Seeds forum: Collecting Monarda (Bee Balm) Seeds

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 27, 2014 1:48 PM CST
I have a monarda that I'd love to collect seeds from, but I can't figure out how or when to do that! The plant in question is Raspberry Wine. I'm aware that they may not come true from seed, but that is okay. The hummers love this plant, so I'd like to plant more of them. The flowers are mostly done blooming, with just a rung of bright pink petals left around the bottom of the head. A few are starting to dry out, and no matter how much I shake them, nothing comes out.

Any help would be most appreciated!

Natalie
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Aug 27, 2014 2:38 PM CST
It might not make any seed. I have never found any seed on my Monarda, but I do have lots of little plants coming up from the spreading roots. Last week I dug up a few and potted them just to see how they would do, they never even wilted, still look good. So I am planning on digging a few more, then waiting a little longer when the weather is cooler and dig even more and transplant them.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 27, 2014 3:14 PM CST
When I grew Monarda punctata I just waited until the plant turned brown and dried out a bit then covered the whole plant with a plastic bag, bent it over and beat and shook it it and the seeds fell out.
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Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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BrendaVR
Aug 27, 2014 5:23 PM CST
I second Xeramtheum. I wait till my monarda seedhead is brown then harvest. Then I cut the seedhead into a brown bag and let it sit and dry even longer. Then shake to get the seed out of the head. My Wild Bergamont (M. fistulosa) and heritage M. didyma both produce plenty of seed (in the past...not ready to harvest yet this year). The newer cultivars of many plants are sometimes breed to NOT produce seed so you have to buy them...

But I also second Seedfork in that it is often much easier to reproduce from cuttings or division. Usually in a few years I can split a plant into many plants. You can also likely root stem cuttings in water (but I haven't tried that).

PS: it can be quite a while after the bloom finishes before the seeds are ready. Its likely a month, maybe more, for the majority of the M. fitulosa I harvest.
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[Last edited by BrendaVR - Aug 27, 2014 5:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 27, 2014 6:36 PM CST
Thanks everyone. From what I have read, this one makes seeds. It may not come true from seed, but that is fine. I've started other varieties from seed with good success, but I've never collected them myself. I actually have a little seedling in the garden now that I started from seed, maybe 3 inches tall at the most, with a bloom on top! It's so cute!

I'll do what you suggested, and I appreciate the help!
Natalie

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