Monarda, Lemon Bergamot (Organic)
Monarda citridoria. Annual or fall-sown biennial.
Lemon Bergamot Monarda achieves the garden trifecta of being an ornamental, culinary/medicinal, and insectary plant. Tubular purple flowers form in clusters around the stem, with two to six clusters along each stem. Perhaps most well known as an herbal flavoring for tea, leaves have a citrusy aroma and flavor with notes of oregano. Leaves make an excellent flavoring for stews, seafood and roasted meats. Lemon Bergamot also has a long history of medicinal usage to treat colds. Pollinators of all types including hummingbirds and butterflies flock to the flowers. Blooms over a long season from May to September making it a great addition to the annual flower garden. Good for use in cut or dried arrangements, as stems have good vase life and hold their form when dried. Deer and drought tolerant, may self seed. This member of the mint family is native to the southern US and northern Mexico. Aka, Lemon Beebalm, lemon mint, and purple horsemint. Not to be confused with Mondarda fistulosa, which is a perennial that also has Bee Balm as a common name. Lemon Bergamot is a low maintenance wildflower that grows 2.5’ tall by about 12” wide and does well in pots.
Sow in fall, spring sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, or direct sow after danger of frost has passed. Sow very shallow or on surface of propagation mix. Germination in 7-14 days. Thin / transplant starts to 12″ spacing. Plants prefer full sun to part shade and well drained soils.
Collect seeds from seed heads that are fully dry. Thresh by hand or by dancing, winnow to clean. Finish air-drying if necessary before sealing in airtight container. Some cross-pollination may occur. Isolate from other varieties of same species by ¼ mile.