How to Plant, Grow and Care For Wild Bergamot

Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), is a member of the mint household (Lamiaceae). It has aromatic leaves and flowers and grows 2 to 4 toes tall. Vegetation may be grown from seed or by division, and as soon as they turn into established in an space, they develop quick. You could acknowledge the similarities to the cultivated Monarda, additionally known as bee balm.

This herbaceous perennial wildflower has a protracted blooming interval and may flower anytime from early to mid-summer by means of fall. The flowers are tubular with outstanding lips on the opening. They’re pale pinkish-purple and develop in rounded clusters atop tall leafy stems. These native flowers appeal to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, who go to ceaselessly to collect nectar. 

Native to North America, it may be discovered all through a lot of the continental United States, together with Canada and Mexico. This frequent plant is very adaptable and grows in fields, alongside forested edges, prairies, meadows, glades, hillsides, and alongside roadways. . 

If you would like one thing to draw hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, or some other pollinator, think about including wild bergamot to your backyard. Develop it in your wildlife-friendly backyard, native wildflower or herb backyard, cottage backyard, or naturalized panorama. This plant is considerably drought-tolerant and may be a part of a xeriscape panorama or grown in a container backyard.

Let’s now dig into how one can develop and take care of wild bergamot

Wild Bergamot Plant Overview

Plant Sort

Herbaceous perennial

Native Space

North America

USDA Hardiness Zone

3 to 9

Solar Publicity

Full solar to partial shade

Soil Sort

Common high quality, Properly-drained

Plant Spacing

12 to 24 inches

Steered Makes use of

Pollinator backyard, Hummingbird backyard

Plant With

Purple Coneflower, Blue Sea Holly

Bloom Season

Summer season, Fall


Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees, Pollinators


Powdery mildew, Root rot, Rust, Aggressive unfold

Resistant To

Drought, Warmth, Poor soil

Plant Historical past

Purple wild bergamot flowers gracefully stand tall, supported by long and sturdy green stems. Their vibrant hues create a striking contrast against the surrounding green leaves. A  single wild bergamot flower captivates with its exquisite charm, featuring a large center.
This broadly distributed North American plant can thrive in numerous habitats and appeal to pollinators.

As a North American native, you’ll find this plant all through a lot of the continent, from Canada by means of a lot of the continental United States and persevering with south into Mexico. It spreads quickly by underground rhizomes and self-seeding. Widespread and broadly distributed, it may be grown in nearly any habitat.

For the house gardener, this herbaceous wildflower is helpful in lots of conditions. Preserve it tidy by rising it in a big container, or think about using it to assist colonize bigger naturalized areas. Develop it in a perennial wildflower backyard or use it anyplace to draw a large number of pollinators to your yard.

A number of cultivars can be found as a result of this plant is well-liked and straightforward to develop. Cultivars will nonetheless have minty-scented leaves, but in addition have assorted flower colours, completely different tolerances for soil varieties, and ranging levels of tolerance to fungal infections like powdery mildew. All vegetation within the genus Monarda can have pretty comparable rising necessities, so you’ll be able to select the species or cultivar that most closely fits your particular wants.


A beautiful cluster of wild bergamot flowers bloom elegantly above a lush carpet of green leaves. The flowers' delicate petals boast lavender hues that add a touch of gentle sophistication to the scene.
This enticing, easy-to-grow plant thrives in direct daylight or dappled shade.

Wild bergamot could be very simple to develop, however it’s not a wholly low-maintenance plant. It does finest in full solar or dappled shade. Soil must be of common high quality and well-drained. You gained’t must carry out any rigorous upkeep whereas rising this plant. Simply remember that it spreads rapidly.

When rising this plant, the largest considerations are powdery mildew and an inclination to develop aggressively. Skinny your patch usually. This can assist each points. Thinning will assist hold the inhabitants manageable and stop vegetation from overcrowding, which might create poor air circulation, resulting in powdery mildew infestations. 

This perennial blooms all through the summer time, and this lengthy blooming season helps these vegetation keep attention-grabbing within the backyard setting. Not solely are the flowers lovely and showy, however additionally they appeal to loads of pollinators.

It is a nice selection if you’re searching for a plant to assist appeal to extra pollinators on your backyard crops or fruit bushes. It additionally makes fairly reduce flowers that you could take pleasure in indoors and out.


