The juggler flower, which is often also referred to as the monkey flower, occurs most frequently as a herbaceous, annual and perennial plant. Depending on the variety, its flowers thrive in bright colors, from white to yellow and red to blue or even multicolored spots. One attribute of the juggler flower contributes significantly to the fact that the genus is extremely popular with hobby gardeners: most Mimulus species even tolerate waterlogging and are therefore often found at the edge of the garden pond and in the low water zone. As a result, the chosen location for the monkey flower is an essential criterion for successful cultivation. Otherwise, it is a frugal and easy-care flower that should not be missing in any ornamental garden.

Plant juggler flower correctly

Mimulus grow between 30cm and 90cm in height and bloom throughout the summer from May to September. The majority of the monkey flower species is perennial and hardy. They can be planted all year round as long as the ground is not frozen. In the case of annual, non-frost-resistant species, the planting time is limited to the warm season. Direct sowing in the bed is theoretically possible from April, but should only be used if there is appropriate protection for the seeds. Otherwise, they mainly represent welcome food for various garden dwellers.

Cultivation by sowing indoors is possible without any problems from March:

  • Distribute seeds in pots with growing substrate.
  • Cover lightly with soil and water.
  • Place in the mini greenhouse or on the warm windowsill.
  • The ideal germination temperature is between 12° and 15° Celsius.
  • Germination occurs after 14 days.
  • Prick out after 4 weeks.
  • Keep substrate and seedlings permanently moist.

Just 8 weeks after sowing, the juggler flowers are in full bloom. Immediately after the ice saints, from mid-May, they are planted in the bed, at the edge of the pond or in the tub. Since these flowers are so popular in Germany, many garden centers offer ready-to-plant specimens, so that even hobby gardeners who do not grow them themselves do not have to do without these botanical all-rounders. This is how the monkey flowers are planted correctly:

  • Enrich the potting soil with well-rotted compost.
  • Planting distance between 20 cm and 30 cm, depending on the variety.
  • Dig a big enough hole.
  • Submerge the root ball in a bucket of water.
  • When there are no more air bubbles, plant them in the hole.
  • Tamp down the soil lightly and water generously.
  • A layer of mulch that is not too thick protects against drying out.
  • Do not lay drainage when planting in the bucket.

If you want to plant the juggler flower in the bank area of ​​your garden pond (0 cm to 10 cm water depth), you can do without a plant basket because this plant species does not grow rampant. In addition, the cups would be visible in this zone, which would affect the natural and lively colorful character. In addition, no compost is added because the nutrients could promote unwanted algae growth in the pond water.


The jester flower undoubtedly owes its name to the brightly colored flowers, which are shaped like a small face. In order for these cute flowers to appear in as large a number as possible, the following care tips should be observed:

  • Sunny to semi-shady location.
  • Juggler’s Flower requires permanently moist soil.
  • Waterlogging is desirable for some varieties.
  • Administer a dose of liquid fertilizer once a week.
  • Do not fertilize the garden pond.
  • Giving Guano promotes flower growth.
  • Pluck out faded flowers.
  • Prune hardy varieties after flowering.
  • Some Mimulus will bloom again after pruning.
  • Dig up and compost non-hardy varieties in the fall.

Since the monkey flower reproduces by self-sowing, among other things, gardeners do not pluck out withered flowers on perennials if they want natural reproduction.


If you don’t want to rely solely on natural propagation through self-seeding, you can choose from other methods.


If the flowers remain on the jester flower, even if they have withered, seed pods form that are harvested in autumn. After they have dried for a few days outdoors in a place protected from wind and rain, they are kept in a dark, preferably airtight container in a cool place, such as the basement, until next spring.


The monkey flower is suitable for propagation by head cuttings. In summer, several healthy and strong shoots are cut off the mother plant with a sharp knife to a length of 15 cm to 20 cm. Picking should be avoided as this could injure the mother plant and cuttings. All flowers are removed from the cuttings because they consume too much energy. In addition, all but 3 or 4 leaves are cut off. The gardener then sticks them either in pots with potting soil or in a glass filled with water so that they form new roots.

Once a first, delicate root system has formed, the cuttings are pricked out and cultivated in a potting soil-sand mixture throughout the winter. During this time they stand in a warm room and are permanently kept slightly moist. With a scrutinizing look, the experienced hobby gardener checks every day whether spider mites are tampering with the young plants, because these are particularly active in warm heating air in winter. With good care, the cuttings will root completely by spring and will be planted outdoors in their new location from mid-May.


