Bergamot is also known, somewhat confusingly, as Bee Balm, Scarlet Bee-balm, Horsemint, Oswego Tea, and by its genus name, Monarda. All varieties are aromatic and highly attractive to pollinators, including hummingbirds.Pick the leaves as desired for fresh use in the kitchen. For drying, harvest leaves before the flowers open. Cut flowers for drying as soon as they’re fully open. Masses of tiered pink-purple blossoms grow from August until frost. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Bergamot herb seeds  Guide and attract some pollinators to your garden.

Latin
Lemon Bergamot: Monarda citriodora, Wild Bergamot: M. fistulosa
Family: Lamiaceae

Difficulty
Easy

Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Hardy from zone 5 to 10

Timing
Sow indoors late February to mid-March, or direct sow in early spring when a light frost is still possible. Seeds can also be direct sown in October. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-21°C (60-70°F). Seeds should sprout in 10-40 days. Bottom heat will speed germination.

Starting
Barely cover the tiny seeds with soil. Thin or space transplants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. These vigorous perennials will grow in, closer together over time.

Growing
Any ordinary garden soil will work. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Where summers are long, plants are prone to mildew, so avoid overhead watering. Deadhead regularly to prolong the blooming period. Plants spread by rhizome growth, and should be dug and divided every three years.

Harvest
Pick the leaves as desired for fresh use in the kitchen. For drying, harvest leaves before the flowers open. Cut flowers for drying as soon as they’re fully open. Masses of tiered pink-purple blossoms grow from August until frost.

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