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This plant was discovered and described by the botanist Nicholas Monardes, after whom it got its name.
Monarda is more familiar as lemon mint, American lemon balm or bergamot.
Native Americans used its red flowers to make tea, and white settlers used this tea as an antipyretic and pain reliever for stomach pains.
All representatives of the genus are perennials or annuals that can grow up to one and a half meters in height. They bloom with small flowers of white, red, yellow or purple color, which are collected in small inflorescences with different strong aromas (lemon, mint and others).
Today, the plant is familiar to many not only due to its decorative, but also other properties: for the treatment of colds, for culinary experiments, just in the form of tea or grown near apiaries.
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The most popular species in our country are double, fist and lemon monarda. From annuals, you can most often find hybrid, point and lemon, from perennials - double, tubular and their hybrids.
Growing monarda and caring for her
The plant is light-requiring and cold-resistant, grows well in areas where there is a lot of sun, although it tolerates partial shade normally. It is better not to plant the monarda where there is a draft, as this can lead to the fact that its branches twist and bend.
It is strongly not recommended to plant the plant on acidic soils (such soil is formed where conifers, buttercup, field horsetail grow) and waterlogged during watering, otherwise the monarda will die.
When planting a monarda, you need to leave a distance of at least 40 centimeters between the bushes.
Phosphorus and potash fertilizers, as well as humus, are added to the ground.
In order for the monard to grow well, it must be regularly watered and fed, and the ground around it must be loosened and weeded.
The first time is fed in early spring. A nitrogen-containing fertilizer is suitable for this, but in the summer, you can use a complex fertilizer once a month.
At least once every five years, the monarda bush must be transplanted to a new place. Otherwise, the decorativeness of the shrub is reduced due to the fact that in its middle branches die off, forming a "bald patch". To avoid this, the bush must be divided and transplanted.
The plant is cold-resistant, so it stands green almost until mid-November. For the same reason, the monarda does not need to be wrapped up for the winter. Pruning can only be done occasionally.
Diseases and pests of monarda flowers
Due to its rich aroma, which essential oils give to the monad, not only is it rarely attacked by pests, it also prevents them from attacking neighboring plants.
Of the diseases, the monard is most often susceptible to powdery mildew and rust. If the humidity is very high, and the watering is excessive, then rotting of the shoots may begin.
To avoid these troubles, it would be good in early spring to treat the shoots with preparations containing copper, or those that will increase resistance to diseases.
If the monarda is grown for human consumption, then it is better to process it with an infusion of garlic, onion, tansy or tomato tops.
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Useful properties of monarda flowers
Even the Indians drew attention to the antiseptic, bactericidal, laxative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-sclerotic, anti-stress, anthelmintic and stimulating properties of the plant, therefore they began to use it in medicine to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Application of monarda
Monarda flowers are an excellent cough suppressant. Some leaves replace black tea, moreover, such an infusion helps well with various injuries (fractures, wounds).
Thanks to its essential oils, monarda is able to fight black mold, various fungi, microorganisms, viruses, mycoplasmas.
The Indians used it to treat skin infections, wounds, burns, seborrhea, fever, headache, cough (including bronchitis, bronchial asthma), rinsed out their mouth and throat.
Monarda is also able to whet the appetite, so it is used in cooking as a seasoning. It can be added to a wide variety of dishes: okroshka, borscht, soups, cabbage soup, fish dishes, jam (especially from pears and apples), jelly, jelly, compotes, marinades.
It tastes well with orange, lemon balm, mint, cinnamon, anise, cloves, star anise, parsley, fennel, tarragon, basil, oregano, bay leaf and celery.
So, by planting a monarda on your site, you will not only increase its decorative effect, but also get an excellent seasoning and cure for many diseases.
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