Bedding plants

Plant and care for diptam (burning bush) properly


The Diptam is a rarity in the home garden. However, it places special demands on the location and soil. You can find planting and care tips here.

The Diptam convinces with its attractive look in every garden

Be honest, who is not impressed by the magic of wild plants on the field or at the edge of the forest? And who wouldn't have such an exclusive plant in their garden? Just dig it out and implement it, that is not possible. After all, flowering plants are protected in the wild.

Such a rarity is also the Diptam (Dictamnus albus). Occasionally you can encounter this perennial when walking in the summer on dry meadows or along dry forest edges. But you can also enjoy it in your own garden. Perennial gardeners have long cultivated this unusual plant for the hobby garden (see shop).

What makes the diptam so special?

With a height of 80 to 120 centimeters, the plant produces strong stems on which pale pink flowers arranged in umbels develop from late May to July. The diptam spreads an intense fragrance of lemon and vanilla.

The essential oils of the plant can be so strongly expelled in hot, humid weather that the flowers ignite at the lower end and flare up briefly bluish. With luck, you can observe this phenomenon at dusk. The Diptam therefore bears the apt name "Burning Bush". However, the perennial does not get damaged when it catches fire.

But be careful: all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Diptam effect as medicinal plant not proven
In the past, the diptam was considered a medicinal plant due to its large number of essential oils. However, the effect as a medicinal plant could never be positively proven. On the contrary, the plant's toxic substances in combination with sunlight cause severe skin irritation. Contact should therefore be avoided if possible.

Its fragrance is unmistakable, resembling a delicate mixture of lemon and vanilla

What should you pay attention to when planting the diptam

Similar to peonies, plant the diptam in a place in the garden where it gets a lot of sun and can grow undisturbed for many years. If the root has developed well, the Burning Bush will thank you with lush panicles from May to July. It can take at least two to three years for this to happen. You should therefore be patient.

You can plant the diptam from spring to autumn. The distance between the young plants should be at least 50 centimeters. Ultimately, they only pour lightly.

Preferred locations
Choose sunny to partially shaded locations for the Diptam, for example on open spaces, on the edges of trees or in the prairie garden. The rare magnificent perennial prefers a water-permeable, rather dry soil. In addition, it should be calcareous (pH value between 8 and 10) and low in nutrients.

Adjust the soil conditions
The Diptam perennial is sensitive to changing soil conditions. It is therefore advisable that you match the garden soil to the substrate in the pot before planting young perennials.
If you have a damp garden floor, then it is best to create a drainage or mix the soil vigorously with sand.

Care without much effort

The burning bush, as the perennial is also called, is very frugal and places few demands on maintenance.

Water and fertilize sparingly
Since the plant thrives well on barren, dry soils, it only needs to be watered during persistent hot and dry periods. In doing so, pour the water directly onto the root area. Flowers and leaves must not be wetted.

You can fertilize the diptam with compost in the spring. No other nutrients are necessary

It is cut in early spring
Cutting the Burning Bush is straightforward. Only before the new shoots in spring shorten the perennial to about 20 centimeters. You only cut out sick shoots close to the ground. The cut during growth is taboo since the diptam cannot tolerate it.

Protection from diseases and pests
If the location and soil conditions are right, diseases and pests of the plant can hardly harm them. If there is a danger, it is more likely to come from slugs. They are particularly attracted to the young plants in spring and can cause great damage.

Therefore: Protect the young Diptam from slugs with a snail collar or snail fence! It is advisable to check the protective fence once a day to make sure that one of the slimy herbivores has not overcome the snail barrier.

Summary: The diptam is a plant that prefers a sunny and dry location. He loves a well drained and calcareous soil. Before planting, you must match the soil to the substrate of the young plant in the pot. Water the diptam only during longer dry periods.