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Monarda - Do I really want to grow this?

prairiemoon2 z6b MA
last month
last modified: last month

I grow Monarda for Hummingbirds, but I never have a big enough patch to be a big draw. I have it growing in the middle of a mixed bed with perennials and shrubs etc. It's mixed in with Penstemon and Lilies. I've left them a long time and the Penstemon and Monarda fight it out. Penstemon reseeds but the Monarda spreads. Of this mix the monarda seemed to be losing to the others. I think the Lilies have been slowed down by the others. It's a big jumble at this point and for the past 3 seasons I've planned to get in there and take divisions and pull out the rest and replant the area. This is the spring I am finally getting to it.

Last season I made a new raised vegetable bed, no sides, right next to this patch. This spring, I go out and see that the Monarda has spread into the empty vegetable bed and I was so pleased to have plants to pot up for a new patch. I started to dig them out....ha ha. It's just thick roots all connected to each other and I'm going to have a job just getting it out of that bed. Now I am wondering if I need to get it out of the garden all together. I don't mind dividing plants and potting up and moving things around, all though it's not my favorite thing, but I really don't want to struggle with something either. I wish I had a larger property and a place where I could let it do it's thing, but my small 1/4 acre plot is nothing like that.

So, I'm thinking....maybe there is another plant I could grow for Hummers that would be less of a struggle.

Any experience with Monarda, or growing plants for Hummingbirds in the Northeast?

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