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Seed Germination: Growing Monarda Beebalm from Seed

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pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2008
1:39 PM

Post #4563760

Can anyone confirm for me if this blooms during the first year? Also, does it get a decent size the first year? I am debating if I should just get some more small plants or try to grow it from seed. I want to add some more Jacob Cline and Raspberry to my garden.

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pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2008
2:57 PM

Post #4564066

I started this plant from seed starting in February - this past year.
I was able to put the small seedlings/plants out in April.
They did not flower or bloom, and were mostly small.

I'm also anxious to see what they will do this second year...

Good Luck
ginnylynn
Blyth, ON
(Zone 5b)

February 23, 2008
4:25 AM

Post #4575940

I have never had first year Monarda seedlings bloom. They generally do in their second year. If you want blooms this year you'll pretty much have to purchase plants I think. Sorry I couldn't give you better news - I've never been really good at waiting for perennials or biennials either :-)

--Ginny
Zarebeth
Circle Pines, MN
(Zone 4b)

February 23, 2008
4:56 AM

Post #4576047

I have bought both seeds and plants, and I have never had one bloom yet. Got some annuals (Monarda Bergamo) this year, gonna try again. Guess I am just a glutton for punishment lol
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2008
5:14 PM

Post #4577616

I had really good luck last year with seedlings that I purchased from Ebay. I thought that I saw some seeds that said they bloom the first year, and I was surprised to see that. Of course, now I can't find the webpage. I think that I am probably just going to get some more monarda seedlings again.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 23, 2008
5:45 PM

Post #4577751

You might be able to get them to bloom the first year if you start them indoors really early, the problem is starting them now at this time of year they won't get big enough to bloom. But if you started them indoors in the fall then you'd have a better chance to see blooms the following year.
guspuppy
Warren, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 25, 2008
5:35 AM

Post #4584968

Hi,
I grow 6 different colors of Monarda and would like to share a tip with you. The Amish woman that I buy alot of my perennials from told me to cut the Monarda down by 1/2 when it is about a foot tall. This promotes bushier and shorter Monarda that won't flop over. I was skeptical but tried it on about half of my plants and it was a success. No more flopping over in the wind and twice the blooms. She told me this can be done with most plants ( just like we do with annuals to make them fuller) and I have tried it on quite a few and have never been dissapointed. My yellow loosetrife was one that always needed roped until I did this. Now each spring I cut it back and it is so much fuller and no flopping.
Try it you will love it!
Kathy
pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 25, 2008
5:02 PM

Post #4586408

Nice Tip -- I'll definitely have to try it.
( shamefully, I always feel like I'm beheading the poor plants, and so I'm reluctant to do so, but I'll just have to get over that - huh ) :^)
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2008
12:54 AM

Post #4588235

Just don't touch the coneflowers pford!
pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 26, 2008
4:17 AM

Post #4589140

gotcha. Won't touch them. Just look, don't touch.
I still hope I get some Monarda flowers this year...

Thumbnail by pford1854
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pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2008
1:27 PM

Post #4590001

Pford,

Is that a platform feeder for your birds in this picture? Don't you have squirrels?
pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 26, 2008
10:13 PM

Post #4592258

Well, it started out as a platform feeder for Butterflies.

I put old fruit out there, and I've had butterflies like: Buckeye, Red Admiral, Red-spotted Purple Admiral, Question Mark, Hackberry Emperor.

In the picture, is the large crown of a Sunflower head. So yes, I was feeding the Cardinals.

Currently, I put out old Bananas for my Mockingbird.

I do have a couple of squirrels, but I've never seen them on the dish.
They have clipped some Sunflowers off the plants and carried them off, but hey, I'm all for squirrels too. :^)

Thumbnail by pford1854
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AngelG1111
Frisco, TX

March 31, 2008
11:35 PM

Post #4737245

About the Bee Balm, I purchased 3 plants last year. I was dissapointed in the amount of blooms and also the height, or lack of. They stayed very short and laid on the ground mostly. I had 2 red and a pretty purple plant. This winter they didnt seem to freeze at all. Now they are already getting huge and the stems seem to be stronger. I hope to get some nice tall blooms this year.

Nedhudson1
Thorne Bay, AK
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #4737560

Two years ago,I started Monarda Didyma seeds indoors,then transplanted into ground after last frost.I had red blooms the first year.Last year I started some more-they also bloomed,as did the older ones.They are already showing a tiny bit of green at the ground level now.

