Australian Grow Guide: Dill

Dill is a delicious and aromatic herb that grows well in Australia. It’s quite easy to grow either in the garden or in a pot.

Being an annual plant, dill needs to be replanted each year because it will die once it’s finished flowering.

However, if you let it go to seed as I do, you can easily collect the seeds so that you have them to plant the following year.

When to plant dill in Australia

Dill will grow happily over the warmer months of the year. It doesn’t like frost or very cold temperatures.

Therefore, if you’re in the southern parts of the country or the highlands, you should plant dill in spring once any danger of frost is over.

In the northern parts of the country, you should be able to plant dill at any time of the year.

How to plant dill 

Dill can either be grown from seed or by purchasing seedlings from your local garden centre.

If you grow it once in your garden and harvest the seeds after it’s finished flowering, you’ll always have a collection of seeds for the following year.

Dill seeds 1 | Fruit & Vegetables

Planting dill from seeds

Nothing could be easier than growing dill from seeds. Choose a sunny location in the garden and add some organic matter to the soil.

Scatter the seeds where you want the plant to grow and cover them very lightly with soil. Dill seeds germinate quite readily but it might take a couple of weeks or so to see the young seedlings popping out of the soil.

If you’ve oversown too many seeds, you can easily thin out the little seedlings so the individual plants have room to grow.

Dill seedlings 1 | Fruit & Vegetables

Bear in mind that dill can grow quite tall, up to a metre, so make sure you give it enough room. You also want to make sure that you give the plants some protection from strong winds.

If you want to collect the seeds, let one or two plants flower and then go to seed. Collect the seeds once they’ve turned from green to brown. 

In general, you should get enough seeds from just one plant to grow plenty of new ones the following spring.

Planting dill from seedlings

If you want to speed up the growing time so that you have fresh dill to harvest sooner, you should be able to get some seedlings from your local garden centre.

Dill seedlings | Fruit & Vegetables

These can be planted in a garden bed that is situated in a sunny spot. Just dig a small hole for each seedling and plant it. 

Try not to disturb the roots as dill doesn’t like this. Just pop the seedling out of the pot and place it straight in the hole without teasing the roots. 

Water the seedlings in so that the soil settles well around the roots. You might also want to lay some mulch over the top of the soil to retain some moisture. Use pea straw or sugar cane mulch.

How to care for dill

Once it’s growing happily in your garden, dill doesn’t require any special care. Just make sure that it gets enough water so that the plants don’t dry out.

Dill watering | Fruit & Vegetables

Wait for your plants to be well established before harvesting any of the fine leaves. You can then just snip these off whenever you need them with a sharp pair of secateurs or kitchen scissors.

It’s not necessary to continually fertilise your dill plants. If you’ve added compost or other organic matter to the soil just before planting, that should provide enough nutrients for your plants to grow well.

How long does dill take to grow?

If you’re growing from seed, it normally takes around 10 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate. The plants will grow relatively quickly after germination. 

When to harvest dill

Dill can be harvested continuously throughout the growing season, even when it starts to flower. 

Dill harvesting | Fruit & Vegetables

Both the flowers and the leaves are edible and can be used in any dishes that you make to add a unique flavour. Dill is also popular as a garnish.

How to harvest dill

You can harvest the leaves from your dill plant by just snipping off a few as you need them. Use a pair of kitchen scissors or secateurs. 

Dill harvesting 1 | Fruit & Vegetables

Harvesting the leaves often will also keep the plant more compact.

Dill pests and diseases

Luckily, dill is not bothered by pests or diseases. The only problem that you might find is that snails and slugs might munch on young seedlings that have just been planted or have newly germinated.

If you have a problem with snails and slugs in your garden, either set some snail traps using beer or scatter some Multiguard snail and slug pellets around your young plants. These pellets are both pet and wildlife friendly.

Dill companion plants

Dill makes a great companion plant in your vegetable garden. You can pair it with beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, pumpkins and tomatoes. 

Dill can also be grown in your herb garden and will complement the other herbs that you grow.

How to grow dill in pots

Select a pot that is at least 30cm in diameter for your dill plant. Generally, you only want one plant per pot because dill grows quite large.

Dill in pot | Fruit & Vegetables

Make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes.

Use a premium quality potting mix that has added fertiliser. You can either scatter a few seeds around the centre of the pot or plant a purchased seedling in the centre instead.

Dill seeds | Fruit & Vegetables

Remember to keep the pot watered, especially during the warmer weather. You’ll find that the soil in pots does dry out much faster than the soil in your garden.

You can add a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil in the pot as this will help to keep some of the moisture in.

Place the pot in a nice sunny spot in your garden or on your deck and watch your dill grow.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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