Rising this flower from seed or by dividing established clusters could be very simple. Typically, younger vegetation can be found at nurseries and backyard facilities, and Botanical Pursuits affords high-quality seeds on-line. When you’ve got an present plant, you’ll be able to simply propagate it out of your plant. These vegetation develop quickly and transplant properly. 


A gardener holding seeds, ready to sow and nurture life in the soil. In front of the gardener, there lies a well-prepared bed of fertile soil, awaiting the seeds to be planted and flourish into a beautiful garden.
This flower may be began from seed indoors for improved environmental management.

Begin this wildflower from seed, both by immediately sowing open air or in indoor pots. You’ll have extra management over environmental circumstances if beginning your seeds indoors, though vegetation will readily self-seed within the backyard. You may count on vegetation grown from seed to bloom of their second 12 months.

Sow seeds in early spring. Don’t cowl them. Merely press them flippantly onto the soil to allow them to take up some moisture, or at most, sprinkle a really skinny dusting of free soil over them to assist them keep moist, permitting them to have some publicity to daylight.

These seeds want mild to germinate properly. Seedlings will sprout in 14 to 21 days. Preserve your seeds moist till they sprout.


A wild bergamot plant with green leaves, growing in the rich, brown soil beneath it. A single, sturdy stick stands firmly beside the wild bergamot plant, providing support and preventing it from drooping.
Choose wholesome younger vegetation from a backyard heart and transplant them when they’re round 5-6 inches tall.

In the event you purchase younger vegetation from a backyard heart, look fastidiously at your choices. Select potted vegetation that seem wholesome and vigorous. Stems and leaves must be inexperienced and agency. Keep away from buying vegetation with apparent bugs or indicators of rot, resembling brown, delicate, or mushy vegetation.

Seedlings and younger vegetation may be transplanted into the backyard anytime, however spring and fall are usually the perfect seasons for transplanting. When younger seedlings are round 5 or 6 inches tall, they’re able to be transplanted open air. 

Division of Clusters

A beautiful cluster of purple wild bergamot flowers stands tall, their vibrant hues reaching toward the sky. These stunning flowers are elegantly supported by their long, sturdy stems adorned with lush green leaves, adding a touch of grace and stability.
On a cool day, propagate by dividing dense clusters and transplanting smaller teams to new areas.

If you have already got a cluster of bergamot, division is the simplest and quickest strategy to propagate these vegetation. It would unfold and type dense clusters of above-ground vegetation and underground mats of roots and rhizomes. These clusters are simply divided to create a number of smaller teams of vegetation that may be transplanted to new areas. 

Divisions are finest carried out on a cool, overcast day to attenuate stress precipitated to the plant. Use a pointy spade to chop by means of the foundation mass and thoroughly dig out the encompassing hooked up roots. Use this technique to divide bigger clusters into smaller clusters. Water every cluster properly after transplanting it to its new dwelling.


A gardener in blue gloves sits comfortably on green grass. With a green plastic trowel in hand, the gardener gently digs into the fertile soil, and in the other hand, the gardener holds a handful of nutrient-rich soil.
When transplanting, put together the positioning beforehand by loosening the soil and optionally including compost.

Whether or not you transplant younger seedlings, older potted vegetation, or dividing clusters, you must put together the positioning prematurely. Since this wildflower isn’t choosy about its rising surroundings, you in all probability gained’t must do a lot.

Merely loosen the soil the place you’d wish to put your new vegetation. You may add some recent backyard soil or compost at the moment if the soil wants some amendments to enhance its high quality. 

Ideally, do your planting on a cool, overcast day in both spring or fall. After making ready the soil on the planting website, dig a gap barely bigger than the foundation mass you can be transplanting.

Gently take away your plant from its pot and switch it to the brand new gap, protecting its planting depth the identical as within the pot. Then fill the gaps between the roots and the outlet’s edge with recent soil and pat the soil into place. Water newly transplanted vegetation properly and guarantee they keep moist for a number of days afterward to assist them re-establish. 

The way to Develop

This wildflower is remarkably simple to develop and doesn’t require a lot upkeep.


