The mimulus spreads out from a base, sprawling its growing stems and their bright, typically yellow flowers. Mimulus plants include annuals, herbaceous varieties and those which can be considered as sub-shrub. They will ramble out in search of sun. Here’s our guide to the Mimulus.
The mimulus will freely flower in the spring. Trailing varieties will turn any hanging basket into a profusion of cascading flowers. It grows in a woodland environment – for example, the deep gold blooms of the Mimulus guttatus, known as ‘the monkey flower’, can be seen beside woodland streams. Grown in a bed it will produce a mound of flowers, usually around 80 to 90 cm high.
When and where to plant
Mimulus will grow best in full sun. The soil should be moist as the plants like to grow in wet ground. Avoid high temperatures and drying out in drought periods. Plant out any time after May; or plant out in late September for over-wintering plants to flower early in the succeeding spring. Grow on plants under cover until they reach 8 to 10 cm in height at which point they’re ready to plant out.
How to plant
Mimulus are ideal for planting in containers and in fact they thrive in a pot. Fill the container up to three quarters full with multipurpose compost. Carefully remove the plant from its tray or pot and place in position. Fill container back in with soil and gently firm down. Water in generously. Always keep container plants well watered and fed. If choosing a companion plant, ensure that it will not over-shade the mimulus as they need plenty of sun.
Choose a pot which will go nicely with bright yellow or orange flowers! The flowers are generally snapdragon-like, with a tubular back to the flower.
Wash off any aphids which appear with a carefully aimed jet of water. If an infestation of aphids does occur, use an insecticidal soap to treat the problem. Cut back the plants once they are grown scraggly at the end of the flowering period.