The Roman chamomile is a soft but rather versatile plant that has been used, like the German chamomile, to cure various physical ailments from menstrual cramps and stomach discomfort, to using them for scenting such as in potpourris. The Roman chamomile is known especially for having a sweet apple scent that soothes the mind and body.

Personally, I much prefer the Roman chamomile as compared with the German one for one reason: the former is a perennial which, if taken care of well, grows small plantlet offshoots which one can use to divide and propagate; the latter is an annual which, although it regrows faster after pruning, gives a bit of inconvenience due to the yearly resowing of seeds.

I find that for any Mediterranean herbs, the most important factor is the media which the plant is in, and the amount of sun it gets, especially for a high-rise setting. I was given three pots of Roman chamomile by a friend on Christmas eve of 2009. Two pots have died. Those two pots have had their soil media changed to a well-draining one of volcanic sand and Tref potting mix. However, those two pots were placed in my room, which receives about three hours of direct morning sun. Soon, they browned very quickly, became lanky and unhealthy looking, and prone to pest attacks. Scales took the chance to cover almost every inch of those two pots.

At the same time, the current surviving pot which was placed in my balcony, which received up to five/six hours of hot afternoon sun, and which is planted in the same media as the other two, thrived very well, even after an initial bout of scale attacks.

Garbage enzyme was sprayed liberally on all three pots. However, due to the sunlight factor, only one pot survived, and is now overflowing the pot.

As the Roman chamomile is a small plant which reaches barely four inches high, is fairly maintenance-free, I recommend it if you live in a high-rise apartment with at least four hours of sun daily. With these factors, even if you water the media thoroughly everyday, the plant will not suffer from rot, if the media is well-draining enough.

Care: Well-draining and rich soil mix
Sunlight: As much sun as possible; preferably at least four hours of afternoon sun
Water: Once a day
Propagation: By seeds, or reputedly through cuttings

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