Embraced by a sea of lush green leaves, two vibrant Purple wild bergamot flowers unfolding under the warm embrace of the sun's golden rays. In the background, a soft blur hints at a plethora of these charming wild bergamot flowers.
Monarda thrives in full to partial solar, ideally receiving a minimum of 6 hours of vivid daylight every day.

Develop this herbaceous plant in full solar to partial shade. Vegetation will do finest with a minimum of 6 hours of vivid daylight per day. Vegetation grown in heavy shade will seem weak and gained’t flower properly. 


Red tubular flowers and unopened buds gracefully adorning a slender stem, standing out beautifully against the blurred background of lush green foliage. The delicate petals of the flowers seem to catch tiny water droplets, glistening like morning dew.
This species tolerates drought however might have supplemental watering throughout extended dry intervals.

This native plant does finest in dry to medium-moisture soil. Vegetation are considerably drought tolerant, however extended dry intervals might trigger unhealthy quantities of stress and require some supplemental watering. Usually, one inch of water per week is adequate.


Wild bergamot flowers, towering above their lush green leaves, and showcasing their vibrant purple flowers with striking deep purple centers. In the foreground, a diverse array of foliage adds depth to the scene.
Use well-drained soil to forestall root rot and powdery mildew.

Soil must be of common high quality and well-drained. Properly-drained soil helps forestall root rot and powdery mildew

Local weather and Temperature 

Wild bergamots in full bloom, presenting a vibrant sea of purple petals, their graceful stance emphasized by slender, leafy stems. Against the picturesque backdrop of a clear blue sky, the wild bergamot flowers create a striking contrast, drawing attention to their beauty and natural elegance.
This wildflower adapts to numerous climates, withstanding warmth and humidity.

Wild bee balm is tolerant of a variety of temperatures and local weather circumstances. Vegetation develop properly in USDA local weather zones 3 by means of 9. They tolerate warmth and humidity, go dormant throughout winter, and develop again from the roots every spring.


Sunlight illuminates a cluster of purple wild bergamots flowers, highlighting their natural beauty. The soft focus background provides a sense of serenity, where the untamed wildflowers thrive amidst a verdant tapestry of green foliage.
This wildflower requires no further fertilizer attributable to its pure adaptability and ease of progress as a local plant.

There’s no want so as to add any further fertilizer to most wildflowers. As an easy-to-grow native plant, this species is well-adapted to native circumstances and grows properly with out a lot further assist. 


An alluring array of purple wild bergamot flowers stands tall and proud in a sunlit meadow. Long, graceful stems adorned with delicate leaves provide sturdy support to the majestic wild bergamot flowers.
Thinning the vegetation improves vigor, well being, and air circulation, stopping illness and sustaining manageable density.

Preserve your vegetation thinned so that they don’t create extraordinarily dense clusters. You may skinny them yearly or two, eradicating choose vegetation to forestall them from rising too densely collectively.

Thinning will enhance plant vigor and well being whereas enhancing air circulation and serving to forestall illness. When vegetation have died again to the bottom on the finish of every season, take away any remaining above-ground stems and leafy particles.

Backyard Design

Purple wild bergamot flowers, with their lush green leaves, bundled together. Among the wild bergamot, a diverse assortment of flowers and grasses adds a tapestry of colors and textures.
This wildflower is a flexible addition to any backyard theme besides shade gardens.

This wildflower grows as a medium-sized flowering perennial. It usually blooms all through the summer time months and would complement different flowers properly. Pollinators like it, whereas deer and rabbits keep away from it. It grows properly in giant raised beds, containers, or any in-ground backyard space. 

You may embrace this wildflower in nearly any backyard theme, besides maybe a shade backyard. Plant it close to vegatables and fruits to assist appeal to pollinators to the world.

Develop it with different wildflowers and on the fringe of an herb backyard. These vegetation will unfold and occupy the allotted area, so they could compete with neighboring vegetation. Make sure to give them loads of room to develop so that they gained’t crowd out much less aggressive neighbors.

Wildlife Worth

A captivating close-up of purple wild bergamot flowers in full bloom, showcasing their thin petals and vibrant hue under the golden sunlight. Two bumblebees gracefully gathering nectar from a wild bergamot flower.
Monarda flowers draw butterflies, native bees, and different helpful bugs.

