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Native Plants Series: Wild Bergamot

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Monarda fistula (wild bergamot) is a native plant that will bring butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. It is native to most of North America. It reaches 2-4' tall and 2-3' wide and blooms in the summer with lavendar flowers.

This Monarda prefers slightly dry soil and needs some room for air circulation as it is prone to powdery mildew. For that reason, it will do better planted on the edge of your garden. They do tolerate deer, drought, and clay soil. Monarda need full sun to part shade conditions.

Wild bergamot is a host plant to 11 butterfly and moth caterpillars here in SC PA. You can tell it is part of the mint family by its square-shaped stems. It should be no surprise then that you can make tea from its leaves.

Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden, National Wildlife Federation, USDA

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