One of my absolute favorite flowers, I look forward to the day each year when the bee balm buds open into magnificent scarlet blooms, bringing a whole crew of ravenous hummingbirds into my yard.Like many mints, it has a square stem, opposite leaves, and creeping rhizomes that spread rapidly under the soil.Perhaps the most commonly cultivated variety, M. didyma, boasts bright red tufted blossoms with tubular petals.It commonly grows to about two to four feet high, though some dwarf varieties are shorter and can make great additions to containers or borders.It is medicinal, edible, and delightfully fragrant,tasting a bit like oregano and mint, with a long history of human use.Antimicrobial and soothing to the digestive tract, herbalists often use bee balm as a remedy to treat cold and flu symptoms such as sore throats, fever, and congestion.This plant is a natural source of the phenol thymol, an antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial compound also found in thyme, which is a primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas.A strong infusion can be used as a gargle for soothing sore throats, toothaches, and mouth sores.It is also commonly used topically.A poultice from the mashed leaves can be applied to the skin to reduce inflammation, support wound healing, combat infection, and soothe insect stings.To do this, place seeds in a plastic bag full of sand to maintain moisture and set it in your fridge for at least a month.Select new spring growth from the tips of stems and cut at least six inches, starting just below a set of leaves.As soon as the stems take root, in about two or three weeks, you can remove the bag and repot the cuttings in potting soil.Bee balm grows well in hardiness zones 3-9, and is best planted in full sun, though it will tolerate shade in hotter areas, and can benefit from afternoon shade in very warm climates, which will protect plants from heat and lengthen the flowering season.Choose a well draining site with good air circulation, as plants have a tendency to develop mildew.Adding compost when planting and mulching liberally will help to improve soil quality, drainage, and air flow by keeping weeds in check.You can divide it every few years in the spring to keep it growing vigorously and prevent it from spreading too rapidly.In early spring, pinch back the top set of leaves on each stem when they are a couple of feet tall.Choose a site in the center or rear of a garden bed to add a burst of color and depth, as these bright flowers will likely be taller than many other herbs.These small insects feed on plant foliage, sucking out the contents of cells and secreting honeydew, a sticky liquid that covers the leaves and can result in mold.Aphid populations can be reduced by planting herbs such as dill and basil nearby to attract beneficial predators, such as ladybugs and lacewings.These tiny pests feed on bee balm plants by sucking out fluid from the underside of leaves and petals.This will create spotting, discoloration, and misshapen foliage, ultimately causing plants to lose their leaves.While the list of diseases to worry about may be short, unfortunately, bee balm is a common victim of powdery mildew.This gray, powdery dust settles on foliage and spreads throughout the plant, eventually causing leaves to brown and wilt.It overwinters on plant debris and the spores can be transferred via wind and water, often presenting itself in conditions of high humidity and low air circulation.While sometimes inevitable during periods of humid weather, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of mildew.If mildew starts to appear on your plants, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of insecticidal soap in a gallon of water and spray affected foliage every week.To add some flair to your next fancy dinner, you can use the fresh flowers as a garnish on salads, or the leaves to season game meat or poultry.To dry, hang bundles of stems upside down, or lay leaves and flowers on a screen and place in a well ventilated dark area.After a long day in the garden, try filling a clean sock or mesh bag with dried bee balm flowers and add it to your bath for a fragrant and muscle relieving soak.An oxymel, which is a mixture of herbal infused vinegar and honey, is another wonderful way to use bee balm.Just pour apple cider vinegar over a jar filled with fresh or dried leaves and flowers until they are fully submerged, screw the lid on tightly, and store in a dark pantry for about a month, shaking daily.This sweet and sour anti-microbial concoction will give you an extra boost during cold and flu season.Quick Reference Growing Guide Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial Flower / Foliage Color: Red, pink, light to dark purple Native to: Eastern North America Maintenance: Moderate Hardiness (USDA Zone): 3-9 Tolerance: Drought Bloom Time / Season: Summer Soil Type: Average Exposure: Full sun to partial shade Soil pH: 6.0-7.0 Time to Maturity: 110-120 days Soil Drainage: Well-draining Spacing: 18-24 inches Attracts: Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds Planting Depth: 1/8 inch (seeds) Companion Planting: Summer phlox, basil, dill, thyme, daylilies Height: 3-5 feet Uses: Tea, potpourri, cut flowers Spread: 18-36 inches Family: Lamiaceae Water Needs: Moderate Genus: Monarda Pests & Diseases: Aphids, spider mites, stalk borers, powdery mildew Species: M.
didyma, M. fistulosa Welcoming the Birds and the Bees In my opinion, this perennial herb is a must have in the garden, unmatched in its aromatic fragrance and uniquely vibrant beauty. .