Wild bergamot is a wonderful plant for wildlife, notably pollinators. This native is beloved by hummingbirds, who come to sip nectar from the tubular flowers. Butterflies, native bees, and different useful bugs are additionally drawn to the flowers.

Develop Monarda in any wildlife-friendly habitat, notably in hummingbird, butterfly, or pollinator gardens. Small seed-eating birds will forage on the mature seed heads within the fall. 

This summer time bloomer is an effective selection for those who stay in an space with deer and rabbits. Searching mammals usually don’t trouble this plant or different members of the mint household. The aromatic foliage is a deterrent for browsers, so that you gained’t must fence or shield these vegetation from wildlife.

Pests and Ailments

In very best circumstances, this species is kind of hardy. It’s, nevertheless, vulnerable to powdery mildew and infrequently leaf rust.

Rabbits, deer, and different looking herbivores dislike consuming it due to its minty-scented leaves. You additionally shouldn’t have issues with insect pests on these vegetation.

Powdery Mildew 

A cluster of elongated leaves, displaying vibrant shades of green, appears to have been affected by powdery mildew, as evidenced by the powdery white coating on their surfaces. The presence of this fungal infection might impact the plant's overall health.
A grayish or whitish coating on the leaves and stems might point out the presence of powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew will seem as a grayish or whitish coating on the leaves and stems. It normally takes maintain on the peak of summer time and is most prevalent in humid environments and crowded circumstances.

Assist your vegetation resist powdery mildew by thinning them to maximise air circulation. Don’t enable your vegetation to take a seat in moist soil. 

Root Rot 

A close-up of a hand gently holding thin roots emerging from a mound of soil. The roots show signs of distress as it appears discolored, indicative of the troubling presence of root rot.
A plant with root rot finally ends up with roots which might be mushy and brown and will die rapidly.

One other hazard of moist soil is root rot. Wild bergamot will tolerate temporary intervals of moist soil, resembling instantly after a heavy rain, but when the soil is well-drained, the standing water will rapidly drain away and permit the plant roots to breathe once more.

A plant affected by root rot will flip brown and mushy and rapidly die. Root rot can’t be cured however may be prevented by planting in well-drained soil.


A close-up of a leaf, set against a softly blurred background of nature's beauty. The leaf showcases several tiny brown spots, suggesting the presence of leaf rust, a common fungal infection.
Rust is a matter that often impacts wild bergamot.

Often, these flowers have an issue with rust. You could discover quite a few small rusty-brown spots on the leaves of your vegetation.

Rust is a fungal an infection commonest in moist, humid circumstances. Preserve your vegetation wholesome, hold them thinned to advertise good air circulation, and trim off and get rid of (not in your compost the place the rust can unfold) any rust-infected leaves to forestall the fungus from spreading.

Steadily Requested Questions

Sure! You should use a couple of leaves as a minty seasoning, or steep a leaf into your favourite tea. You would simply incorporate just a little wild bergamot seasoning into many candy or savory dishes.

It is dependent upon what you wish to obtain. If you wish to hold your vegetation wanting neat and tidy, and probably encourage a second blooming, you must deadhead spent flowers. Additionally, deadhead if you wish to discourage vegetation from self-seeding. If you wish to appeal to birds to your panorama, nevertheless, depart the useless flowerheads for some time. Some smaller seed-eating birds like goldfinches will browse on dry seed heads whereas searching for edible seeds.

You do not want to skinny this wildflower, however in lots of instances, it’s a good suggestion. In the event you don’t skinny your wild bergamot vegetation, they’ll develop right into a fairly intensive patch and proceed spreading outward. When you’ve got a big discipline or prairie planting, this may look very dramatic and enticing. In case you are working with a smaller area, nevertheless, this species will rapidly fill it in fully and proceed attempting to unfold outwards, competing with neighboring vegetation. Crowded vegetation are additionally extra vulnerable to fungal illnesses.

Last Ideas

Wild bergamot is an excellent plant for a sunny flower backyard. It’s simple to develop and produces many showy purplish-pink flowers annually. Plant it to draw hummingbirds and pollinators, take pleasure in reduce flowers, or praise your herbs, greens, and different wildflowers.

Skinny your patch each few years to maintain it wanting its finest, and be happy to share some further divided vegetation together with your gardening pals and neighbors!

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