If it’s well into summer and your bee balm plants still aren’t displaying their signature colorful flowers, check out our guide down below to pinpoint whether the problem is your climate, soil fertility, irrigation, crowding, pests, or disease.is a perennial favorite in the garden, with several different species and hybrids available in various shades of purple, red, white, pink, and everything in between.Plants usually flower in July and August, with some species that may bloom as early as June (M. didyma) and some as late as September (M.
punctate).Whether your plants are growing in the wrong climate, or they’re suffering from problems related to soil nutrients or pH, lighting, irrigation, pests, disease, old age, or overcrowding, there may be something you can do to remedy the situation.Although bee balm isn’t the fussiest plant around, it still has specific needs that must be met for it to produce an abundance of healthy blooms.Read on and we’ll go over the common issues, with an extra bonus tip for boosting bloom time at the end.Likewise, if your climate is extremely humid with long, hot summers, your plants may be suffering even though your area is listed as being within their suggested growing range.Unfortunately, the exact number of hours a given variety needs aren’t typically spelled out beyond a general description of “full sun to part shade,” so you’ll have to look for signs of sunlight deficiency in your plants to determine whether this is the issue.The main indicator that your plants are lacking light is that they’ll be tall and leggy, perhaps with a tendency to fall over in the wind.Besides the direct impact this has in failing to provide enough energy for them to grow and flower, a lack of sun can also make bee balm more susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew and root rot – which we’ll go over in more detail below.In this case, you’ll notice your plants drooping a lot, and leaves may even turn from yellow to brown and die.Bee balm is generally a light feeder, and too much nitrogen can cause plants to put their energy into leafy growth at the expense of flowers.I once fertilized a tomato plant so much when I first started gardening that I ended up with a six-foot-tall shrub that never produced a single flower or fruit!If you have poor soil fertility in general, your plants will likely show stunted growth and/or discoloration, will tend to be more susceptible to pests and disease, and – you guessed it – they may not flower.Garden Lime, Available from Burpee Unfortunately, if the pH of your soil is not suitable for growing bee balm now, you’ll likely need to monitor it on an ongoing basis and amend it as often as once per year.In fact, I use Monarda as an indicator plant in my garden to tell me when I need to water, since theirs are among the first leaves to begin drooping during a dry spell.If your plants have experienced prolonged dry periods and their leaves and upper stems are flopping sadly in the breeze, give them a good watering once a week.The best way to prevent root rot is to avoid overwatering in the first place and ensure your plants are growing in soil that drains well.After about three years of growing in the same place, many perennials – including bee balm plants – tend to become overcrowded and may lose some of their vigor, particularly in the middle of the clump.To deadhead bee balm, use disinfected handheld pruning shears to cut the tops off of each stem that holds a dried up flower. .
Why Is a Bee Balm Not Blooming?
is 2 to 4 feet tall at maturity and blooms in shades of purple, pink, lavender and red, depending on the variety.Bee balm planted in a shady area is also more susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.During dry weather, water generously once every week to 10 days, providing enough moisture to soak the root zone to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. .
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.Encourage big, beautiful blooms by feeding bee balm with a water-soluble plant food.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. .
Difficulties in growing bee balm outweighed by its benefits
But every summer, about the time the flowers are at their most beautiful, the leaves get covered with that gray stuff called powdery mildew, and that spoils their looks.First of all, bee balm, bergamot, and monarda are all names for the same plant, which is a native of the northeastern U.S.Another theory about the name is that Native Americans used plant resins in the leaves to take the fire out of bee stings.A tea made from bergamot leaves will be strongly flavored but will not be like Earl Grey.Although the woodland peoples of the Northeast used the leaves for cooking, it was as flavoring for wild game.Perhaps the pungent leaves disguised the taste of meat left too long unrefrigerated.Monarda is the plant’s botanical name, honoring the 16th century Italian botanist and doctor Nicolas Monardes.Seeds sold commercially are either the species or a strain called ‘Panorama,’ which may include flowers in the whole range of colors.To divide a garden plant, split off pieces in early spring, before the new stems appear.Powdery mildew most often attacks when soil is dry, and it spreads quickly where air is stagnant.Leaves already disfigured will not turn green again, but frequent watering and improved air circulation will stop or slow the spread of the disease.Cut off any diseased leaf to get rid of its fungal spores, and thin plants in the area where monarda grows.Monarda does not take over a garden because new plants live only one year and must be continually replaced by the root system.Put 10 seeds on a damp paper towel, and enclose it in a plastic bag.Set it on a kitchen shelf and check it daily for a week or two, to see how many seeds germinate.Since some seeds end up being shredded with other spent plants and spread as mulch, coreopsis turns up now in all my gardens, including the vegetable beds. .
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. .
Deadheading Bee Balm
To encourage bountiful clusters of flowers, you will want to deadhead the plant throughout its entire bloom time.You will want to begin deadheading your bee balm in early spring when there are just a few flowers to tend to.Spending a few minutes every couple of days snipping the plant will make the task easier.Bee balm lose their attractive look when its flowers wilt and fade.It increases air circulation in the plant which aids in preventing powdery mildew and fungus problems.When bee balm flowers fade and wilt, the plant begins to use its energy to develop seeds.Regular deadheading channels that energy into producing more flowers and continuous blooming. .
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: Care & Growing Guide
Common Name Bee Balm, Wild Bergamot Botanical Name Monarda Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Perennial, Herb Mature Size 10-15 in.wide (dwarf), 3-4 ft. wide (standard) Sun Exposure Full, Partial Soil Type Loamy, Moist but well-drained Soil pH Acidic, Neutral Bloom Time Summer, Fall Flower Color Red, Pink, Purple, White Hardiness Zones 3-9, USA Native Area North America.Bee balm is very easy to care for when provided with ideal growing conditions.Good airflow is important to avoid problems with powdery mildew, a common disease known to affect bee balm.However, plants grown in partial shade may develop a leggy, stretched look and will not flower as vigorously.Bee balms thrive in moist, well-draining, fertile soil and benefit from rich, organic matter, such as compost.If your garden conditions tend to be dry, try adding a layer of mulch to help retain the proper amount of moisture in the soil.To prevent problems with powdery mildew, water at ground level and avoid getting the foliage wet.Bee balms are very hardy, handling very cold and very hot temperatures in USDA growing zones 3 to 9.However, these plants do not fare well in high humidity conditions, as this can increase the incidence of powdery mildew.Amend the soil yearly with compost or other organic materials to give this plant the nutrients it needs.Monarda didyma : This variety of bee balm grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall and produces bright red blooms.: This variety of bee balm grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall and produces bright red blooms.Monarda pringlei : A smaller variety, these plants only reach a height of about 18 inches tall.It produces beautiful pink, white, or purple blooms similar to the Monarda didyma variety.Using the shovel, dig up the entire root system and gently lift the plant from the ground.To propagate through cuttings, you will need a pair of snips, rich soil, a small pot, rooting hormone, a plastic bag, and a rubber band.Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and gently plant it into rich soil.Starting bee balm from seed requires some patience, but the rewards are well worth the effort.Since bee balm is such a fast grower, these plants will need to be repotted or divided often, possibly every year.Bee balm is a very hardy perennial and requires no extra attention to keep it alive even through a cold winter.However, some plants are plagued by powdery mildew or fail to produce a showy display of blooms.This fungal disease is common among bee balms and can cause brown, wilted foliage that is covered in a gray powder. .