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The golden balm with its bright red and exceptionally attractive flowers is still relatively unknown in the temperate climate. She has many advantages to offer. Surprisingly large and undemanding, the care of the herbaceous plant is extremely simple. In addition, it can not only be used in the kitchen, but also keeps away with its essential oils and pests of itself and the surrounding plants. Decorative, easy-care and useful, it is an asset to the garden.
Originating in North America, the golden melissa prefers bright, warm locations that also have a high level of humidity. Near a watercourse or garden pond, they thrive best - as long as they get enough sun. At least light shade is needed. In addition, it should be noted that the golden melissa can be up to 150 cm high. If you do not want to constantly reach for your scissors, you should plan enough space upwards.
The golden balm also needs constant moisture in the soil, but does not tolerate waterlogging. The substrate must therefore at the same time be able to store water and be permeable. Ideal is a humus-rich, loose soil, such as special herbal soil. Also suitable as a substrate is a mixture in equal parts of:
- Mature, well-done compost
- fresh plant or garden soil
Planting and sowing
If the golden melissa has safely grown in the garden and hardened over the year, it withstands frost easily. However, this does not apply to the young plants. Therefore, they can only be planted freely in the garden from May, when it is no longer possible to expect temperatures below freezing. The same applies to sowing outdoors. This should also be done at the earliest in May. As light germs, the seeds are covered only thinly with substrate and kept well moist. If the seeds germinate, they are in the beginning a well-fed for snails and also quite vulnerable. It makes more sense, therefore, to put on seedlings or to prefer the seeds in the house.
The breeding of the golden balm can begin in February or March and is carried out as follows:
- If possible, small or specially subdivided seed containers are filled with sowing, herbal or nursery soil. Pure coconut fiber is also suitable as a substrate.
- The selected substrate is thoroughly moistened.
- The seeds of golden melissa are either simply laid on the ground or covered very thinly with it.
- The vessels are placed in a room greenhouse or covered with transparent foil and then placed in a bright, warm location. However, they should not be exposed to the blazing sun.
- To avoid mold, cover or greenhouse should be aired daily. Nevertheless, the substrate should be kept moist throughout.
If the golden melissa was planted next to the pond or watercourse, additional watering is usually not necessary. The situation is different with the culture in the tub or drier locations. It should be watered if necessary, and always when the substrate surface is no longer moist or the plant shows signs of dryness. For casting, soft water is best used. For example, untreated pond, rain or stale tap water.
As the golden melissa grows quite rapidly, it benefits from additional nutrient supply. From the first sprouting in the spring to September, it can therefore be fertilized once a month. Suitable agents are:
- herbal fertilizer
- Ripe compost
- pond water
A shape cut is not necessary in the case of golden melissa, however, a radical blending in autumn or spring already. It is waited until all above-ground parts are dried up. A hand's breadth above the ground, these are then removed. In autumn or winter nothing has to be considered. However, good timing is crucial in the spring as the action must be taken before budding. Otherwise it may be delayed or new shoots damaged.
The propagation of the golden melissa is possible by seed and division.Already the extraction of the seeds is quite complex and requires a lot of tact. It is much easier, however, to divide the adult plant. This measure also has the advantages of shrinking and rejuvenating the plant. The smaller size makes it less susceptible to fungus attack. The rejuvenating effect stimulates the flowering power, which can quite relax in older specimens. To divide the Goldmelisse the following steps are necessary:
- Before the sprouting in spring, the golden balm is carefully excavated and thoroughly freed from the old substrate. It is advisable to rinse off the roots for this purpose.
- Root and plant are divided as long as possible in the middle. A clean spade, a pair of scissors or a sharp knife can be used for this purpose. The blades should first be disinfected best.
- So that the cut surfaces can dry sufficiently, the plant halves should be allowed to rest for a few hours.
- The two halves are then placed separately in fresh substrate and poured well.
If the golden melissa was planted freely in the garden in the spring, it has grown sufficiently and hardened at the beginning of the winter. Protection against frost is not necessary here. The plant retreats into the root in the autumn and does not require isolation against minus degrees. The situation is different with the culture of golden melissa in the tub. Here it makes sense to wrap the vessel with several layers of garden fleece, mats or old blankets to prevent complete freezing. Likewise, the bucket can be brought into the house and placed here cold but frost-free. Complete drying should be avoided, but the plant does not need light and fertilizer.
The golden balm requires little care, if location and substrate were selected appropriately. With its low demands and simple culture, it is ideal for inexperienced hobby gardeners, but still has an aromatic enrichment in the garden, which can even be used in the kitchen.
- The real Indian armchair (Monarda) is a very versatile plant. However, today almost only hybrids are offered.
- Both are good cut flowers and great garden shrubs, but the hybrids no longer have the healing effects of the parent plants.
- Mostly crosses of M. didyma and M. fistulosa are offered today: uncomplicated species that do not place great demands on the location.
- Even without any healing effect, the leaves of the Indian armchairs can be used in the kitchen. Or you can get a syrup out of it.
- Harvested during flowering from June to October.
- The bergamot-scented leaves of the scarlet Indian armchairs are still used today to make aromatic teas.
- The powdery mildew occurs relatively frequently.
- The fungus loves changing temperature patterns and persistent dryness.
- The powdery mildew on the whitish coating on the upper side of the leaf can be recognized.
- Help does preventions.
- Ideal location, sufficient planting distance, pruning after flowering and irrigation in case of drought
- Select resistant varieties, such as 'Aquarius', 'Fishes' or 'Purple Ann'.
- The fungus itself can be combated with milk (lactic acid bacteria).
- Spray 1/8 liter of milk per liter of water and twice a week!
- Alternatively use mains sulfur. When the fungus occurs, spray immediately!
- Never use at temperatures below 10° or above 28°. Never in the sun!
Scarlet Indian Armchair (Monarda didyma): is also called Goldmelisse; Height 60-100 cm; blooms from July to September with dense 8cm large head consisting of many small flowers in red, pink, white or purple
- Beauty of Cobham: A well-known variety with purple-pink flowers and striking purple-green leaves
- Cambridge Scarlett: Sets accents with scarlet flowers
- Cardinal: purple pink bizarre flowers
- 'Marshalls Delight: New variety with bright pink flowers
- 'Mohawk: New variety that impresses with purple flowers
- 'Panorama: scarlet Indian armchair. Height 100cm. Flowers from July to September in scarlet
- 'Snow White: captivates with radiant snow-white flowers
- Squaw: height 100cm. Fades through scarlet flowers