Monkey Flower Care
Monkey flower (sometimes spelled as monkeyflowers) sounds like a funny name, doesn’t it? But the plant is anything but funny. This plant has flowers with opposite and undivided leaves, and solitary flowers with two-lipped open, fused petals. Some compare the shape of this flower to the grinning faces of monkeys, which gave them the name ‘monkey flower’.
Monkey flowers are also called Mimulus Ringens. The word ‘Mimilus’ originates from the root word ‘mimic’.
This flower rarely reaches over 10 inches in height, as its growth is more focused on the width. The flowers on these plants have bright, summer colors ranging from pink, yellow, red, burgundy, to many other warmed-toned colors.
Monkey flowers thrive in wet areas. They’re mostly found near ponds, streams, pools, or other water bodies. As it’s a small plant, it is usually grown within borders and that makes it a great plant to grow in containers. It is the perfect plant to grow in shady corners, as it’ll even bloom indoors, in cold conditions.
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Facts About Monkey Flowers
Mimulus has seven different species, with two that are native to North America and the others are native to Asia, Madagascar, Australia, and Africa. Monkey flowers are one of those species that are native to eastern North America. However, in the past, there were 150 different variants of this plant.
The USDA plant hardiness zones for these wildflowers are 3 to 9. These plants thrive in the full sun and partial shade, which makes them very easy to care for. This plant is also great for butterflies, specifically the species Baltimore and Common Buckeye butterflies. These butterflies lay their eggs on the foliage of monkeyflowers. This helps the hatched caterpillars get a food source as soon as they need it.
How to Grow Monkey Flowers?
Monkey flowers will be ideal for you if you want to fill up an empty corner in your garden or if you’re looking for a plant for your borders. They’ll add a beautiful pop of color to your garden. They thrive well in moist conditions and have little requirement when it comes to sun exposure. This makes them easy to care for.
If you want to start your seeds indoors, and transplant them outside, later on, plant them in seed trays exactly 10 weeks before the last spring frost. Grab a couple of clear plastic bags, place the seed trays inside, and put them in the refrigerator to chill.
After bringing the seed trays out of the refrigerator, try to place them in a spot with a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, your seeds are going to need plenty of bright light to germinate. Place them in a bright spot, and after you see signs of germination, remove the trays from the plastic bags.
Spacing monkey flowers in the garden can be tricky. The trick is to space them according to size. The following spacing guide will help you.
- For smaller varieties: space them 6 to 8 inches apart
- For medium-sized varieties: space them 12 to 24 inches apart
- For large varieties: space them 24 to 36 inches apart
If you want to plant them outside, plant them in the late winters. The winter temperature will chill the seeds themselves. Unlike many other plants, you don’t need to cover the seeds with a layer of soil. These seeds need sunlight to germinate.
If you live in a warmer climate, growing monkeyflowers can be hard. We’d recommend you look for a different plant to grow, but if you’re adamant about giving monkeyflowers a go, choose the location which is the most shaded.
- BLOOM TIME: Apr - Aug
- HARDINESS ZONE: 5 - 11 (and reseeds itself easily)
- PLANT HEIGHT: 12 - 14" . . . PLANT SPACING: 24 - 36"
- LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun - Part Shade . . . SOIL / WATER: Average
How to Care for Monkey Flowers?
The following list of tips will help you take care of your monkeyflowers. They’re fairly simple instructions and following them will help you get maximum blooms.
- Plant monkeyflowers in a partially shaded region
- Before deciding on a watering routine, check which specie your plant is and where does it originate from, and then mimic the rainfall patterns of that area.
- Keep the soil moist at all times.
- Monkey flowers don’t need fertilizers and nutritional supplements as long as they’re growing in healthy soil.
- This plant is resistant to most diseases and pests.
- Monkey flowers require no special grooming.
- The ideal soil for monkeyflowers contains peat moss and organic matter.
In conclusion, if you’re thinking of growing monkeyflowers, we’ll recommend you go for it. It’ll light up your garden with a burst of color, and won’t require a lot of effort. Keeping in mind the care tips mentioned above, and picking a variant that is compatible with your living conditions is all you need to do.
We hope this article helped you. If you have any queries, leave them in the comment section down below and we’ll get right back to you!
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