Planting Instructions for Monarda Flower Seeds

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Monarda Planting and Care Guide

Quick Facts About Monarda

Monarda is a beneficial compantion plant for the vegetable garden. Plant it next to tomatoes and peppers. It's very attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Also called bee balm or bergamont, this old-time favorite can be used in the kitchen both fresh and dried. Monarda is a very versatile yet beautiful plant!

Planting Time

Start Monarda seeds directly outside in the fall or early spring. For indoor sowing, give the seeds a cold treatment for 4 weeks in the refrigerator, and then start the seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks prior to the end of frost season and transplant out later with warmer temperatures.

Planting Location

Monarda plants do well in full sun to partial shade. The soil should be moderately moist and drain well. To prevent disease, good air circulation is a must for Monarda, so plant in an area with plenty of space.

How to Plant Monarda

  • Monarda seeds respond to cold, so prior to starting indoors, dampen a handful of soil or sand and add the seeds in. Place this mixture in the refrigerator for 4 weeks
  • Following the cold period, sow the flower seeds in starter trays
  • Press the seeds into the soil and very lightly cover with soil
  • Keep the trays continually moist and warm for germination
  • Pinch the seedlings back once or twice so that the plants will be bushier
  • Once the temperatures begin to warm up outdoors, harden the Monarda plants off for 7 - 10 days prior to transplanting out
  • Provide plenty of space in-between plants
  • Or, for directly sowing, work the garden soil to a depth of 6 - 8 inches
  • Add compost to improve the soil
  • Rake the seedbed smooth and scatter the seed on top
  • Rake the seed under the soil lightly and keep the area moist for germination
  • Thin to the strongest seedling 30 inches apart

Care And Maintenance

  • Irrigate regularly for establishment; once established, Monarda can withstand some drought
  • Monarda can be grown in containers which can be brought in during the winter weather
  • After flowering, cut the plants back to help maintain a tidy appearance and to encourage new growth and a second bloom
  • To prevent mildew, only irrigate at the base of the plant
  • If powdery mildew begins, cut out the infected parts and throw away
  • Divide the plants every 3 - 4 years
  • Mulch around the base of the Monarda plant to protect it during winter
  • Harvest the flowers and leaves for salads and other cooking flavorings
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