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Dill Weed
(Anethum graveolens)

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About Dill Weed

Dill growing

Dill is, we think, one of the great herbs, and is sadly underappreciated and underused in the U.S. Dill is grown for both its dried seeds and its ferny leaf; though the same plant can be used for both purposes, cultivars aimed at one or the other particular use have been bred, so one is best off using different plants, of different cultivars, for the two purposes. This page deals only with growing dill for leaf (commonly called “dill weed").


Dill cultivars (like those of coriander) fall into two broad classes, those intended mainly for seed production and “slow-bolt“ types intended mainly for leaf production; there are also some varieties that are distinctly smaller than the others, intended especially for container growing. If one has restricted indoor growing space and needs a small container-suitable dill for leaf growth, the cultivar “Fernleaf” used to be (and for many still is) the standard choice. But a relatively new variety, Teddy, now seems the better choice, being (by report) “faster growing and more productive than Fernleaf”.

For those who are growing dill weed outdoors, there are numerous choices, each with its partisans. The variety Dukat seems more frequently than others described as being “strongly flavored”, which would is, after all, the desideratum; it’s not a runaway, but we would choose it if growing outdoors. (Note that the type “SuperDukat“ is a hybrid—hybrid herbs, ugh, Just Say No.)


Dill is an annual. In its early growth, which typically lasts 40 to 60 days after emergence, it produces the ferny leaves (“weed“) that we want. At some point, the plant starts sending up a flower stalk from its center, at which time leaf production ceases (and seed production begins). Obviously, then, we need to start a new plant every couple of months or so to be assured of a continuing supply of fresh dill weed.

As with most herbs, dill definitely wants well-drained soil. It likes full sun.

To sow, place the seed on the soil surface, then just barely cover it with sifted soil or a little sand. After sowing, be patient, for dill is a slow germinator, often taking over 3 weeks to emerge, though rather less if the soil is warm (as it should be indoors).

Note well that if you want to grow dill in a container, you must use a deep one—12 inches is about the minimum, and more (say 18" or even 24") is better. (Dill has a long tap root).


Fertilize growing dill when the plants start flowering with a sprinkling of fertilizer high in potassium and phosphorus.

Keep an eye on your dill plants—which, of the non-dwarf varieties, can get tall, 2 to 3 feet high if healthy—to see if they’re starting to droop from being top-heavy; if so, stake them.

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