Plant genus Mimulus (Bach flowers): characteristics and growing condition

Today we are talking about a flower that is known, not so much for its ornamental appearance as for being part of the flower remedies known as Bach flowers. Apart from the therapeutic fame that precedes it, the genus Mimulus comprises more than a hundred species, of which some, such as Mimulus cardinalis or Mimulus lewislii, are excellent ornamentals for shady and humid gardens.


In Gardenprue we knew before the Mimulus flower for its ornamental appearance than for the fame that Dr. Bach gave it in his flower remedies. Still, if you don’t know what they are, we’ll tell you briefly.

At the beginning of the 20th century, an Englishman, doctor and expert in homeopathy decided to get out of the usual ways of medicine and scientific research known until then, to enter the world of 100% homeopathy and create what is known as the Bach flower remedies.

He himself tested the effects of plants on his body, taking certain risks. He threw himself completely into his own research. From our point of view, we believe that the application of these remedies is quite out of date and we do not want to go into details about their effectiveness because we do not know it.

To this day, much more is known about edible flowers and all the advantages for our health that they can offer us.

In principle we believe it somewhat archaic but we do not have reliable data to throw it to the ground. The information is there, and anyone who wants can look in more detail about Dr Bach and his work.

And all this why?

All this talk about Dr Bach comes to mind because the genus Mimulus we are talking about today is part of his homeopathic remedy and that is why it may be so well known. According to the study, Mimulus can be used to calm anxiety, certain phobias and help nervous people.

His descriptions of each of the 38 proposed remedies are curious, which, taken as a historical anecdote, are entertaining.

In our case, we are going to talk about Mimulus because it has another quality, in this case ornamental, and we are going to tell you a little about how to grow it for the garden.


The genus, as we have already said, exceeds one hundred species with some slack and among them we can find the best known species for ornamental use such as Mimulus cardinalis, Mimulus lewisii, Mimulus glutinosus or Mimules cupreus among others.

There are commercial hybrids with different characteristics apart from those mentioned above. When talking about Mimulus in a generic way, they are most likely hybrids.

In this case, we are going to talk to you about those species that prefer shady or half-shaded situations, such as the first two that we have given you in the examples. M. cardinalis and M. lewisii . 

One of the things we can say about these Mimulus flowers is that, although they are not great or spectacular, they also do not go unnoticed and without any doubt, they will be another complement in the garden. They are widely used in flowerbeds, for example, or rockeries.



The genus Mimulus usually contains species that like a good exposure, although in the case of these two species that we are talking about, they are somewhat more tolerant and grow perfectly in environments with somewhat more shade and even somewhat colder. In theory they support -15ºC in winter according to the proposed hardness zones and some species could support -20ºC although it seems curious to us since the rest of the Mimulus species generally must protect them from the winter cold. Question of testing, don’t you think?


In the case of Mimulus, we have to pay special attention to the soil so that it develops properly. They have to be spongy soils , aerated, very fertile . Almost almost a soil worthy of a seedbed for germination !!! The usual recommendations to maintain a good soil ferility are two fertilizers covering the soil with a good compost 2 times a year, in autumn and spring, especially when it is going to require more nutrients.

Let’s go with the irrigation. Being a species adapted to semi-shady areas, it needs more or less constant humidity. This is where trouble comes in for the forgetful gardener. The best way to water it is with frequent but very little abundant waterings.


The easiest is the division during the spring , without further complications. If we go to summer then we will have to resort to cutting in somewhat more specific conditions.

Good substrate, mulch and more or less controlled cool conditions. The propagation by seed is already having unusual plant, but if you do want, we will need a protected seed that we keep about 15 ° C.

If you already knew Mimulus from Bach flowers, now you know that you have a couple of species for somewhat darker areas of the garden.

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