Monkey Flower/Mimulus Hybrid
This cheery-coloured plant is useful for its early Summer flowers, which appear long before the main flush of bedding plants; therefore, it provides a welcome link between Spring and Summer plants for patio tubs and containers. Many hybrid cultivars (bred mostly from Chilean species) are now available, with a colour range of yellow, wine, orange, ruby, scarlet and gold, matched with attractive speckling. Seed is easy to grow, sown from January to April, and the Monkey Flower can then be grown-on in cool conditions to be planted out from the end of April onwards. The perennial Monkey Flower is normally treated as a half-hardy annual in the UK. Forced plants in bud are generally on sale from Eastpr and are ideal to make an instant impact on the patio.
Grow thisin cool, but frost-free conditions: it will tolerate a low of 0°C (32°F), with a preferred growing temperature of 13°C (55°F). Seed requires 21-24°C (70-75°F) for germination. Make sure that any glasshouse-raised plants are well hardened-off before being planted outdoors.
Grow the Monkey Flower outside in a position with good light or light shade: do not plant it in full sun unless theor is permanently moist.
Mimulus prefer per-manently damp conditions; water the plant thoroughly, then again once the surface of the compost begins to dry out.
This plant requires no additional humidity: if provided with adequate water, the moist compost should raise the level of humidity in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
Feed this plant once it has exhausted any food in the compost: from about six weeks after planting, give a general-purpose feed every ten days.
Grow this plant in a loam-based compost; loam-based composts are easier to keep well moistened and do not dry out as quickly as peat -based products.
Use the rich colours of Mimulus hybrids to brighten up a dark corner in early Summer: the glowing yellows and oranges can be particularly enhanced if such golden-leaved plants as Tanacetum parthenium Aureum’ are used as well.
Whitefly may be troublesome in warm weather; treat infested plants with a proprietary insecticide.
Dry roots will lead to rapid wilting and the plant may never fully recover.