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Indian armchair, bergamot, golden balm, bee balm or - based on the botanical name - Monarde: The species of the genus Monarda have many names in our country. But the most widespread is the German name Indianernessel, because the native North American species was used long before its introduction as an ornamental plant by the Indians as a medicinal plant. Their German name was the belonging to the family Lamiaceae (Lamiaceae) perennial because of their nettle, aromatic fragrant leaves, from which the Oswego Indians made a tea for colds.

Appearance and growth

The individual pink, white, purple or red flowers sit in dense, fringed whorls and attract many bees and other insects from June to September. Especially the horse's monkey (Monarda punctata) is a true bee magnet. The growth heights of the Monarchs vary depending on the species and variety between 60 and 120 centimeters. Thanks to increasing demand, a variety of species and varieties are now available in stores. Most of them are crossbreds or descendants of the native North American golden balm (Monarda didyma) and native in Mexico and California Wild Indian armchair (Monarda fistulosa). Incidentally, these two types are also good for making lemonade. The lemon monard (Monarda citriodora) also gives beverages a very individual, slightly lemony note.

Horsemint (Monarda punctata)

The horse's mantis (Monarda punctata) magically attracts bees

Location and ground

Indian nuts prefer permeable, nutrient-rich, moderately moist soil. Indigenous people grow in sparse forests and woody edges in their homeland, so they can tolerate penumbra very well. Even with full sun, they get along well, but the soil must be a bit wetter then. Since the location requirements are quite different, you should pay attention to the information on the label when buying. Irrespective of species and variety, Indian sows do not tolerate waterlogging. Even winternasse soils do not like them.


Especially in natural plantings in combination with sage (Salvia), coneflower (Echinacea) and yarrow (Achillea) and in autumnal beds with asters, high-pitched hen and ornamental grasses, the wild, exotic charm of the Indian armchairs comes into play. In recent years, it has also developed into a true trend plant as an important prairie garden shrub and populates our gardens along with asters, goldenrod (Solidago) and ornamental grasses. Since the stems of the Indian armchair are quite bare at the bottom, it is advisable to put lower perennials into the foreground.


Indian sows tend to spread across foothills. Therefore, plan enough space already during the planting in the spring. If the soil is particularly loamy, some sand or gravel should be worked into the soil before planting to prevent waterlogging.

Indian armchair Monarda Fistulosa Gardenview Scarlet

Hybrid varieties such as the Indian armchair 'Gardenview Scarlet' (Monarda fistulosa hybrid) are often less prone to powdery mildew

To cut

It is best to cut the dry stems in early spring. In case of severe powdery mildew, on the other hand, a near-surface pruning immediately after flowering makes sense.


By dividing the plants in the spring or autumn after flowering, you can stop the propagation and propagate the perennials at the same time. On sandy, rather dry soils, you should divide Indiana at least every five years, as they are rather fast and otherwise disappear over time.

Further care tips

A composting in spring promotes the abundance of flowers and prolongs the life of the perennials, especially on poorer soils.


The species of Indian armchairs can be propagated in the spring by sowing and in early spring by division. Also, the propagation of cuttings in early summer is easily possible. All breeding forms should only be propagated vegetatively in order to preserve the variety purity.

Diseases and pests

The most dangerous enemy of Indian is the powdery mildew. Although some wild forms and varieties are resistant or resistant, as soon as the pathogen changes slightly by mutation, these resistances can be broken. Less prone are newer varieties such as 'Aquarius' or 'Squaw'. Indians are also occasionally prone to rust and stains. Anyone who regularly pours water during the summer in constant drought and pays attention to the right choice of location can prevent an infestation with diseases and pests.

Video Board: Monarda Grower Tips | Walters Gardens.

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