Bee balm seeds....i dont see where they come from!

missa(z5MA)January 14, 2006

Hi everyone! Ok for the last three years ive watched my red bee balm closely and i was extra careful this last late summer /fall in seeing how it went to seed. Well..... i must be missing something. Where in the world is the seed? It cant be the hollow tubes that were onec the flower, i never see anything in them. or maybe in checking too late? i have taken a whole head in my hand amd shaken it in a baggie to see what i get and nothing that looks anything ike a seed comes out. so what am i doing wrong? Im a great gardener and i have grown perennials for years and collected their seeds but my bee balm stumps me,lol. any helpful advise would be great! Thank you! melissa

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triple_b(BC 5b)

Try this

Here is a link that might be useful: the seed site

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 11:47PM
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Your plants may not produce seeds because they are sterile hybrids. The easiest way to collect the seed is to allow the flowers to mature and dry out on the plant. Then cut the flowers leaving as little stem as possible and put them inside a brown paper bag. The seed will collect at the bottom.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 8:33PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Mary, I noticed you are very knowledgeable and you explain things very well. Just wanted to let you know how much I value and appreciate that in a person. Being able to express one's knowledge effectively is not something everyone can do. Mind of I 'pick your brain' sometime? LOL But seriously I really like conversing with people who know their stuff.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 9:49PM
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triple B and Mary: Thank you so much for the helpful input! Its quite possible that my monarda isnt making seeds. Like ive said ive tried numerous times through the last 3 years to collect seeds but thought perhaps i was looking in teh wrong place or the wrong time. Ive always checked the flower heads part after the flower has soent and dried out and several times after that. so it must be that this one doesnt produce seed. Not like it maters much as it spreads like crazy. I now have a few wild monardasand i failed to check them for seeds this fall so i hope i remember this coming fall. I sure would have loved to grow some, however it seems that germinatin takes a while for monarda so maybe im better off just taking a plant and dividing it,lol. thank you all so much! have a great day! missy

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 10:08PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I have never been able to collect seeds from my red monarda, but I have collected it from my light purple and monarda lambada. Monarda doesn't seem to produce a ton of seed for easy collection like some plants. I wait until you can see the little tubes opening and I shake out the tiny brown seed. As I said, it's not a lot and it seems you have to be at the right place at the right time.

At least that's my experience. Dividing is pretty easy. I would do that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 8:12PM
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Nancy zone 6

I have a red panorama monarda that the seeds just do NOT shake out, I have to sit & cut open each little tube. The seeds to that are tiny & pale, & only 1 out of every 5 tubes has seed. A lot of trouble for not many seeds, and I wasn't really sure that they would be viable. I only did it once when I really wanted more plants. This is one monarda where the clump just seemed to get smaller each year. The seeds were viable, but so few I have not collected since. Although this year my new plants will bloom, I will see if they do better. Other monardas I have do not have the same tendency to hang on to their seeds.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 8:45AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

My experience is with ngraham. I haven't collected from my red monarda yet but I have from Marshall's Delight. The first year, I waited for it to dry out completely and didn't find anything. The second year, I watched more carefully, got them just as they were drying, cut them off and put them in a paper bag. The seed did not easily shake out at all. I had to crush through each seed head, tear them up, roll them between my fingers until the seed was released. It smells good but gives off a lot of dust that you breath in. They are even slightly prickly. There was a lot of seeds in each seed head so this was a very time consuming process. I still haven't cleaned all that seed. I only did it in the first place because I was trading seed last year. I don't intend to grow them.
This year, I didn't even bother.
I'm sure there is a better way.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 6:29PM
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