Everything You Need To Know About Dill: Planting, Growing, Harvesting, Recipes, & More.


Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae. The name dill comes from the old English word dilla, meaning “to lull” because it has been used to soothe stomach pain, colic in babies, and other ailments. Dill was cultivated and used as a culinary herb in the ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and has even been used as a currency in the past. Today it is a favorite flavor added to many recipes and grows best in areas with long, warm summer temperatures.

Dill is an essential herb for those who love to cook and pickle vegetables. You can harvest the feathery leaves of dill at any time, though dill generally booms to its fullest flavor about 6-8 weeks after planting.

Here’s everything you need to know about dill and how to grow dill!

What is the best way to plant dill?

Plant dill during the cooler weather of spring and fall. Make the hole 1/2 inch deeper than the plant and twice as wide. Remove the plant from the nursery pot and set the plant in the prepared planting hole, and adjust its depth so the top of the plant. If you are starting from seeds remember to sow your seeds about 18 inches apart, and buried 1/4 of an inch into the soil. Give them a good drink of water and plenty of sunlight, and you should see results quickly.

Planting dill and other herbs in a grow bag is a great way to ensure a healthy harvest. When you grow in a grow bag it helps with root structure formation. The soft, breathable fabric helps “air-prune” your roots and this will keep them branching out rather than growing in a circle as they do in pots. The aeration also allows water to drain out from the sides as well as the bottom of the container. It is important to note that since grow bags are well aerated, they dry out quickly so you will need to water your grow bag gardens at least once a day during the heat of the summer. If you are looking to learn a little more about the benefits of growing in grow bags visit Gardenuity.

Best outdoor temperature for growing dill?

Dill is a cold-hardy herb and can tolerate temperatures as low as 25 degrees. However, for the best growth, 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot. Dill has no special humidity requirements.

What is the best way to harvest dill? 

Dill matures relatively quickly and is ready for its first harvest when it has at least four to five fine green leaves. Harvest dill leaves from the plant at any time during the summer for fresh use. Use sharp, clean scissors to remove up to a third of the leaves on a single plant. Remember, the more you harvest your dill the fuller it will grow.

It is a good idea to hydrate your dill prior to planting and we always recommend harvesting herbs in the morning when they are fresh after resting over night.

How much light does dill need to grow?

Like most herbs, dill thrives in full sunlight. If you live in an especially hot climate, when temperatures are above 85-90 degrees afternoon shade will be appreciated. You should plant your dill somewhere it can receive at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. You can grow dill in part sun, but it will not be as busy as it could be if it receives full sun and has good air circulation.

Should I water dill every day?

Unlike most herbs, dill is a plant that prefers steady moisture throughout its growth. It is a very thirsty herb and should be watered consistently to ensure moist soil. The soil should never be allowed to completely dry out between waterings because that can cause the dill plant to prematurely bold to seed.

Let’s talk taste.

The best way to describe dill’s taste is that of a combination between anise, parsley, and celery. It is known to have a slight bite of licorice, along with it’s earthy, grassy flavor. Native to Europe and Asia, dill plays a big role in seasoning pickled foods. The subtle sweetness means dill works particularly well with garlic and mint and can often be used as a substitute for parsley.

What are good growing companions for dill? 

Dill gets along well with herbs and vegetables, alike. Asparagus, cucumbers, onions, and lettuce are all great growing companions for dill. If you are just planning on growing an herb garden, try pairing it with basil, chervil, and chives. Make sure you avoid planting dill alongside carrots, nightshades, and cilantro.

Our Favorite Dill Recipes shared from the Gardenuity Community

This fresh, fern like herb is a favorite among many chefs. It is the perfect addition to a deviled egg, potato salad, pickles or dressing with Greek yogurt and fresh lime juice. With everyone looking to add a little extra green to their every day Dill is a great way to start.

Is dill good for you? 

Yes! Dill is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibers, iron, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins C and A. Scientists believe that dill’s health benefits can even provide protection against heart disease and cancer. 

Nutritional profile of dill from healthline

One cup of fresh dill sprigs equals:

4 Calories

8% of Daily Value of Vitamin C

5% of the Daily Value of Manganese

4% of the Daily Value of Vitamin A

3% of the Daily Value of Folate

3% of the Daily Value of Iron

Where Does Dill Get Its Name?  

Dill has roots leading all the way back to biblical times. It is mentioned in the bible by its original Greek name, “Anethum.” The dill that we know today is derived from the old English word “Dilla”, which means “to lull or soothe”, referencing its qualities to soothe stomach pains and intestinal gas.  

The name dill may come from “jewish holy herb”, as it was sometimes grown near other herbs in Jewish gardens to be easily discernible for religious purposes.

What are a few things you might not know about dill? 

Dill can stimulate lactation in mothers, and is often fed to cows for this reason in order to produce more milk. 

Dill was mentioned both in the Bible and in ancient Egyptian writings

It was popular in ancient Greek andRoman cultures and was considered a sign of wealth and revered for its healing properties.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used Dill in a recipe for cleaning the mouth.