How to Grow and Care for Bee Balm
Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 2–4 ft. tall, 2–3 ft.
wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Rich, moist Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Red, purple, pink Hardiness Zones 4–9 (USDA) Native Area North America.They flower in full sun to partial shade and grow best in moist soil, though they can handle a variety of conditions.Though bee balm can handle partial shade, it thrives best if it receives at least six hours of full sun daily.If necessary, poor soil can be amended with compost or manure to enrich it, loosen it up, and make it more amenable to growing bee balm.It's especially important to maintain a proper watering cadence in the plant's first year, as that allows it to establish a solid root system.The standard garden practice of offering 1 inch of water per week will work fine for bee balm.Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline' has flowers that are brighter scarlet than the species, notable for drawing hummingbirds.has darker purple flowers than the pure M. fistula species and is known for good resistance to powdery mildew.Bee balm lovers often embrace the wild, cottage feel of the plant, but it should still be periodically pruned.If the plants become badly affected by powdery mildew late in the season, to the point of being unsightly, then you can cut the stems back to ground level.Bee balm spreads quickly through underground stems, and the best way to propagate new plants is to dig up the clumps and divide them for replanting.Early spring is the best time to divide bee balms, and doing this every two three years will help keep the plants healthy.But pure species plants can be propagated this way, and you can also purchase commercial seeds that have been bred under careful control.Within a few weeks, root systems will develop, and the seedlings can be planted directly into the garden when the weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.Potted bee balm plants should be left outdoors for the winter, but should be moved to a sheltered location—a cold frame, or an unheated porch or garage.Bee balm can be affected by a variety of minor pests, though infestations are almost never serious—possibly because this member of the mint family has a scent that naturally repels insects.If your plants succumb to powdery mildew after you have enjoyed the flowers for a while, it may be best to trim them back to the ground and properly dispose of the cut growth.Most bee balm varieties bloom for eight weeks or more at some point in the summer window—usually beginning in midsummer and running into fall.Bee balm needs a good six hours or more of direct sunlight each day to bloom adequately, and moving the plant into a sunnier location may help.Bee balm needs a good six hours or more of direct sunlight each day to bloom adequately, and moving the plant into a sunnier location may help.An older bee balm often gets overgrown, with a woody center portion of the crown that doesn't produce many stems or flowers.An older bee balm often gets overgrown, with a woody center portion of the crown that doesn't produce many stems or flowers.Bee balms thrive in moist soil, and watering weekly will normally ensure good flowering.Bee balms thrive in moist soil, and watering weekly will normally ensure good flowering.A bee balm plant with a bad case of powdery mildew will have not only its leaves, but its flower affected.Bee balms have few serious issues, but it's common for gardeners to become disappointed with the ratty, sparse appearance of the plants late in the season after the flowering period is over.It's best to position bee balm plants where their sparse foliage is hidden from view behind other plants—though you need to make sure it has good air circulation.You can also cut off the stems to just above ground level late in the season; this will not harm the plants or stunt their return in the spring. .
How to Grow Bee Balm in your Garden – Bonnie Plants
Add bee balm to flower beds or an herb garden for life and color.Try growing bee balm in view of a window so you won't miss the acrobatics of hummingbirds that visit in summer.Space bee balm plants 18 to 24 inches apart in an area with full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.7.Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.For prolific blooms, plant in full sun; in the South and Southwest, a little afternoon shade helps flowers last longer.For best results, start with strong, vigorous young bee balm plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been helping home gardeners find success for over a century.In addition to starting with great soil, you'll want to feed your bee balm to produce excellent growth.Although it will tolerate drought, bee balm will do much better if it gets adequate moisture; however, protect it from poor drainage, especially in winter. .
How to Grow Bee Balm
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more. .
Bee Balm Plants - How to Grow and Care for Bee Balm
A native plant to North American, bee balm is a herbaceous perennial and a member of the mint family.Bee balm plants have sturdy, square stems and ovate leaves that are delightfully aromatic, especially when crushed.Bee balm flowers open atop the stems throughout the summer and into early fall.The flowers come in a range of colours, including pinks, reds, lilacs, lavenders, whites, mauves and even blue-hued tones.A low-maintenance perennial, bee balm has a long blooming period, giving your garden up to 8 weeks of colour in the summer and early fall.Colorful flowers, fragrance that floats on the summer air and butterflies fluttering about all make your garden come alive—and delight your senses.Make a hole large enough to place the root so the top of the plant is in the proper position.The best way to prevent this is to not overcrowd your garden and make sure your bee balm flowers receive plenty of air circulation.Native Americans revered the bee balm plant for its healing properties.That’s when they started using garden bee balm as a replacement for imported Chinese tea.While the bee balm flower is gorgeous in the garden and a great way to attract pollinators and hummingbirds, this hardy, easy-to-grow plant has other uses too.● Bee balm has antimicrobial properties so it’s often used for home remedies for colds, sore throats and more.● When bee balm stems and leaves are crushed they release a fragrant oil that repels mosquitoes.If you’re gardening in the South, you may want to protect your bee balm plant from the direct, hot afternoon sun as it might cause the flowers to fade.Bee balm plants are hardy in zones 4 to 9, and can be grown in many areas of the United States.While bee balm plants can tolerate most types of soil, as long as it’s well-drained, they don’t like standing in water.Also, the plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, so make sure they have lots of air circulation and aren’t overcrowded.Planting them near a walkway allows garden visitors to enjoy their vibrant flowers, fragrance, and the fluttering butterflies and hummingbirds that they attract.They look right at home in decorative containers, window boxes and patio pots—and add wonderful summer color.Grow up to 12 inches tall, the compact plants are our favourites for containers and front borders. .