The perennials under the Mimulus form a strong root ball over the years. This is suitable for propagation by division. The best time for this technique is early spring, when it is no longer freezing. A healthy plant is carefully dug up and cut into several pieces with a sharp knife or spade. It is important that each part has its own shoots and buds. Each individual piece is then planted in a new place in the bed after the soil has been enriched with compost and horn shavings. Finally water generously. When planting on the edge of the pond, adding organic fertilizer and watering is no longer necessary.

The propagation of the Mimulus by collected seeds should only be considered for pure species. If this method is used on hybrids, there is a risk that only very weak seedlings will develop – if at all.


Numerous species and varieties of the monkey flower are hardy. These are trimmed to 5 cm above the ground in autumn after the last flowering. They endure temperatures of up to – 5° Celsius without complaint. If it freezes severely, the flowers are grateful for protection in the form of a thick layer of leaves, straw, brushwood or fir branches. Mimulus in the planter are also cut back and placed on a protected house wall. Garden lovers who have enough space for winter quarters in the house, in the conservatory or cellar place the juggler flowers there in a frost-free and dark place. Next spring, starting in March, they will gradually get used to higher temperatures and sunshine until they can move back outside in May, after Kalte Sophie, the last member of the Ice Saints.

diseases and pests

Since all Mimulus species prefer exactly the conditions in which the dreaded slugs also feel comfortable, they are extremely endangered. Appropriate protective measures should therefore be taken before, during and after planting:

  • Spread snail nematodes in the bed before planting.
  • Set up a moving barrier with sharp grit, broken pottery or similar materials.
  • Build a snail fence and set up beer traps within the area.
  • Beer traps with a roof appear longer.
  • Do not mulch with fresh lawn clippings or plant parts.
  • Only water directly at the roots early in the morning.
  • Set up a snail collar.
  • Spread ground coffee on a strip surrounding the plants.
  • Collect the pests every morning and evening with snail tongs.

The effectiveness of the beer trap is mentioned positively in many field reports. A bowl is filled halfway with beer and placed in the garden. The slugs are attracted, fall in and drown. However, it should only be used in combination with a snail fence, otherwise all the snails in the area will be attracted and tend to make the problem worse. So that the beer doesn’t get watered down by rain, the specialist trade offers beer traps with lids. These also have the advantage that the harmless snails with their shells cannot fall into them.

Beautiful species and varieties

Once you get to know the pretty jester flowers, you’ll want to cultivate them all in your garden. The following list is intended to make the garden lover’s agony of choice a little easier:
Annual and conditionally hardy varieties:

Yellow jester flower – Mimulus luteus

  • bright yellow flowers
  • Growth height 25 cm to 45 cm
  • Flowering period June to September
  • also thrives in water up to 10 cm deep
  • Planting distance 30 cm

Orange jester flower – Mimulus cupreus ‘Orange Glow’

  • bright orange flowers
  • Growth height 15 cm to 20 cm
  • develops a dense carpet of flowers
  • Flowering period June to September
  • Planting distance 25 cm

Red juggler flower – Mimulus cupreus ‘Red Emperor’

  • showy scarlet flowers
  • Growth height about 20 cm
  • forms beautiful flowers
  • Flowering time May to September
  • Planting distance 15 to 20 cm

Gauklerblume ‚Grandiflorus‘ – Mimulus luteus

  • yellow flowers with dark red spots
  • Growth height up to 30 cm
  • should be planted in small groups
  • Flowering period June to September
  • ideal for the swamp area at the pond
  • very nice in the ornamental bed

Blue jester flower – Mimulus ringens

  • numerous blue-purple flowers
  • Growth height up to 60 cm
  • Flowering time May to August
  • suitable for bank planting
  • Planting distance 40 cm

Tiger-Gauklerblume – Tigrinus Grandiflorus

  • particularly large yellow flowers with reddish-brown spots
  • Growth height up to 30 cm
  • Flowering period June to September
  • is placed in groups of 3-5 plants
  • Planting distance 30 cm
  • frost resistant to -5 ° Celsius

In addition to the aesthetic habit of this plant genus, all species and varieties exude an inimitable, subtle scent.

They live up to their name, because the plant genus of the juggler’s flower adorns the garden with funny-shaped flowers in the most beautiful colors and drawings. In addition, the Mimulus, which is often referred to as the monkey flower, is one of the few plants that tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, some varieties can also be discovered as decorative bank plants on the garden pond. They are extremely thirsty and love the sun and warmth. Anyone who offers them these conditions does not otherwise have much trouble with their care.

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