There are around thirty species of arnica. If the best known is arnica montana or mountain arnica, we also speak of alpine arnica, smaller or American arnica whose golden yellow flowers resemble those of mountain arnica. Double Arnica, on the other hand, offers leaves in pairs. The most classic species has hairy, oval leaves and orange-yellow flowers. This perennial plant with deciduous foliage is mainly found in France, in the Vosges, the Massif Central or the Pyrenees.
Arnica is not the easiest plant to sow. It is necessary to offer it a favorable environment, namely a rich, non-calcareous, slightly acidic soil containing silica. In terms of location, favor an altitude between 600 and 2,400 m and a sunny or semi-shaded area. rustic, it supports frosts perfectly and can evolve at temperatures reaching -30 °. Sowing can be done under chassis, in spring or autumn, in heather earth. Then transplant the seedlings separately to moist soil. It is only a year later, at the end of summer or in autumn, that you can plant in the soil every 30 cm by adding heather earth and potting soil. Flowering will take place the following year.
Growing and caring for arnica
Arnica does not require much maintenance. You just need to keep the soil drained and water fairly frequently during planting and then moderately thereafter.
Size is not essential. It can be done after flowering simply to maintain the plant.
Multiplication of arnica
We divide the feet to multiply it. This is done in April or in the fall by selecting the old feet which are separated and then replaced in a moist soil, as for sowing. This land must be rich and enriched with heather earth and sand.
Harvest and conservation of arnica
Prefer a harvest in the morning and before flowering then store the flowers in an attic ideally, the flowers need a dry and warm environment to dry. Then place in airtight boxes to keep all the virtues of the plant.
Virtues of arnica
This plant can be used internally or externally. In the first case, it treats hematomas, inflammations, prevents heart risks and treats retinopathies. When used externally, arnica treats joint pain, varicose veins and boils.
Diseases and pests of arnica
Arnica can suffer from powdery mildew. To avoid the development of this fungus attracted to moisture, do not water the leaves. Moisture can also cause rust, in which case the plant should be sprayed with a mixture of triforin. Snails particularly appreciate this plant, place a dam of ash all around your plant. Finally, the caterpillars weave webs, spray pyrethrum and remove the caterpillars installed on the plant.