Growing Bee Balm From Seed – Seed Needs LLC
Many landscapers use these versatile plants due to the fact that they are easy to maintain and don’t require much attention once established.This article will provide you with the growing information required to successfully germinate your Monarda / Bee Balm seeds.We will cover topics including, site specifications, such as sunlight, soil and moisture requirements, as well as germination & growth habits.These varieties include, Lemon Mint, Wild Bergamot, Spotted Bee Balm / Horsemint, as well as Monarda didyma, or “Panorama Shades.” Bee Balm plants will produce gorgeous flowers, which typically open up to 2 or 3 inches wide.This root system allows them to regrow each Spring season, even after all plant life has wilted on the surface.This means that the flowers will grow quickly from seeds, bloom profusely through the summer months, and will later die with the first killing frost.The plants can be regrown the following year, if you collect fresh seeds that fall from the dried flower heads.In The Northern states of America, Bee Balm plants will thrive in an area of full sunlight for the majority of the day.In warmer regions to the south, the plants can tolerate a bit of light shade, which will help prolong healthy blooms.Bee Balm plants will also prefer a sowing medium that is fertile & rich in organic matter.Adding a light compost to areas that contain hard, compact soil will increase your drainage.Because temperatures should be above 70F as mentioned above, you might consider moving the pots on top of the fridge at night to keep them nice and warm.Transplant your Bee Balm plants into the garden when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed.Though Bee Balm plants are technically in the mint family, they do not grow as an invasive species like spearmint or peppermint.Cutting back thick foliage to allow better airflow between your Bee Balm plants is another way to prevent powdery mildew. .
Monarda (Bee Balm)
In addition to its medicinal properties tribes also used the bee balm to season wild game because of its taste that can be described as a mix of peppermint, spearmint and oregano. .
Bee Balm (Wild Bergmot/Monarda fistulosa) Flower Growing
Transplant outside in the spring or summer, 6-8 weeks after starting the seeds, spacing plants 12-18" apart.Direct seed: Sow from early spring up until 8 weeks before the first frost in the fall.Direct seed or sow in a cold frame to be transplanted when they reach a height of 3-4".Bee balm is very susceptible to powdery mildew, which is exacerbated by humidity and any kind of plant stress, even drought. .
What You Need to Know About the Bee Balm Plant
Bee balm flowers are so captivating that they add color and beauty to any garden.Native to the eastern portion of North America, these flowers bloom in mid to late summer.To decide which ones you want to plant, learn the characteristics of the most common bee balm varieties.These flowers bloom before any other bee balm plant varieties and grow up to 14 inches high.Leading lady plums courtesy of ‘Pollinator Garden Tour’ on YouTube.These beautiful plants, with pink flowers, work well to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.The Bee balm flower – also referred to as monarda – is relatively easy to grow from seeds, cuttings, and root divisions.Although the plants prefer full sun, the bee balm flower will tolerate partial shade in hot climates.Bee balm flowers also need soil with a pH level of 6 to 7 and very rich in nutrients.If you are especially taken by a bee balm plant’s particular color, you will have to divide the existing flower in order to propagate it.Although you can start new plants from seeds that you harvest yourself, the color of the flower blooms can change because bee balm has a tendency to revert back to its wild form.It’s best to avoid high-traffic areas used by people and pets because of the fact that bees love the plants.Bee balm will succumb to root rot in cold, wet soil during the winter months.It’s a good idea to add a couple of inches of mulch to the bed during the fall months.In humid conditions, bee balm plants can suffer from powdery mildew.Provide good air circulation and water the plants at ground level whenever possible.Honey bees take a significant role in the pollination of plant species all around the world.Your gardening can be improved if you select bee balm for inclusion in your local landscape.Spider mites: They suck out a garden bee balm’s fluids through its foliage.You’ll know they’ve infested your flowers if you observe tiny cracks and yellow fragments.Weeding on a regular basis minimizes the chances of a stalk borer invasion.Also, once the entire stem has completed flowering you ought to cut it right back to the ground with small, sharp secateurs.Bee balm plants thrive in sunny areas with moist soil, rich in nutrients.You should plant it in a secure area that needs brightening up with the wonderful colors of the bee balm.The bee balm flower is shaped like a daisy with tube-like petals in bright colors such as:.You can plant bee balm in spring or fall if your region benefits from Mediterranean temperatures.To deadhead your plant, cut back its blooming stems up to ¼ inch of the foliage at the top of the stalk.It’s best to cut back your bee balm if you notice mildew forming on its foliage after flowering. .