Bergamot is grown for its decorative flowers and aromatic foliage. The plants consist of tubular, crown-like flowers on top of 3 to 4 foot stems with dark green aromatic leaves. Usually bright scarlet in color, the flowers bloom in mid to late summer and also come in salmon, pink, mauve, purple or white, which, along with most gardeners, bees and hummingbirds also find attractive.
full sun or partial shade
Bergamot like moist, fertile soil so work plenty of compost into the ground before planting each spring.
seeds or cuttings; divide clumps in autumn every two years; named cultivars must be propagated by cuttings or division.
leaves; sweet orange-like fragrance
Harvesting and Storage:
cut fresh leaves for use as needed
use leaves in salads, fruit salads, fruit drinks, teas (flowers), pork and other meat dishes.
use flowers and leaves for wreaths, posies, aromatic bath water, cut flowers, perennial border and beds, potpourri, perfumes, scented oil and candles
Editor's Note: This is not the same bergamot as is used in Earl Grey Tea. That flavoring is derived from Bergamot oranges but the scent is very similar.
variety of colors including maroon, pink, white, purple and scarlet
division in spring
beds, borders, and wildflower gardens
Purchase a young plant or sow seeds directly outdoors two weeks prior to the last spring frost date or in early fall at least two months before the first frost date. Sow seeds 1 inch apart at a depth of 1/8" to 1/16". Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost. Thin seedlings to 12" apart. Avoid powdery mildew by keeping good air circulation around plants.
Bee Balm is a must have to attract hummingbirds. Its flower petals can be used to make tea as well as adding color and taste to green salads. Stem leaves can be made into a tincture and used as a bug repellant.
Flower Type: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 3' Exposure: Full Sun, Light Shade in hot climates
When to Sow Outside: Spring, two weeks before average last frost or late summer/early fall at least 2 months before first fall frost. When to Sow Inside: 8 - 10 weeks before last frost. Seed Depth: 1/8" to 1/16" Seed Spacing: 1" Days to Emerge: 5 - 10 Thinning: 12" apart, good luck.