal concepts. It may be utilized in an analogous option to pesto, if you wish to add some minced garlic and chopped toasted nuts.

You may learn extra about freezing recent herbs right here.

A close up of a wooden spoon, set on a wooden surface, containing dried dill, (Anethum graveolens).

To dehydrate this herb, wash it first , and use a paper towel to pat the foliage dry. If in case you have a dehydrator, observe the producer’s directions for drying herbs.

You can too dry this herb at room temperature or within the oven. Retailer the dried herb in a cool, dry location in a jar with a lid.

Study extra about drying and storing herbs in our full information.

Recipes and Cooking Concepts

Though pickles could also be the very first thing that involves thoughts whenever you begin mulling over your choices, why not return to its Mediterranean origins for probably the most engaging cooking concepts?

Dill is among the star substances within the conventional Greek cucumber and yogurt dish, tzatziki. You’ll find the recipe for a deliciously creamy tzatziki over at our sister website, Foodal.

A close up of a white bowl with a freshly made, creamy tzatziki dip set on a kitchen counter.
Picture by Lorna Kring.

And to go together with your tzatziki, how about pan-fried potatoes sprinkled with dill and minced garlic? That’s one other dish that may have you ever feeling as if you might be steps away from turquoise Mediterranean waters.

Or in case your culinary daydreams take a wintery flip, you may contemplate sprinkling it on high of a warming bowl of borscht.

However don’t simply persist with the tried and true – this herb can be a welcome ingredient with surprising pairings.

Recent dill brightens up the earthier substances on this delicious recipe on our sister website Foodal for brussels sprouts with bacon and fennel seed.

You can too attempt utilizing this herb to make a hen soup really feel mild and recent.

And naturally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t convey this dialog again round to our beloved pickles.

A close up top down picture of a small white and red bowl containing pickled cucumbers, set on a red and white fabric on a white surface, with garlic and dill in the background.
Picture by Fanny Slater.

Have you ever ever made fermented dill pickles from scratch? If not, now’s the time to present it a attempt. You’ll discover a recipe for lacto-fermented garlic dill pickles additionally on Foodal.

If that sounds nice, however a bit too difficult for you at your present power degree, why not get pleasure from it as a easy natural tea?

A close up of a glass tea cup on a saucer, containing tea made from dill, Anethum graveolens, set on a wooden surface.

Simply boil some sizzling water, place some recent dill leaf or a flower head in your mug, and also you’ll have your personal home made tummy-soothing infusion to get pleasure from.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Kind: Annual, self-sowing Water Wants: Average
Native to: Mediterranean, western Asia Upkeep: Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 2-11 Soil Kind: Common to poor
Season: Summer time-fall Soil pH: 5.6-6.5
Publicity: Full solar Soil Drainage: Effectively-draining
Time to Maturity: 40-90 days Companion Planting: Garlic, onions, leeks, soybeans
Spacing: 4-6 inches Keep away from Planting With: Carrots, fennel, caraway, cumin
Planting Depth: 1/8 inch, floor Attracts: Bees, parasitic wasps, inexperienced lacewings, hoverflies, ladybugs, black swallowtail butterflies
Top: 8-48 inches Household: Apiaceae
Unfold: 4-24 inches Genus: Anethum
Tolerance: Gentle frost Species:: graveolens
Widespread Pests: Aphids, armyworms, chalcid flies, cutworms, root knot nematodes Widespread Illness: Carrot motley dwarf, carrot redleaf virus, carrot mottle virus, cercospora leaf blight, damping off, downy mildew, powdery mildew, root rot

A Soothing Seasoning

Effectively, gardener, now that you’ve accomplished your training in all issues dill, you may in all probability use a mug of that soothing and refreshing dill tea proper about now. I do know I’m prepared for one!

A garden scene with large, mature dill weed plants (Anethum graveolens) growing in bright sunshine with trees in soft focus in the background.

Do you have got any of your personal dill-growing suggestions or recipes to share? If that’s the case, please tell us within the feedback beneath!

And for extra details about rising your personal herbs and spices, try a few of dill’s aromatic kin subsequent:

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