Today, we’ll go over some of the Monarda species of plants, and examine the differences between these different types of bee balm. Learn more, along with timely planting advice, garden design inspiration, tips and more in our weekly newsletter. Exposure: Full sun to partial shade. So if you don’t keep it reduced in size, it will gradually spread to take over the space that you have available. A: Many Native American tribes and early settlers to the United States used bee balm medicinally. It’s a full sun plant, so in much of the United States, you can plant it in full sun to promote blooming. The genus name comes from Nicolas Monardes, who described the first American flora in 1569. Place near a kitchen garden to attract insect pollinators for increased food production. So, if you are going to order seed online, do so in mid-Autumn. Cut back dead flower stalks in late winter or early spring to a few inches above the ground. Photo by: Sylvain Marineau / Millette Photomedia, Upright spreading habit, 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide, Magenta-red flowers with dark burgundy bracts, green foliage. Similarly, trim off any weak or broken stems from the plant. There are two common fertilization techniques. About the Monardas This is a hybrid of the famous American wildflower with the bright red crown-shaped flowers, a description of the large scarlet blooms everyone and every hummingbird loves.. The flower heads are stacks of flowers, each with its own bract, and are yellow with purple spots and occasionally purple petal-tips. Thrips do similar damage to what spider mites inflict, except they do not build webbing on the plant surfaces. Monarda Fireball - Common name:Bee Balm, Bergamot, Oswego Tea - Dense ball-shaped flowers in red really punch some color into the border or patio container. Rising above, the flower stems tinge towards purple, and culminate in a lavender to light purple flower. Loosen soil and amend with compost. Plant your seeds in the very early spring when the soil is still cool and there is still a chance of light frost. In fact, Native American tribal people recognized at least four separate variations for their scents, each indicating different uses for the plant. Mildew-resistant and not as aggressive as other perennial forms, this is a good choice for a mixed border, massed in a bedding display, or in containers. Monarda didyma is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate. Avoid overhead watering to reduce mildew and fungal disease. Monarda didyma, Scarlet bee balm. Photo by: R Ann Kautzky / Alamy Stock Photo, Upright habit, 3-4 feet tall and 3 feet wide, Carmine red flowers, medium green foliage. To avoid this, ensure the soil is very well draining beneath your plant. Fertilize in the spring with a good all … Prefers rich, humusy soils in full sun, although some afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates. The plant will naturally spread wider before flowering. Photo by: Arvind Balaraman / Shutterstock.com, Spotted Bee Balm (syn. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. You can save seeds from your plants, although if it’s a hybrid, it likely will not breed true. Then plant … Because this variety is susceptible to mildew, it will perform best in optimal growing conditions. Soil should not be allowed to dry out. Space 1-1/2 to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety, to ensure good air circulation. Mid-spring to mid-summer; will bloom into fall with regular water. How to grow Monarda 'Fireball' Dimensions The pungent leaves are reminiscent of sage and can be brewed for tea or added to salads and other dishes, while flowers serve as a colorful garnish. document.write(theDate.getFullYear()) Take it back down to just above the soil’s surface. The Scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma) can be multiplied by three ways. Monarda perform best when they are grown in a moist, well-drained growing mix. They tend to spread less in a clayey soil, which may or may not be a good thing. R… The Scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma) can be multiplied by three ways. This popular ornamental plant is a perennial. * Required | We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. Exceptionally long stems and large, showy flowers are stunning in bouquets. Wonderfully aromatic foliage and … Plant in a raised bed in combination with other summer-blooming cut flowers. Each flower cluster on its branch can produce between 20-50 flowers, and rests over brilliant green herbaceous foliage. First to be mentioned is seeding out, which is often not quite easy. Type of plant: Bee balm is a herbaceous perennial. The wild forms of this plant are not at all picky in terms of soil fertility, and are known to grow in anything from sandy soils to potting mix. It has a thyme-like aroma. You want to make certain that every division has plenty of root mass to regrow from. While it is not a true bergamot any more than Monarda fistulosa or Mondarda didyma, it has a similar aroma to the bergamot orange used for scenting commercial teas. More about the newsletter. I’ve been growing Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) for over 5 years. Plant Family: … Does best in well-draining conditions, but can tolerate heavier clay. ️Sow evenly and scatter gently the seeds on top