Monarda: planting and care, growing from seeds in the open field, photo
Plant monarda (lat.Monarda) represents a genus of perennial and annual grasses of the Labiate or Lamiaceae family, which includes about 20 species native to North America, where they grow from Canada to Mexico. The monard flower was named by Carl Linnaeus in honor of Nicholas Monardes, a Spanish physician and botanist who published a book in 1574 describing the plants of America. Monardes himself called the Monarda a Virgin or Origan of Canada.
In Europe, monarda began to be grown as an essential oil crop, and by the 19th century it became widely known throughout the world under the names bergamot, lemon mint or American lemon balm.
Planting and caring for the monarda
- Landing: sowing seeds in the ground - in the snow in February or autumn, immediately after collecting the seeds.
- Bloom: from July to the end of September.
- Lighting: bright sun or partial shade.
- The soil: light calcareous soils.
- Watering: frequent but moderate, daily and abundant in dry weather.
- Top dressing: from mid-May to early autumn, once every two weeks with liquid mullein (1:10) or complex mineral fertilizers.
- Reproduction: by cuttings or dividing bushes that have reached three to four years of age. Only the species monarda can be propagated by the seed method.
- Pests: aphids or weevils.
- Diseases: powdery mildew, rust, tobacco mosaic virus.
Read more about growing monarda below.
So, monarda bergamot is a perennial or annual rhizome plant with straight or branched stems up to one and a half meters high, with oblong-lanceolate straight serrated and, often, fragrant leaves, as well as small, fragrant two-lipped flowers of white, purple, red, yellowish color , sometimes even speckled, collected in dense capitate or racemose inflorescences up to 6-7 cm in diameter, which are most often located on the stem one above the other. The fruit of the monarda is a nut, the seeds ripening in it remain viable for three years.
On one site, the monarda is grown for 5-7 years. Monarda attracts not only by the color of the flowers, but also by its amazing aromas. It is used as a spice in cooking, added to tea, and it is good as a honey plant.
Growing monarda from seeds
How to sow seeds
In the southern regions, monarda seeds are sown directly into the ground on fine days in February, where they undergo natural stratification during two cold months, as a result of which, already in April, friendly strong shoots appear, which will only be thinned out.
If there is snow on the site, remove it, cover the area with a film so that the earth warms up, then loosen the soil by adding a little sand to the top layer and, mixing the seeds with sand in a ratio of 1: 4, sow them. From above, the seeds are also slightly covered with sand. The seeding depth should be no more than 2.5 cm. It is possible to sow in the ground in the fall, immediately after collecting the seeds, and in the spring only open the seedlings, then in a year the grown and strengthened bushes will bloom. The monarda rises very slowly.
However, most often the monarda is grown in seedlings. In order to get seedlings of monarda by spring, they are sown in January or February in boxes with soil for vegetable crops, covering the seeds by 2-2.5 cm, and placed in a greenhouse, maintaining the temperature under the film at least 20 ºC. Seedlings appear in three weeks, and after another three weeks the seedlings dive into containers according to the 3x3 or 4x4 scheme in order to increase the feeding area for them.
When to plant
Planting and caring for a monard in the open field is not difficult. Monarda prefers to grow in a sunny place protected from the wind, although it feels good in partial shade. It is not picky about soils, but grows best on light, calcareous soils, and monarda does not develop well in moist and acidic soil. It is best to plant the monarda in the spring, however, the site for it is prepared in the fall: they dig it up, clearing weeds, and adding 2-3 kg of peat, manure or compost to each m², 20-30 g of potassium salt, 40-50 g of superphosphate and 40 g of lime.
In the spring, before planting, 20-30 g of nitrogen fertilizer is applied to the soil for each m².
How to plant
Two months after the emergence of seedlings, when they have three pairs of leaves, the seedlings are planted in a prepared area at a distance of at least 60 cm from each other. Planting monarda ends with abundant watering. Light spring frosts down to -5 ºC are painlessly tolerated by seedlings. Monarda from seeds usually blooms only after a year, but with the seedling method, the most developed specimens can bloom already in the current year.
Caring for monarda in the garden
Monarda needs frequent but moderate watering, especially in hot weather, otherwise there is a danger of plant disease with powdery mildew. During peak heat, daily watering may be required. In addition, in hot and dry summers, it is necessary to mulch the area with monarda with leaf humus or peat. Loosen the soil around the monarda bushes regularly and remove weeds.
The cultivation of monarda also provides for feeding the plant with granulated Kemira or Agricola every two weeks from mid-May to early autumn. Monarda also reacts well to organic matter, for example, to a mullein diluted in a ratio of 1:10. For preventive purposes, in spring and autumn, Monarda is treated with Fundazol and copper sulfate.
