Dill flower

How to grow dill

Find out how to grow dill with the help of our guide to sowing, growing and harvesting.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do Sow in June

Do Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do not Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do not Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

  • Plant size

    90cm height

    25cm spread

  • Spacing

    25cm apart

    25cm between rows

Dill, Anethum graveolens, or dill weed, is a delicious, easy-to-grow herb used mostly with fish dishes, although it was once a popular remedy for coughs and headaches.

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As well as its medicinal and culinary uses, it is also a beautiful ornamental plant with feathery leaves, similar to fennel with umbels of yellow flowers. Dill is also a magnet for different kinds of wildlife.

Dill flowers will attract bees, hoverflies and butterflies and caterpillars of the beautiful European swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon, will eat the leaves.

Find out all you need to know about growing dill in our Grow Guide.

As well as its medicinal and culinary uses, dill is also a beautiful ornamental plant with feathery leaves.

Sowing dill seeds
Sowing dill seeds

How to grow dill from seed

Sow dill seeds outdoors directly into well prepared soil in a sheltered, sunny position. Sow seeds thinly in rows 1cm deep. Dill can also be sown directly in large pots. Make regular sowings for a continuous supply of fresh leaves through the summer. Dill tends to bolt if its roots have been disturbed on planting. But if you want to get a head start, you can sow seeds under cover a little earlier in the season, using plug trays.  Plant out the plugs after all risk of frost has passed.

Thinning dill seedlings
Thinning dill seedlings

Looking after dill

When seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to 20cm apart. Keep plants well-watered, particularly during hot, dry weather. Keep weed-free to stop any competition for water and nutrients. Plants may need additional support from canes, as strong winds can flatten them. Dill does not normally need feeding, but an occasional liquid feed of a balanced fertiliser can give the plant a boost.

Dill leaves
Dill leaves

Storing dill

The leaves are best used fresh, but can be frozen for later use. Dill seeds should be stored in an airtight container. See some of tasty recipes using dill, from our friends at Olive Magazine.

Dill flower
Dill flower

Dill: problem solving

As well as the usual temptation for slugs and snails, young dill plants can be plagued by greenfly. These sap sucking aphids will coat the plant with their sticky honeydew. The best method of treatment is to squash the colonies of greenfly with your fingers.

Dill is also prone to bolting and flowering prematurely. Keep plants well watered and avoid root disturbance to help prevent this.

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Dill varieties to try

  • Anethum graveolens – the main species of dill
  • ‘Bouquet’ – a dwarf form with compact ferny foliage. It is very low maintenance and a good choice for growing in containers, especially window boxes as it is about 30cm tall by 20cm spread. Good for seeds
  • ‘Dukat’ – a vigorous variety, favoured for its abundant foliage. It is slow to bolt and easy to grow
  • ‘Fernleaf’ – a dwarf variety growing to 45cm, so very good for pots
  • ‘Herkules’ – this tall variety grows up to 1.2m and produces plenty of tasty leaves
  • ‘Mammoth’ – is recommended for seed production and grows to 90cm