Does anyone know at what stage to cut this? I've not grown nor cut this before - the bracts are just beginning to colour.
Well it's been just over a week since I first noticed the bracts on the lowest 'whorl' were starting to colour up. That particular stem now has 4 completely coloured and blooming whorls and the 5th and 6th (topmost) blooms - or whorl - are not completely formed nor coloured. Side stems with more blooms are immature with slight colouring. I cut that stem today, along with another stem that is slightly more immature, and put them in preservative water. The topmost, immature blossoms initially drooped but after about 6 hours in water, they perked up and are now standing straight.
I'll watch how it progresses thru the week and post again. This is a really nice looking flower and appears to definitely be worth growing - I hope the vase life is good.
Here is a link that might be useful: Monarda Bergamo
The Bergamo stems I cut last Sunday are showing no sign of decline - they look as fresh as if they'd been cut this morning. I wouldn't be surprised they persist for another week. Also unopened blossoms have been opening in the vase.
I cut and used these for filler in yesterdays bouquets for market. I did find them a little difficult to place and on some I landed up removing the lowest bloom.
I'll grow these again next year, probably twice as many. We've had a very cool season and these have performed really well in some really rotten weather. Also no bugs or disease have bothered it.