Licorice is a charming annual that has enjoyed an unprecedented boom in recent years due to its broad-spectrum healing effects. The plant comes from South America and is also known in our country as cress or capuchin cress depending on the shape of the colorful flowers. So if you decide to grow it, you will soon be able to enjoy its edible leaves and later buds and flowers.
Use of licorice in cooking
Licorice is interested in that you can process it completely and without rest. For example, you can add leaves to salads or cut them into bread with butter or spread. They add a slightly spicy taste to every dish. The buds can be processed sour like capers, but even the raw ones are truly fragile and delicious. The plant is edible almost whole, but most of the potency is in the seeds, which appear shortly after flowering. The small seeds barely burn, but the mulberries will reliably bring tears to your eyes. The healing power was already known to the first inhabitants of America, from where licorice spread all over the world.
How to grow licorice successfully ?
Even complete beginners do not have to worry about sowing this medicinal plant. Licorice will mostly thrive in a sunny, well-heated spot, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in a flower bed or in a box. The soil should be well permeable and rather poor, since an excess of nitrogen reduces the inflorescence and promotes the growth of leaves. Sow seeds only at stable temperatures above 15 °C. Germination takes them a little longer. Therefore, you will wait about 2-3 weeks for the young plant.
Use licorice as protection for the whole garden
If you have a garden, you will also appreciate licorice as a pest warrior. Sown under apple trees will protect trees against bloody willow. It also effectively prevents the spread of potato blight. If you plant it directly in the flower bed, it will drive out nematodes and nematodes from its environment, which absorb nutrients from the vegetables and thus kill it. Another benefit is its ability to control weed growth.