How to Grow Bergamots – A Beginner’s Guide

bergamots plant growing in garden

Embark on a horticultural journey with Monarda didyma, commonly known as bergamots. This easy-to-grow herb is a vibrant addition to any home garden. Read on to learn the essential steps to successfully cultivate bergamots and steer clear of frequent gardening pitfalls.

Quick Reference Guide for Growing Bergamots

Best Time to Plant In the spring after the last frost
Soil PH 6.0 to 7.0
Water Needs Soil should be damp, but not soggy or bone dry
Sunlight Requirements Full sun to partial shade
Germination to Harvest Time 10-14 days to germinate; 60-70 days from seed to harvest
Harvesting Indicator In the summer, when the flowers are in full bloom
Usage Leaves used to make tea, flowers used in salads
Pot/Container Growing Yes (1 plant per 1-2 gallon container)
Bee Friendly Yes

Best Time to Plant Bergamots

The optimal planting time varies based on your locale’s climate. Generally, it’s advisable to sow bergamot seeds in the spring after the last frost to maximize the seedlings’ survival chances. Consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the best planting times in your area. If you’re outside the US, search ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’ for precise results.

How to Plant Bergamots the Right Way

Cultivating bergamots at home entails critical considerations to avoid common mistakes. Pay special attention to your soil—it’s a significant influence on your bergamots’ health. Aim for moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, and maintain a Soil PH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Sow seeds 1-2″ deep, initially 12-18″ apart, and thin to 18-24″ apart when seedlings reach 2-3″ in height.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Bergamots

Sunlight is crucial for your bergamots’ growth. While excessive sunlight may lead to dehydration, insufficient sunlight can hinder growth or even cause death. Strike a balance with full sun to partial shade for healthy bergamots.

How Much to Water Bergamots

Watering plays a significant role in your bergamots’ wellbeing. Keep the soil damp to touch, but never soggy or excessively dry. Monitor the leaves—if they start changing colors or appearing droopy, adjust your watering habits. Remember, both overwatering and underwatering can be detrimental to your plants.

How Long Does it Take Bergamots to Germinate and Grow?

Here comes the exciting part—watching your bergamots come to life! Germination takes around 10-14 days, and the complete growth cycle from seed to harvest spans 60-70 days.

When to Harvest Bergamots

Harvest your bergamots in the summer, when the flowers are in full bloom. Mature bergamots can reach an impressive height of 2-4′.

What Can Bergamots Be Used For?

Food Use: Bergamot leaves are perfect for brewing a soothing tea, and the vibrant flowers can be added to salads. Flavor Profile: They offer a citrusy, sweet flavor.

Can Bergamots Grow in Pots and Containers?

Indeed, container gardening is suitable for bergamots. You can plant one bergamot plant per 1-2 gallon container. This technique helps manage weeds and control plant growth. Additionally, it offers flexibility—you can easily move your plant to regulate sunlight exposure or protect it from adverse weather conditions.

Are Bergamots Safe for Bees?

Yes, bergamots are bee-friendly. According to, bees are instrumental in pollinating approximately 90% of the world’s food crops. Cultivating bergamots not only adds beauty to your garden but also supports our vital bee population and our global food supply.

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