Reproduction of monarda
Since varietal characteristics are not preserved when growing monarda from seeds, it is most reliable to propagate varietal, and even species monarda, by dividing three to four-year-old bushes. It is better to do this in April, when the soil warms up well, or in early autumn. The bush is dug, the roots are cleaned from the ground under a stream of water, divided into approximately equal parts, the cuts are processed with crushed coal and the cuttings are planted in the holes prepared in advance.
Be prepared for the fact that you will often have to deal with transplanting with dividing the bush, since literally in two or three years the delenki planted by you will grow up to a meter in diameter.
Propagated monarda and using cuttings 8-10 cm long, which are cut from green shoots before flowering. The lower leaves are removed from the cuttings, the upper ones are shortened by a third. Then the cuttings are planted in a box with moist coarse-grained river sand, covered with agril on top and placed in a dark place. Rooting usually occurs within two to three weeks. In the second half of summer, cuttings are planted in a permanent place.
Pests and diseases
Monarda is a plant resistant to any troubles, but with a chronic lack of water, it can get sick with powdery mildew. To avoid this, strictly observe the irrigation regime and be sure to mulch the soil on the site so that moisture does not evaporate from the soil so quickly.
Sometimes a monarda is infected with a tobacco mosaic virus or rust, a weevil can settle on it, however, a developed and well-groomed monarda does not get sick at all, pests are frightened off by the aroma of monarda and the content of essential oils in its roots.
Monarda after flowering
How and when to collect seeds
Monarda seeds ripen in nuts in late August or early September. If you have a desire to engage in breeding work, you can collect them and immediately sow or grow seedlings that can be planted in the ground in the spring. And you can save the seeds in order to sow in a year or two, since the germination period of monarda seeds with proper storage is three years. We remind you that the seeds of the varietal monarda do not retain their parental properties, only species plants are grown in a generative way.
Preparing for winter
If you do not need monarda seeds, leave the fruits on the bushes - in the fall they will be very useful to hungry birds. The remains of annual species of monarda are disposed of, and the site is prepared for a crop that will be grown next year. Monarda is winter-hardy for many years, it can withstand frosts down to -25 ºC, but if you are afraid that winter will be not only cold, but also snowless, insulate the area with a thick layer of mulch or throw spruce branches.
Types and varieties
Annual types of monarda grown in culture include:
Monarda lemon, or citrus (Monarda citriodora)
The only annual plant in the genus with a height of 15 to 95 cm with lanceolate leaves and inflorescences of 5-7 whorls with small light or dark lilac flowers, the leaves, flowers and stems of which contain essential oil with the same components as basil, lemon balm and mint, and this allows the use of lemon monarda not only as an ornamental, but also as a gingerbread plant;
Monarda lambada hybrid (Monarda lambada)
Bred in the Netherlands from the crossing of several species of the Citriodora group, the young leaves of which, like the leaves of the citrus monarda, have a strong lemon aroma;
Or horse mintgrown mostly not for the flowers, but for the lovely, vibrant, salmon-colored leaves that surround the flowers. The plant reaches a height of 80 cm.
Perennial monarda is represented in culture by the following species:
Monarda double (Monarda didyma)
Wildlife in the Great Lakes region. It is a herbaceous perennial, reaching a height of 80 cm, with a horizontal growing rhizome and with tetrahedral leafy erect stems. Its leaves are opposite, short-petiolate, oval, toothed, pointed at the end, pubescent, green, up to 12 cm long, with reddish stipules. The flowers are small, purple or lilac in color, collected in dense capitate end inflorescences up to 6 cm in diameter. Large leaf-shaped bracts of almost the same shade as the flowers. In culture since 1656.
Monarda fistulosa, or tubular (Monarda fistulosa)
It grows naturally in the forests of eastern North America, in Europe it is grown mostly as a spicy aromatic plant. It is a perennial with numerous stems reaching a height of 65 to 120 cm, with simple toothed leaves, pubescent with fine hairs. The flowers of the monarda fistula are lilac, small, combined in false whorls surrounded by reddish stipules and collected in spherical capitate inflorescences. Each peduncle carries from five to nine inflorescences with a diameter of 5 to 7 cm.
This species has been cultivated since 1637. There is a dwarf form of the monarda fistus Victoria, bred in Russia.
Monarda hybrid (Monarda x hybrida)
It combines forms and varieties bred in Germany, Great Britain and the USA with the participation of the double monarda and the fistus monarda.
