Choosing Ontario Native plants for your garden is highly beneficial for various reasons. Native plants tend to be generally well adapted to their environment, meaning it will require little maintenance once established. It is also beneficial to wildlife providing nutritionally appropriate food as well as shelter for our region’s wildlife. Native plants attract pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies. By choosing to plant native flower seeds you will be helping Ontario feed pollinators. Here is a guide to plant the following:
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Curious pink and lavender flowers that appear in May up until late September. All bergamots are aromatic making them highly attractive to beneficial pollinators like butterflies and wild bees. Plants grow to a height of 60-90cm (24-36″). Long ago, oil from the leaves was used to treat respiratory ailments. Today, Leaves of this flower can be boiled for tea, used for seasoning, chewed raw or dried; flowers edible.
How to Grow
Choose a site that receives full to partial sunlight. Sow seeds indoors late February to mid March or direct sow in spring or in October. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-21°C (60-70°F).To sow seeds barely cover the tiny seeds with soil.
Monarda Fistulosa Care
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.Thin or space transplants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart
To Harvest Seeds:
The seeds usually mature one to three weeks after the flowers bloom. You can test for maturity by bending the stem over a bag and tapping it. If brown seeds fall into the bag, they are mature enough and ready for harvesting. After collecting bee balm seeds, spread them on paper to dry for two to three days and store the dried seeds in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Propagating Bee Balm Plants: How To Propagate Bergamot Seeds, Cuttings And Divisions https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/bee-balm/propagating-bee-balm-plants.htm
West coast seeds: https://www.westcoastseeds.com/products/wild-bergamot
Seeds Available at Select Seed Libraries:
Need to Read Little Library: 62 Salem Ave Hamilton ON L9A3W3
Little Free Library: 91 Wexford Ave South Hamilton ON L8K2N7
EcoHouse Seed Library- 22 Veevers Drive
The Hamilton Seed Library is a free initiative for all to borrow from! However, there are some costs associated with maintaining the program and ensuring seeds continue to be available for access. If you are enjoying your seeds, please help keep the program going by donating via E-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or on our DONATE page via PayPal.