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February 2011
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Purple Bergamot – Monarda Media – an herbaceous perennial

Purple Bergamot is an herbaceous perennial which resembles Wild Bergamot. It belongs to the family Lamicae and Genus Monarda. This perennial can grow up to a height of 100 cm or up to 2-3 feet. It has sparing hair and almost smooth and is in britheght green color. It has deep purple inflorescence and the flowers are purple or purple-red in color. They flower from June to August.
They are native to United States and mainly found in areas of Maine to Ontario, south to Pennsylvania and Virginia. They need a pH of 7 and full sun to partial shade and moist and well drained soil to grow well. These plants do not attract humming birds, sunbird or nectar feeding birds unlike other monarda plants.
The leaves have sweet aroma but faintly sweet. They are arranged oppositely and are toothed, ovate to lanceolate. The Petioles are 1 to 2cm (0.4-.75″) in length. The foliage is opposite on stem that are square shaped. The flowers are about 3cm in length (1.2 inches) and are shaped irregularly. The flowers have compact rounded head which is single and terminal.

Growing conditions of Purple Bergamot

• This plant needs full sun to partial shade.
• The plant needs moist and well drained soil.
• Transplant the root cutting directly.
• Sow the seeds on the surface and cover lightly with soil.
• Direct sow the seeds at 16 -18°C.
• Sow the seeds in April-May in dry and cool conditions.
• Grow at 14 – 18°C.
• Start about 8 to 10 weeks after the seeds germinate.
• Seeds have to germinate and once done, plant them outside after the danger of frost passed.
• This plant needs fertile and rich soil.
• Space the plants 18 inches apart.
• Add compost and manure to enhance growth.
• Water regularly as the plant prefers moist soil.
• It needs full sun to partial shade.
• Use a Typical mix of: 3 parts Nitrogen (N), 2 parts Phosphorous (P) and 3 parts Potassium (K for Latin name Kalium) as a fertilizer.
• Add layer of mulch of 1-2 inches around the plant to conserve moisture.

Care for Purple Bergamot

• Cut the plant to ground level in autumn.
• Cut the plant to several inches close to soil after flowering to encourage new growth and heavy blooming the next season.
• Mulch well with bark to retain moisture.
• The growth will start back in spring.
• The plant needs care for powdery mildew. Cut back the stems if affected by it.
• Space the plants right to avoid mildew disease.

Images of the plant.

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