Features of honeydew
Medunica officinalis (Pulmonaria officinalis) It belongs to the Boraginaceae family. The reason for such an unusual name is the shape of the leaves, which resemble lungs, comes from the word “lungs” (“pulmo”) both in English and Latin.
Honeydew is a medicinal herb, has from 14 to 20 different varieties, including those found in the wild. Perennial is distributed throughout Europe. The most famous is the common or spotted honeydew, which has long been considered a medicinal plant. But other varieties are increasingly attracting attention in gardening.
A perennial with elegant foliage and bright flowers is an ornament to any garden. Honeydew is popular among gardeners not only because of its decorative appearance, but also because it is extremely easy to care for and shade tolerant. Creeping perennials grow to only 20-30 cm in height, grow in groups.
The honeydew flower appears in early spring. In the period from March to May, funnel-shaped flowers appear on plants, located on a hairy calyx. The peculiarity of pulmonaria flowering is that the inflorescences on one stem bloom from pink, blue or purple petals.
The leaves are also attractive, and depending on the variety are green, with white spots or silver-gray. Stems and leaves are covered with thick down.
Additional information!Honeydew plants are often grown because of their interesting leaves, which are green with occasional white spots.
The plant is afraid of very high temperatures, but it is not afraid of cold, and even if late frosts can destroy the stems and flowers, it will regain strength in a short time, especially with the arrival of summer.
Honeydew: cultivation and care
Despite the fact that honeydew is considered especially easy to care for, from time to time it requires some attention. Growing honeydew in a shady garden is easy and beautiful: it is hardy and easy to care for. However, the plant can show these qualities only if it is planted in a suitable place. The plant prefers soft, moist, rich in organic substances and well-drained soil.
Likes shady places away from direct sunlight, if planted in full sun, the plant wilts and looks sick. Although the plant feels best in wet places, it can survive in drier ones if sufficient shading is provided. For this reason, honeydew is grown under trees, where it is difficult for other plants to compete with the roots of the tree for water. Its small size makes it ideal for planting under trees.
The honeydew plant is sensitive to drought, prefers moderately moist soil, but does not tolerate waterlogging. It is watered regularly, especially in dry summers.
Once a year in the spring before flowering, an organic fertilizer rich in potassium is applied to promote the restoration of the plant.
Reproduction of honeydew
It is propagated by seeds and division of rhizomes. The best time for dividing rhizomes is immediately after flowering in early summer. The division of plants is also practiced in autumn.
Numerous basal shoots are separated from the mother plant by cutting off more developed fleshy rhizomes.
The new plants obtained in this way are identical to the original ones. Planted in soft, rich and well-drained soil at a distance of 40-50 cm from each other.
Another option is to collect and sow the seeds of the honeydew. Sowing is carried out in spring in soft and moist soil, after keeping the seeds in the refrigerator for at least two weeks (they need to overwinter in a cold place).
These plants are also prone to self-seeding, so they do not require special attention for their reproduction.
Although pruning is not absolutely necessary, the plants are completely pruned after the flowering season, i.e. around May. This stimulates new shoots, new leaves of the honeydew form a beautiful pattern. Do not prune the plant if they want to form seeds for sowing next year.
Medunitsa: medicinal properties
The plant is used in herbal medicine, due to its diuretic, emollient, tonic, expectorant, soothing, astringent and diaphoretic properties. The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C.
At the end of summer, the raw materials are collected and dried until it darkens. Dried leaves are used to prepare infusions for the treatment of bronchial diseases, sore throat and sputum. Expectorant and softening infusion, useful in the treatment of bronchitis and for suppressing cough.
How to prepare a medicinal home remedy?
Dried leaves have always been used to prepare an expectorant, softening infusion. Two tablespoons of dry leaves are poured with a glass of boiling water for 10 minutes. Filter and drink 3 times a day for the treatment of bronchitis and cough.
The properties of medicinal honeydew are used for sore throat. Rinse with a warm infusion of flowers.
You can prepare a decoction with a diuretic effect to reduce water retention in the body. Boil 60 grams of honeydew root in 1 liter of water. Strain, flavor with honey and drink during the day.
Pay attention! The consumption of these infusions has no special contraindications, however, it is advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consult a doctor.
Honeydew can also be used in cooking, because its leaves are delicious, and they can be used to make side dishes or fillings.
The plant, which is usually not affected by aphids or other parasitic animals, is afraid of powdery mildew if the climate is too humid.