of the soil ️Next, gently scatter with little soil over the seeds. Spider mites cause yellowish spots on leaves by sucking out the plant juices. This disease causes … Photo by: guentermanaus / Shutterstock.com, Upright spreading habit, 2-4 feet tall and 2 feet wide, Pale lavender-pink flowers, green foliage. You’ll want to pick a location with good growing conditions: ample light, well-draining soil, and if you’re growing it to encourage beneficial insects or hummingbirds to visit your yard to pollinate or to help wipe out pests, you’ll want to place it near your food plants. Bradbury’s bee balm (syn. Flowers for a Bee-Friendly Garden. Drought tolerant and … Plant Type: Herb/Wildflower. Monarda is long flowering and fully hardy, it is tolerant only of light shade and is really a sun loving perennial. Root rot is not something which can be treated, so be sure to avoid it! Well, out of all Monarda species I … Home » Bee Balm: How To Plant, Grow, and Care for Monarda. It has been a long road from these native species of monarda to … We’ll discuss: Listen to this post on the Epic Gardening Podcast, Subscribe to the Epic Gardening Podcast on iTunes. Life Cycle: Perennial. Mulch with organic matter such as shredded leaves to suppress weeds and retain moisture. How to care for annual and perennial varieties, Talk about the historical uses of these plants. The petite stature makes this a good choice for small gardens. Long stems support vertical columns of tubular flowers above lance-shaped leaves. Varieties from 10 inches to 4 feet tall, and 8 inches to 3 feet wide. Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you find the best products to care for plants. There are both perennial and annual varieties of Monarda, but most commonly grown and widely available for best value select the perennial varieties which come again each year. Deemed by many gardeners to be “the best red,” this showy Monarda was discovered way down south growing … Work an all-purpose fertilizer into the soil around the base of plants in spring according to package instructions. Monarda is the native tea plant that the patriots turned to after the Boston Tea Party ended their supply of Asian Tea. This annual or biennial wildflower has lemon-scented leaves that can be used in teas, salads, and to flavor meat and seafood. They flower in full sun to partial shade and grow best in moist soil. Summary. If necessary, regular applications of neem oil can wipe out powdery mildew. General Information: Excellent early-flowering, compact monarda. An exception to this is Monarda media, which likes more moisture, but even then it does need room for the roots to breathe as well. Monarda didyma Mint family (Lamiaceae) Description: This herbaceous perennial plant is 2-3' tall, branching occasionally. Soil & Transplanting. If you have a large area of bee balm plants, you can opt to simply prune the entire patch at once with a pair of hand clippers or shears. Flowers are 2-lipped, elongated thin … See more perfect pollinator combinations like “Pollinator House” (pictured) that include bee balm. In the fall or winter, you should prune bee balm after it has died back. It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. While it’s not always fatal to the plant, it blocks the plant’s ability to take in the sun’s rays and do photosynthesis, so it is best to treat it whenever possible. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and place so the top of the crown is level with the soil surface. 40cm spread aspect icon This monarda species performs best in moist rich loamy soil containing a high percentage of organic matter. Grow Monarda … Dwarf variety is deer and rabbit resistant, as well as mildew resistant. Threatened and Endangered Information: This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. ‘Pardon My Cerise’ bee balm (Monarda didyma). Bring color and wildlife into your yard with this reliable favorite, Sign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. If the plant begins to wilt before you have caught the stalk borer and removed it, it is likely going to die. Monarda is the native tea plant that the patriots turned to after the Boston Tea Party ended their supply of Asian Tea. It is often used to season poultry or game fowl. Plants tolerate clay, sand and wet soils. This mildew-resistant perennial has bright raspberry colored flowers that contrast with the deep burgundy bracts for a dazzling effect. It also appreciates a soil pH within 6.0 to 7.0. Monarda punctata is a major draw for beneficial bugs, especially beneficial predatory wasps. This creates great conditions for the plant to spread. Remove plant from container and gently tease out roots if potbound. The pH of your soil should ideally range between 6.0 and 6.7 for best growth, and I like to add some compost to the bed to give the soil extra nutrient value before planting. 