The Manuka plant enchants with its months of blossoms. As of March, you can enjoy the small pink-white flowers. But only if the plant is grown and cared for properly.The Manuka plant needs a sunny location The Manuka plant, also known as the Südseemyrte, is actually native to New Zealand. There it grows both in shrub and tree form. Planted as a tree, the Manuka plant can reach a remarkable height of 15 meters.
The plant has become known in Germany not because of its size, but because of the special honey obtained from it - the Manuka honey. This contains a healing effect that the inhabitants of New Zealand discovered in the 18th century. Even then it was used to treat chronic wounds, skin infections and colds (source: naturinstitut.info).
But not only honey is a well-known remedy for the Manuka plant, the bark and leaves are also used as home remedies. Crushed and brewed as tea, it helps against gastrointestinal diseases and cystitis.
The fact that the plant can be found more and more frequently in gardens and on terraces in Germany is probably not only due to the magical flowers, but also because of the healing properties. The Manuka plant can only thrive here if it is planted and cared for under the right conditions. You can find out exactly what is important here.
Growing a Manuka plant - important planting information
Location and soil conditions
In Germany, the South Sea myrtle is often planted as a shrub or in tubs. The evergreen plant can reach a height of 1 to 3 meters here.
If the Manuka plant is to bloom in its full bloom in your garden, the location plays a very important role. The plant loves a sunny spot. It is best to place the plant on the south side of your garden. Here you will find the best conditions.
When sowing, the soil should be sandy and very permeable. The Manuka plant does not tolerate waterlogging at all. A soil pH of 5.5 is optimal. This can be easily determined with a pH test. We recommend Neudorff's test. All utensils are included here so you can start testing right away.
»Video instructions for the test
Care instructions for the Manuka plant
❀ Keep the plant moist
The Manuka plant regularly needs water during the growth phase. Make sure that the earth does not dry out. The leaves would turn brownish and the plant would gradually die off. To avoid this, you should keep constant moisture.
For watering, you should only use lime-free water, decalcified water or rainwater. The plant tolerates this best.
You can add a little fertilizer to the irrigation water every 14 days. Normal flower fertilizer in half concentration has proven itself best. But beware! Fertilization takes place only during the vegetation phase between spring and autumn. Do not fertilize in the winter months!
❀ Manuka plant is not hardy
The Manuka plant does not like cold temperatures at all. Therefore, it must be kept frost-free in winter. A bright location with temperatures between 7 and 9 degrees is suitable for this. If you have a winter garden, this is the perfect place for the plant.
As mentioned above, the plant does not need to be fertilized during this time. However, make sure that the soil moisture is even. The Manuka must not dry out even in winter.
❀ Regular cut for better branching
You can easily cut the South Sea myrtle. It is even advisable for young plants to branch better.
The older plants only need to be cut once a year. The best time to do this is after flowering.
❀ Easy propagation possible
If you don't get enough of the magical fragrant flowers of the Manuka, you can easily multiply them. You only need cuttings from the plant. Simply cut them off in summer and plant them in a pot with fresh soil. After the plant has formed roots, you can prune them vigorously again to achieve bushy growth.
❀ pest infestation
The manuka plant is normally very robust. Nevertheless, it can happen that mealybugs or mealybugs sometimes settle on it. The mealybugs can be recognized by their white cotton-like bodies. In most cases, they can be found on the stems, shoots and leaves. They take away the vital juice from the plant and also remove poisonous secretions and sticky honeydew. All of this affects the plant so much that you should act quickly. Otherwise, the plant slowly but surely loses its leaves and dies.
If you have discovered such mealybugs on your plant, you should quarantine them as soon as possible so that the small animals do not jump onto other plants. Rubbing the leaves with alcohol can help fight the mealybugs. Farm animals such as ladybirds, parasitic wasps and lacewings (e.g. available here) are also very helpful for mealybugs.