Monarda Growing Guide

Monarda

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Rich soil that holds moisture well.

Position

Morning sun with partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

A cold-hardy perennial which can survive temperatures to -20F (-30C).

Feeding

Topdress the dormant plants with good compost in winter.

Companions

Cosmos, Lovage, Sweetcorn, Pumpkin, Squash, Endive, Tatsoi, Mizuna and Lettuce. Often planted with salad greens and other shade-tolerant plants.

Spacing

Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 50cm (1' 7") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start with purchased plants, set out in spring. Many selected cultivars are resistant to powdery mildew, a common problem with this species. 30 cm (12in) each way is a good spacing for an initial planting of 3 plants. Monarda is a slight spreader, but not invasive like mint. Over time, a happy plant will form a mount 120 cm (4ft) high and wide.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Pastel flower colours look especially cooling in partial shade. Leaves are excellent for tea.

Harvesting

Harvest stems to dry for tea in early summer, before the plants bloom. The plants will regrow after cutting, then bloom.

Troubleshooting

Moving clumps every few years may help limit problems with powdery mildew.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Monarda