Behind the primordial and striking appearance of a yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is a wild perennial with vehement vigor. Giving the golden-yellow dead-nettle species a free hand will even put a ground elder in its place.
Planting Yellow Archangel Properly
If you pay attention to the following procedure of planting, a yellow archangel, also known as golden nettle or golden dead nettle, will meet all expectations of an ornamental and useful plant.
With a simple horticultural trick, you regulate the temperamental urge to spread into the desired channels. Here’s how to do it right:
- In a semi-shaded, shady location in humic and moist soil, dig planting pits 16-20 inches (40-50 cm) apart.
- Mix sifted compost and horn shavings under the excavation.
- Line the edge of each planting pit with a root barrier of geotextile.
- Pour out the root ball soaked with water, plant it in the center, and water it.
Alternatively, keep the growth of these vigorous runners under control by planting a single young plant along with a container without soil.
A yellow archangel will grow vigorously without much help from the gardener. The manageable care program therefore only revolves around the following aspects:
- Keep the soil and the potting medium constantly moist.
- Fertilize every 4 weeks from March to September.
- If necessary, cut the withered whorls of flowers in the fall.
- Prune the evergreen foliage close to the ground in early spring.
The yellow archangel requires winter protection only in the pot and window box. In these cases, wrap the container with insulating material and place it on Styrofoam or wood, so that the root ball does not freeze through.
Important to note is a continuous water supply, as the wintergreen leaves permanently evaporate water.
Which Location is Suitable for Yellow Archangel?
As an ornamental plant, the yellow archangel is at your side when you want to decoratively green problematic locations.
In semi-shady to shady locations in the natural garden, in the cottage garden, and under woody plants, the perennial adds pretty yellow splashes of color.
In addition, the flower likes fresh-moist to sandy-loamy soil, rich in nutrients and deep humus.
What Kind of Soil Does Yellow Archangel Need?
In the wild, the yellow archangel often acts as a pioneer plant, conquering previously unvegetated areas. This characteristic implies that the perennial does well with normal garden soil, as long as the soil is not desert dry.
Similarly, as a container plant, it is fully satisfied with common potting soil based on compost.
When is Flowering Time for Yellow Archangels?
From May until well into July, the delicate yellow to golden yellow lipped flowers flourish. If you take a closer look at a flower, the petite, three-lobed lower lip is reddish in color.
While pure wild species have 5-8 florets per whorl, hybrids boast 8-16 flowers.
Pruning Yellow Archangel Properly
Since the wintergreen, decoratively sawed foliage fills the otherwise empty garden with green life, creative gardeners leave the yellow archangel undisturbed until February.
By then, at the latest, the plant retracts its leaves anyway, so pruning now makes room for fresh sprouts. Unless self-seeding is desired, cut back the wilted whorls of flowers before seeds ripen in the fall.
Watering Yellow Archangel
This ground-hugging perennial is content with the average rainfall when it comes to watering. Only during prolonged drought, do we recommend using the watering can.
In pot culture, however, the substrate dries out quickly in the summer, so there is a regular need for water.
Fertilizing Yellow Archangels Properly
If the gardener makes his rounds through the garden with a wheelbarrow full of compost, the yellow archangel is happy about a portion. Gladly, the golden-yellow dead nettle is given a sip of nettle liquid manure during the growing season.
In the limited substrate volume of the container, the nutrient reserves are used up within 6-8 weeks after planting, so a liquid fertilizer fills the gaps every 4 weeks until the beginning of autumn.
Overwintering Yellow Archangel
Throughout the winter, the yellow archangel wears its foliage, because the perennial is completely hardy. It is not until January/February that the disused leaves gradually retreat, so pruning close to the ground now makes sense.
Horticultural support for healthy overwintering is therefore only required in the planter, due to the exposed position of the root ball behind the thin container walls.
Therefore, wrap the pot or window box in bubble wrap, garden fleece, or jute and place the container on wood or Styrofoam. Since the leaves continue to evaporate moisture, water on mild days during a winter drought.
Propagating Yellow Archangel
The exuberant urge of the yellow archangel to spread plays several variants of a targeted propagation into the hands of amateur gardeners. The most common propagation methods are:
- Cut off root runners to let them root in the pot in a lean substrate.
- Divide the rootstock in early spring or fall.
- Cut cuttings during the flowering period and grow them into adult plants in a propagation pot.
Compared to these 3 methods, sowing the yellow archangel proves to be more challenging and time-consuming.
Since the seeds are cold germinators, a cold stimulus is required to break the inhibition of germination.
2-4 weeks at 64 to 72 °F (18 to 22 °C) are followed by 4-6 weeks at 25 to 40 °F (-4 to 4 °C), followed by 2 weeks at 41 to 54 °F (5 to12 °C). Only then the classic sowing procedure begins.
Is Yellow Archangel Poisonous?
The yellow archangel is bursting with valuable ingredients. Essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and numerous trace elements allow the wild perennial to mature into a rich food and medicinal plant.
Even the dreaded stinging hairs of the widely related stinging nettle are absent on a yellow archangel. Thus, this dead nettle species poses no danger to humans and animals.
How Can I Use the Yellow Archangel?
The golden archangel has a wealth of beneficial attributes that clever gardeners know how to use. We have collected interesting uses for you here:
- As a quaint ornamental plant with a wild perennial character.
- To spread a beguiling aroma in the fragrance garden.
- As a popular bee and butterfly pasture.
- Honey-filled flowers as a tasty snack for children.
- Prepared as a tea with healing properties for diseases of the bladder and kidneys.
The leaves have the highest content of valuable ingredients shortly before flowering. At this time the taste is particularly delicate, while after flowering it takes on a bitter aroma.
- Florentium: The golden-yellow flowers above silvery foliage create a picturesque appearance.
- Hermann’s Pride: Small in growth, powerful in the greening of shady areas. A vigorous ground cover.
- Silver Carpet: This weak-growing yellow archangel is a popular ground cover in low-light beds.