Thumbnail by Nedhudson1
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Kamikid
Thomasville, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2008
12:48 AM

Post #4737643

I have been reading all the comments of seed sowers and can someone recommend a good heat mat for me to purchase and where to look? I have never started seeds before and have a great sun room but it appears that I need more light than during the day. I will put them under a light tonight but will have to purchase one tomorrow that is appropriate. Thanks for any help. Elaine
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2008
12:56 AM

Post #4737701

They spread quickly also. I planted my first ones last year, and was amazed a how much they sprawled over the coneflowers and black eye susans.

I was begining to tidy my garden by getting rid of some of the weeds, and dead plant material when I saw a large mat of weeds towards the center. Before taking care of them, I went into the garage to get a bag. On the way into the garage, I notice the same mat of weeds in another area. I was pretty sure that I hadn't seen these weeds before that day so it was somewhat puzzling. Just as I grabbed a handful to yank out, I realized that it was the monarda coming up!

I'm so happy that I didn't pull them out. This is Jacob Cline last year.

Thumbnail by pennefeather
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jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2008
1:32 AM

Post #4737920

Kamikid,

Here is how I bottom heat my plants.

I get a rectuagular Rubbermaid container and put a few strands of Christmas lights in it. I orient it with the short side to the front/back and put the lid on sideways and upside down so there is a gap in the front and back. I put my plants on top of the upside down lid. Voila! Works like a charm. I posted this with pics a while back. I will see if I can find it . . .
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2008
1:35 AM

Post #4737929

The picture is about half way down, though when I posted the article I was using an aluminum cookie sheet instead of the container lid.
Zarebeth
Circle Pines, MN
(Zone 4b)

April 1, 2008
1:36 AM

Post #4737937

Got my Monarda Bergamot planted today... can't wait for seedlings! It is supposed to be an annual, so I should get some flowers this year. Never had much luck with Monarda yet, and I have tried it twice.
Kamikid
Thomasville, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2008
1:38 AM

Post #4737945

Thank and I will look for the picture. I need to put some heat on these babies. Elaine.
Nedhudson1
Thorne Bay, AK
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2008
1:44 AM

Post #4737981

The Monarda Didyma I planted is a perennial-at least in zone 6.It hasn't frozen on me in 2 winters.
Zarebeth
Circle Pines, MN
(Zone 4b)

April 1, 2008
1:50 AM

Post #4738012

Zone 4 is a little different - I have Zone 6 envy! lol

It is supposed to be hardy here as well, but both times I planted it, it didn't survive the winter.
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 1, 2008
2:40 AM

Post #4738318

For heat mat source, I would try your local nursery, and also Ebay. I bought two new ones from Ebay last year.
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2008
3:35 AM

Post #4738573

Whooops, sorry I meant to post the link too:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/817187/
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2008
7:59 AM

Post #4739232

Penne,

If you really want Jacob Cline and Raspberry, and "close" won't be good enough, you have to buy the plants because seeds from these may or may not be the same. I heard Jacob Kline doesn't set seed and is only propagated from cuttings, but I'm not 100% as I just "heard" it from "them". :)

If you cut them back in late May-early June as was suggested above by Guspuppy, I was going to suggest you try to root the cuttings, and also, just on one side of one of your existing plants, take a stout shovel and slice down the side to the depth of the shovel when they get 2" tall. Supposedly a bunch of little plants will come up from where the roots were severed, and you can pull those off and put them in a nursery bed to bloom next year.

All, There is a book that describes the what the Amish lady was telling Kathy/Guspuppy, and I'll bet even the smallest county library would have it on the shelf or could easily get if for you. It tells exactly which plants you trim before bloom and also tells which ones you shouldn't and why (because they won't branch and won't generate flowers if you do)

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0881928038

Suzy
cedar18
Lula, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2008
10:52 AM

Post #4796447

pennefeather, you might try sowing the monarda seeds this summer to plant out this fall. That works for a lot of perennials. Seems to work with their natural cycle for bloom next year. I have done this with coneflowers and butterfly weed (under lights, starting in early August as I recall). I'm going to try it this year with Liatris "Floristan White." I just don't do well with direct seeding anything but nasturtiums (nice big seeds).

RE: heat mats. I found the best price at Brent & Becky's Bulbs. I bought 2 last year and have been impressed; they do help in my cool basement.

