How to Grow Mimulus Plants

Guide to Growing Monkey Flower, Muskflower, and Monkey Musk

Although members of Mimulus are half hardy or hardy perennials they are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.

They range in height from 5 to 90 cm and carry tubular freckled flowers of orange, red, yellow and pink.

Their size makes them ideal for growing in the rock garden or for use in a garden border.

Some common names for members of Mimulus include Monkey Musk, Monkey flower and Musk.

Mimulus nanus
Mimulus nanus - Dwarf Purple Monkey-flower by Matt Lavin; creative commons.

Mimulus cardinalis
Mimulus cardinalis - Cardinal Monkey flower by Marlin Harm.

Mimulus Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Monkey Flower, Muskflower. Monkey Flower: Sticky; Purple; Cardinal Pink; Hard wooded; Congdons; Scarlet; Bolanders; Roundleaf; Slenderstalk; Cutleaf.
Family: Phrymaceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial. Perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 0.4 to 36 inches (2 to 90 cm).
Native: North America, Eastern Asia, Australasia, Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Annuals: zones 3 to 10. Perennials: zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Spring, summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, magenta, purple, orange, red, pink. Snapdragon-like. Tubular. Lipped. Musky fragrance.
Foliage: Oval. Lanceolate. Sometimes slimy. Sometimes toothed. Downy.
Sow Outside: Surface. Towards the end of winter. Spacing 2 to 36 inches (5 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Mix seeds in a growing medium, place in a freezer bag, keep moist, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Two or three months before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 7. Rich soil. Moist soil. Winter mulch. Regular watering to keep soil moist. Deadhead. Propagate: cuttings in the spring.

How to Grow Monkey Musk and other Mimulus in the Garden

When growing monkey musk and other Mimulus outdoors from seed they should be sown on the surface towards the end of winter. Musk likes to grow in sunny areas of the garden, though in very hot area they prefer partially shaded areas in the afternoon. The soil that Monkey Musk grows in should be moist and rich with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6 to 7).

If starting Musk species indoors then the process should be done about two to three months in advance. The seeds should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a plastic bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks. Seeds should then be sown out into the light at a temperature of 21 to 25 Celsius; they normally take from one to three weeks to germinate. Musk seedlings should be transplanted following the last frost of spring at a spacing of 15 cm (small Mimulus species) to 30 to 90 cm (larger varieties).

Caring for Mimulus Plants

Once growing Monkey Musk and other Mimulus are easy to look after, they require to be watered regular to ensure that the soil is moist at all times. The flowers should be dead headed before they have chance to set seed. In the winter it is best to apply mulch to protect the plants if growing as a hardy perennial. If you require more plants then Musk can be propagated by dividing in the springtime.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Mimulus plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Monkey Flower and Monkey Orchid plants.