How to plant monardas (bergamots)
Also known as bergamots or bee balms, monardas are long-lived hardy perennials adored for their aromatic foliage and striking tubular or recurved flowers. Native to dry areas and woodlands commonly found in North America, these easy-to-grow, sweetly scented clump-forming plants will bring dimension and colour to the border and will attract pollinating insects to the garden. Try planting with veronicas, echinaceas, asters, nepetas and paeonies or grow in bold clumps for a truly standout show.
Plant in moderately fertile to humus rich, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Do not allow the soil to dry out in summer and keep dead-heading to encourage more flowers. Provide protection from winter wet.
Always unpack and plant on arrival.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
- Snails and slugs: these pests will eat away at the young shoots and stems. Watch out for damage!
- Powdery mildews: these fungal diseases usually caused by planting in the shade or by poor air circulation can be seen in the form of white, powdery coating on the leaves. Cut off any infected material before disinfecting your scissors. Some cultivars such as monarda Bee Merry are known to be mildew resistant.