Lemon Bergamot (Monarda Citriodora) - 200 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•USDA Zone 3-10
Start these flower seeds for a wonderful annual that attracts beneficial insects. Commonly called Lemon Bee Balm, Lemon Bergamot, Lemon Mint, or Purple Horsemint, this annual, as the name suggests, is an herb in the mint family. Lavender-to-pink, tuft-like, whorled flower heads attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. The Lemon Mint herb plant blooms from spring into late summer. Often late in the season the scent is described as resembling oregano more than lemon. Monarda Citriodora grows in prairies, roadsides and other sunny habitats from wildflower seeds. It grows from California to Florida, but is a native of the Midwest. It prefers soils with a high percentage of clay, but is adaptable to varying soil types as long as they are drier soils and not saturated. Lemon Bee Balm herb plants grow best in full sun to partial shade. Like many wildflowers, they can re-grow from the flower seeds that drop in late fall. This Monarda seed will be dormant until temperatures rise the following spring and proper moisture levels are obtained to ensure germination.
Lemon bergamot can be used to impart a subtle lemon flavor to dishes, especially desserts like cheesecakes, biscuits, cakes and sauces. The flavor is also imparted in fish dishes, salads, dressings, teas, wines and liqueurs. The flowers are edible and may be used decoratively as garnishes. The leaves can be chopped and placed in ice cubes for later use.
The essential oil in lemon bergamot is citronella and it is also rich in phenolic monoterpenes and thymol. This provides the plant with good antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It has been used medicinally for coughs, colds, fevers and respiratory ailments. Traditional uses also included treatment for intestinal parasites, and to repel fleas and mites. It is likely that lemon bergamot has similar uses to the common bergamot, Monarda didyma. Lemon bergamot may be used as a facial steam and for aromatherapy. It may be combined with chamomile and lavender for a facial steam that is very useful for oily skin and acne. Lemon Bergamot may be rubbed directly on the skin for use as an insect repellent.
Growing Lemon Bergamot seed is easy and rewarding! Sow seeds directly in prepared areas in the spring when temperatures begin to warm. Spread the herb seeds evenly and rake into loose topsoil. Supplemental watering is suggested if spring rains are poor. Provide additional water until the plants reach 10 - 12 inches tall. Once established, Lemon Bergamot should reseed itself. Allow flower seeds to mature completely before mowing or cutting down. Since it's an annual, it is essential that the Purple Horsemint plant is allowed to reseed itself for the following year.
Seed Depth: 1/16”
Seeds per Plant: Spread evenly
Plant Spacing: 18 inches
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