Bergamot herb (also known as Bee Balm) is different to the citrus fruit you may be familiar with.
Purchase as seeds or seedlings. The plant will need to be cut back to ensure the centre does not go woody and become unattractive. Do this in winter when the plant goes dormant.
It is frost sensitive so will die back in winter. The plant divides well and can be planted else where.
Bergamot prefers full sun but can grow in part shade.
I can be invasive, so opt to grow it in a pot or a garden bed where you are happy for it be vigorous, rather than your vegetable garden.
Place 5 large leaves in boiling water for a refreshing tea. The Bergamot orange is the flavour found in Earl Grey.
Add a small amount of Lemon Bergamot leaves to dishes. Partners well with pork.
Flavour drinks, wines, and jelly.
Add the leaves to a bath for a relaxing scent.
Lemon bergamot has long lasting flowers for arrangements, or all varieties can be used in potpourri.
Medicinal uses include reducing fever, insomnia and regulating menstrual flow. Make a tea to treat colds and sore throats. Should not be used by pregnant women as it can initiate uterine contractions.
It is a great bee pollinator and often planted near plants that need to attract bees to pollinate.