- Germination Days: 7-14
- Hardiness Zone: 3-11
- Planting Depth: 1/4"
- Plant Spacing: 3”
- Row Spacing: 9-16”
- Growth Habit: Upright / bush
- Soil Preference: Light, well drained, sandy soil, 6.0 – 6.8 pH
- Temp Preference: Warmer
- Light Preference: Full Sun
- Days to Maturity: 55
Carom seeds (Trachy spermumammi) belong to the family of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), of the genus; Trachyspermum. The Umbellifers are the members of carrot or parsley family, is an annual herbal plant growing up to 2 feet in height. Some of the common names for the seeds are Bishop’s Weed, Ajowan, carom, Ajvain, Ethiopian Cumin, etc. Carom seeds are ovoid, light brown color seeds. Very easy to grow from seeds, they have narrow green leaves and small delicate flowers. The plant is believed to have originated from Egypt in Middle East. Carom is renowned for their medicinal value to help Flatulence, Digestive aid, Nausea and vomiting, Anti-spasmodic, Asthma and Colic issues. Carom seeds are strongly pungent and aromatic in its taste. In addition, the plant also serves the purpose of beautification of house and adding a humble herb to the space.
- Start seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks prior to your last spring frost date. Seeds germinate quickly at temperatures between 70 to 80°F.
- Do not plant transplant into the garden until after the last threat of frost.
- Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade is favorable for Carom plant. The true color of its leaves is jade green, but in absence of ample sunlight, they turn dark green shade. For indoors, this plant will be benefited from west to south-facing windows.
- Water: Carom plant appreciates slightly moist soil, but not soggy. Water it during the early morning or evening.
- Soil: Carom plant prefers loose, well-aerated, and well-draining soil with a pH around 6-8. If growing in the garden, amend the soil fertility with compost or any organic matter. For pots, it is better to use a potting mix. You can make your own mix by mixing equal parts of compost or well-rotted manure, coarse sand, and peat moss.
- Pot Size: Choose a pot that’s at least 12-inches deep and wide. Make sure the pot has at least one drainage hole at the bottom to let excess water skip.
- Fertilizer: Carom plant is not a heavy feeder but during springs, when it is attaining fresh growth, you can apply soluble, slow-release fertilizer with a 10-10-10 NPK ratio. The plant also gets benefits from the regular application of compost tea, composted manure, and dilute fish emulsion, once a month.
- Pruning: When the plant reaches at least 6-8 inches, trim the lengthy stems using sanitized shear. Also, deadhead flowers and remove broken and damaged leaves from the plant. Pruning makes the plant bushier and encourages fresh growth.
- Mulching: Mulch plant base using shredded bark, grass clippings, or bark chips to prevent water loss from soil and to keep the temperature even.
- Support: When growing it in a garden, the plant may require support, as the stems start leaning down when they attain maturity.
Note: You can grow Carom plant with strawberry, tomato as a companion plant.
Pests / Diseases
Carom plant is generally not damaged by pests and cabbage worms in fact, it deters them away. But it can be susceptible to aphids, and bug attacks, so you can use a neem oil spray. And, don’t forget to remove infected parts immediately.
Both flower and leaves find culinary uses in the kitchen and are available for harvest after 6-7 weeks. You can snip off fresh leaves, before they start to develop bristly hairs, using scissors. The flower can be hand-picked when they are opening. You can use leaves and flowers fresh in cooking or making tea.