And I'm inspired to try the butterfly feeding tray again. Hopefully the 4 legged critters will leave some for the winged guys...
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2008
3:30 PM

Post #4797316

Penne, what did you decide? I have a Raspberry Wine that is about 14" across from a little baby I traded for last year. I am going to pull pieces of it from the edges to get more plants to put elsewhere.
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 13, 2008
1:25 PM

Post #4801297

Suzy,

I bought some additional plugs from a nursery on Ebay. I had bought alot of plants from them last year, and was very pleased. Last year, I got Jacob Cline, and Raspbery wine. This year I got more Jacob Cline and another one who's name escapes me at the moment. I've had my plants in the plant room for a month now, and I am ready to put some of them in the garden today.

I don't mind starting annuals from seeds, but I hate the idea of waiting a full year to see flowers.

This message was edited Apr 13, 2008 9:26 AM
pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2008
10:27 PM

Post #4878726

I read somewhere earlier about Monarda, that some people trim their plants in half.
I grew my plants from seeds and the first year they did not do hardly anything.
After a mild Winter, in which the plants did not die, as I kept them covered with pine needles, I could tell that they were really spreading.

Anyway, I decided to take the plunge and trim my plants back to encouarge busier growth and double the flowers. Hope I'm not discouraged.

Here's the before shot...

Thumbnail by pford1854
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pford1854
Marion, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2008
10:28 PM

Post #4878734

And here's the after...

I'll post a new pic after I get some new growth and flowers.

Thumbnail by pford1854
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pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2008
1:27 AM

Post #4894158

Good luck Pford. They probably will end up bushier.

Right now, I am drowning in monarda. I can't believe how they have multiplied in just one year. I could almost swear that I have twice as many plants as I did last year. Unfortunately, I don't have twice as much space.
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 2, 2008
6:46 AM

Post #4895212

LOL, Penne! I meant to try to find this thread to tell you my story. Apparently last year I got some Raspberry Wine in a plant trade. I looked out there and the clump is at least 18" in diameter! In one year!

I also have a secondary clump of something. It is a lot smaller, but I didn't see a name tag. Of course the foliage is sort of generic, so it might be some other plant, but it sure looks like Monarda. I had no idea I had any...no wonder the person was happy to trade if it increases like this every year! :)

Suzy
pennefeather
McLean, VA
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2008
12:32 PM

Post #4895709

Suzy,

If I had an idea of how quickly they multiply, I wouldn't have bought more this year!
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 2, 2008
4:08 PM

Post #4896647

Yeah, I need a Thug Bed - then they could all duke it out between themselves..

That would make a good thread. Not for the seed germination forum, but the perennials forum.

Let's see, Monarda, Obedient plant, Violets... well, probably here isn't the best place to list them.

Suzy
cabrlamo
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2008
5:26 PM

Post #4914620

I will have to take the advice of cutting the monarda in half. I bought a small 3.5 in pot last year of jacon kline. It didn't grow much but it did flop. The plant has at least tripled in diameter if not more from last spring. Good thing I gave it lots of space in the back of my flower bed.
Zarebeth
Circle Pines, MN
(Zone 4b)

May 6, 2008
5:36 PM

Post #4914672

Hmm... a thug bed... I like the idea! But I would need to surround it with a concrete wall that goes down 2 feet into the soil... lol

I actually have some pink obedient plant I am growing from seed along with my Monarda. Glad I found out how thuggish it is before I planted it - it will make a difference where it ends up!
cabrlamo
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2008
9:26 PM

Post #4915624

I just came in from lopping off the tops of my monarda. Can the same be done for a false sunflower? When I bought it it said up to 4-6ft. But I swear it ends up being 8-9ft tall and extremely floppy. It seems to come back the same way as the monarda. Any suggestions?
Betfenl
Alexandria, VA

August 29, 2013
8:34 PM

Post #9645456

I guess it's too late to start Monarda from seed this year, but, since I've never done so before, could someone tell me approximately how long it takes under lights before you can plant outside?

I'm in zone 7, so I usually figure on April 15 as the earliest day to plant outside. Just wondering based on that when I should plant the monarda under lights?

shauna1219

shauna1219
Tampa, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 30, 2013
6:44 AM

Post #9645639

I planted some Monarda punctata seeds earlier this spring and to date, still have no flowers on them. They are all small plants that I am hoping to get to flower next season. I also purchased some small Monarda didyma in Spring and I was able to get blooms

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