Culinary note: Use the dried leaves to make Bergamot tea or use the sweet, spicy flavoured petals to enhance salads, jellies, rice or pasta dishes. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Pricking out (Transplanting); When the seedlings are large enough to handle transplant them into boxes, spacing them 5cm (2in) apart or individually into 7.5cm (3in) pots of a similar potting compost. Grow the plants on at 13-15C (55-60F) in good ventilation and light. Planting out; When well rooted into their pots or boxes, stand them out in a coldframe or outside in a shady sheltered part of the garden to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions for around 10-15 days and then plant them out into their flowering positions. They are happy in sun or light shade and any ordinary garden soil. In very light dry soils dig in plenty of well rotted compost before planting. They can be planted from spring to early autumn, summer sown plants which are not large enough to be planted out by autumn should be left in a cold frame, or similar, for the winter and planted out the following spring. Plant in groups of 3 for best effect, allowing 38cm (15in) between each plant and water them well after planting, particularly if the weather is hot and dry.
Cut the stems down to almost ground level in the autumn and mulch each spring with a dressing of well rotted compost and manure. Hardiness: Monarda astromontana is cold hardy and can be grown in the UK, Europe, N. America (zones 4-10), Japan and Australia in the temperate and cold climates. They will tolerate heat, but not heat and humidity and are best treated as short lived perennials where the summer is hot and humid.
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