UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Dill

Garden Help > Herbs

Dill by Pam Roper
Dill can be grown for both its leaves and seeds. It is a self-seeding annual which will return year-after-year if seeds are allowed to mature in place. Dill is native to southern Russia, western Africa, and the Mediterranean. It is part of the Umbelliferae family, which includes celery, cumin, fennel, and parsley. Its leaves are used fresh or dried as an herb in dips, soups, salads, seafood, and of course, pickles.

How to grow

  • Type: Summer annual.
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well drained.
  • Water: Needs regular watering until established, then allow soil to dry between waterings. Do not overwater.
  • Size: 2-4' height, 18-24" width, depending on variety.

When to plant/propagate

Dill typically grows to about 3' tall. Stake plants if needed. New leaf production stops when plants bloom. For a steady supply of fresh leaves, make successive plantings a few weeks apart.

  • From seed: Sow seeds March-May (possibly June) or Sep-Oct.
  • Transplants: Young seedlings will work best. Plant seedlings March-May or Sep-Oct.

Harvesting

  • For leaves, harvest as soon as they are big enough to be useful.
  • For seeds, cut seed heads 2-3 weeks after blooming (before they turn tan). Place heads in a paper bag and hang in a dry location. Collect the seeds after they have dried and fallen off.

Indoors

  • Can be grown indoors, but needs 5-6 hours/day of bright light from a sunny window or 12-16 hours of supplemental light provided by cool white fluorescent or LED lamps.

Common pests & diseases

More information

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

See our list of Spring Garden Market Herbs for varieties that we have found perform well here. 

*Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

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