These are plants up to 100 cm high with flowers of various colors, for example:
- violet-purple: Blaustrumpf, Blue Stocking;
- purple: Fishee, Zinta-Zinta, Pony;
- purple: Sunset, Prairie Glow, Cardinal;
- red: Petite Delight, Cambridge Scarlett, Balance, Adam, Squaw, Mahogeny;
- pink: Craitley Pink, Croftway Pink, Rose Queen;
- white: Snow Maiden, Snow White, Schneevitchen;
- burgundy: Prarienakht, Bordeaux Moldova;
- lavender: Elsiz Levende.
Population Panorama represents plants with variously colored flowers - purple, white, burgundy, pink, scarlet and crimson.
Monarda properties - benefit and harm
In parts of the monarda, the content of essential oils, vitamins C, B1 and B2 and other biologically active elements is very high, which allows it to be widely used in homeopathy. The most valuable product from monarda is essential oil, which has a broad spectrum bactericidal effect, as well as reproductive, anti-stress, antianemic and antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of the oil helps to clear the aorta from atherosclerotic plaques, treats radiation sickness, flu and colds, strengthens the immune system and supports the body after chemotherapy.
The use of monarda is shown for otitis media, cystitis, sinusitis, pneumonia and digestive disorders. Monarda helps with diseases of the oral cavity, headache, relieves foot and nail fungus. The plant is also in demand in cosmetology - it is included in creams for mature skin and in preparations for the care of oily and acne prone skin.
Not only monarda essential oil is popular, but also its leaves, which are added to tea, salads and soups. Garnishes for fish and vegetable dishes are prepared from monarda greens.
Monarda is one of the most beneficial plants, but if consumed excessively, even it can be harmful to health. Monarda is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, children under 5 years old, and not only internal use is undesirable, but also its use as a raw material for an aroma lamp.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the Lamiaceae family
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Information about Garden Plants
- Information on Perennial Plants
- Information about Herbaceous plants
- Information about Annual Plants
- Information about medicinal plants
Sections: Garden plants Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Annuals Medicinal Lamiaceae (Lipoids) Plants on M
Monardy wondrous scent
In our area, the double monard is now in full bloom. "Shaggy" bright red flowers in the flower beds attract butterflies. And varietal plants surprise with pale pink, lilac, purple and even white flowers. I really want to find a white monarda - if you believe the photos that I came across, it looks extraordinary! But regular red is also good:
Although, to be honest, I love this plant not so much for the flowers as for the scent of the leaves - strong, rich, reminiscent of mint (or rather, even lemon balm). They say they are distant relatives with mint :) Tea with dried monarda leaves is something! Therefore, in my garden there is always a place reserved for her.
I also read that monarda leaves can be used fresh in salads and as a seasoning for cooking meat dishes. True, this does not apply to hybrid plants - they are planted solely for beauty, and not for gastronomic purposes. For now, I also limit myself to tea.
Growing a monarda is not difficult. It can grow in the sun, and in partial shade, the soil prefers loose, nutrient-dense soil. If the conditions suit it, it grows well - sometimes it is even recommended to limit its growth by planting it in a large bucket without a bottom.
The bush should be divided every three to four years. If this is not done, the plant weakens over time, thins, begins to hurt. Sharing the monarda in the spring is, by the way, the fastest and most reliable way of its reproduction.
But back to leaving. Double monarda is a moisture-loving plant, so in a dry summer you will have to water it quite often, at least twice a week. On dry soil, it develops poorly and may even get sick with its main enemy - powdery mildew. A weakened plant blooms worse and looks rather plain. By the way, the flower stalks should be cut off in time: the wilted monarda does not decorate the flower garden either, it looks untidy.
But this, perhaps, ends the care of the monard. And if you plant it in a corner of a garden with moist soil - for example, near a reservoir - then watering is not required. This plant will also be comfortable in natural compositions, on the outskirts of shrub thickets.
Despite its catchy appearance, the monarda is not an individualist)) It looks great in combination with other plants, not only garden plants, but also wild ones.Tall Veronica, goldenrod, sage, stonecrop, daylilies, echinacea, coreopsis are suitable for her as partners. Thanks to the scent of leaves, which, by the way, is felt even if you just touch the bush, the monarda will logically fit into the composition of spicy herbs, enriching it with bright colors. And I want to try to plant a motherwort next to it: it is also in bloom right now. In my opinion, it should turn out well!
Instead of a conclusion
The aforementioned plant has a beautiful appearance, a charming aroma and is an exquisite decoration for any flower bed. With proper care, the first flowers can be seen already in the third growing season. Plants are not very picky about growing conditions, but a certain amount of work still has to be done. Planting and caring for Monarda in the open field is quite simple, and even a novice florist can successfully cope with this work.
I am the chief editor of this site. I prefer to embody new ideas on the garden plot, try different growing methods, introduce modern methods of increasing the yield. But at the same time, he is a supporter of the "old-fashioned" methods of feeding and treating garden plants using folk methods.
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