How To Plant dill

General Introduction

Dill is an annual, self-seeding plant with feathery green leaves. It is used most commonly in soups and stews or for pickling. Dill weed is easy to grow—here’s how!

If you’re planting dill for pickling, plant every few weeks into midsummer to ensure a constant supply for when the harvest begins!

To create a permanent patch of dill, allow some of the plants to flower and go to seed each year—you’ll have plenty of early dill to start the season.

Dill attracts beneficial insects such as wasps and other predatory insects to your garden, and is a host plant for the caterpillar of the black swallowtail butterfly.

Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill flowers.


  • Dill seeds should be sown directly into the garden (dill puts down a taproot, so like carrots, it doesn’t transplant well) after the threat of frost has passed in the spring. See local frost dates.
  • The soil temperature should be between 60 and 70ºF (15 and 21°C) for the best germination results. Seedlings should appear in 10 to 14 days.
  • Plant dill every couple of weeks until mid summer to ensure a constant supply into fall. 
  • Plant in full sun.
  • Choose a site that has well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil should ideally be between slightly acidic and neutral.
  • In your garden, plant dill next to cabbage or onions, but keep it away from carrots. Learn more about companion planting.
  • Make sure to shelter dill from strong winds, as it can be blown over easily.
  • Sow dill seeds about ¼-inch deep and 18 inches apart.
  • After 10 to 14 days, young dill plants should appear in the soil. Wait another 10 to 14 days, then thin the plants to about 12 to 18 inches apart (if they aren’t already spaced well enough).


  • Water the plants freely during the growing season, ensuring that they don’t dry out excessively.
  • In order to ensure a season-long fresh supply of dill, continue sowing seeds every few weeks. For an extended harvest, do not allow flowers to grow on the plants.
  • If dill is allowed to go to seed and the soil isn’t disturbed too much, more dill plants will likely appear next spring.


  • Leaf spot and occasionally a few other types of fungal leaf and root diseases


  • As soon as the plant has four to five leaves, you can start harvesting. Harvest older leaves first. Pinch off the leaves or cut them off with scissors.
  • If you have a lot of plants, you can take entire stalks.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Fernleaf’ dill is a compact variety that works well in containers and is not prone to bolting.
  • ‘Bouquet’ is a larger variety that produces a lot of seeds.
  • ‘Mammoth’ is another tall variety and is considered one of the best for pickling and other culinary uses, such as in potato salads, cucumber soup, and fish dishes.

Wit & Wisdom

  • For sweeter breath, chew dill seeds.
  • If you grow your own dill and cucumbers, you can make dill pickles!


  • Dill and Potato Cakes
  • Refrigerator Dill Pickles
  • Dilled Green Beans

How To Plant dill

Botanical NameAnethum graveolens
Plant TypeHerb
Sun ExposureFull Sun
Soil TypeLoamy, Sandy
Soil pHSlightly Acidic to Neutral
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorYellow
Hardiness Zones2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Special FeaturesAttracts Butterflies

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