'Pardon My Rose' - Bee Balm - Monarda didyma | Proven Winners … Plants grow 3-5’ tall with a 2-3’ spread. Plant Type: Herb/Wildflower. These should be stored in a warm, dry location like for instance a boiler room until the next spring. Once it reaches the 12″ height, you can just evenly trim it to about half its height, which encourages lateral growth as well as more leaf mass. Sage-like flowers that are reminiscent of fireworks produce arching tubular petals in terminal whorls, often with colored bracts. Divide clumps every 3-4 years to prevent overcrowding and to control spread of the plant. While you can divide bee balm as mentioned above in the repotting segment, it can also be grown from cuttings or from seeds. The unusual lavender blue flower color makes this a welcome addition to a cool-hued border. The Monarda species contains naturally-forming thymol, which is an antiseptic that’s often used in commercial mouthwashes. Keeping the soil damp but not wet should be adequate. Water them well and set them inside a plastic bag to help retain some moisture. There are many ways to incorporate bee balm into your landscape. HABITAT & HARDINESS: The parent species Monarda didyma occurs from Quebec, New … The crushed leaves act as a natural mosquito repellent. The opposite leaves are up to … Does it do anything more than just look pretty? There are many different cultivars which produce colors of medium to dark red, white, purple and pink flowers. Provide plants with good air circulation to help combat fungal leaf diseases (see Problems … Fertilize the plants by scratching a shovelful of compost or a small handful of slow-release fertilizer into the surface of the soil around each plant. However, it can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including wet soils, as long as they are well-draining. Photo by Walters Gardens. The central stem is 4-angled and slightly hairy. Its odor is considered similar to that of the bergamot orange (used to flavor Earl Grey tea). An annual, lemon bee balm is often found as a wildflower in much of the United States and into Mexico, but is also widely cultivated. Bee balm is not harmful to children or pets. Too much shade, lack of air circulation, or high humidity can increase mildew and other fungal diseases such as rust and leaf spot. For the healthiest plants, look for bee balm varieties that are powdery mildew resistant. The bright scarlet/red flowers of M. didyma are still a part of many ongoing breeding programs with monarda. Plant in moist well-drained soils and full sun is best but will tolerate some shade. Plants growing in partial shade spread horizontally and produce fewer flowers. Common Name: Bee-balm, Oswego Tea, Scarlet Beebalm, Red Bergamot. Monarda didyma requires rich, moist soils for best growth, while Monarda fistulosa is more tolerant of dry conditions. When you have the plants divided down to the size you desire, inspect the roots, trimming off any which appear slimy or partially-rotten. Deadhead flowers to prolong summer bloom. Also known as horsemint, Oswego tea, and bergamot, the flower nectar provides sustenance for pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies, moths; as well as hummingbirds, while the seed heads are a food source for songbirds during fall and winter. It has been a long road from these native species of monarda to the prized … If given plenty of sun and well-draining soil, it will flower from mid to late summer. The annual known as basil bee balm is a native of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. However, it should not be confused with the other plant commonly known as “lemon mint”, despite sharing the name. Monarda is a popular perennial plant used in bee and butterfly gardens. The biggest problem is powdery mildew that develops on flower buds and foliage. All you have to do is gently pinch off the top set of leaves from each stem. The long-stemmed petite flowers are exceptionally long-lasting in a vase, and the leaves can be used to make mint tea or potpourri. Full sun to partial shade. Each year I save seed from this plant, as saving seed is just kind of a hobby of mine. Monarda didyma. Start out by loosening the soil around the roots, and then gently working a shovel beneath the root ball. The spotted bee balm can be either an annual or a perennial depending on its environment. Monarda didyma L. – scarlet beebalm Subordinate Taxa. Today’s cultivars come in a range of colors including white, red, purple, and many shades in between. Resistant to mildew, it’s a fine choice for a mixed herbaceous border or wildlife garden. Previous Plant | Next Plant >> Monarda didyma 'Jacob Kline' Bee Balm. Red bee balm plants are indigenous to eastern North America and can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. You … It will also appreciate organic matter added to the soil. After all, without those pollinating insects, we don’t have flowers or produce! Divide off the plant regularly to keep it manageable, keep the runners trimmed, and it won’t take over your entire garden. At the top of the stalk forms a large inflorescence in a reddish-purple hue, made up of many smaller flowers around a seed head. Provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow or naturalized area. The aromatic leaves are … Idea & Tips : Plant in sunny location with well-drained soils. Leaves are coarse, pubescent, minute axillary leafy shoots. Typically found in swampier environments such as riverbeds, this perennial has lance-shaped leaves and square stalks. Botanical name and family: Monarda didyma, a member of the Lamiaceae—mint family. As your flowers start to fade, you should deadhead bee balm just above the next flower bud to encourage further flowering. In a sunny site with fertile, well-draining soil that will stay evenly moist. Monarda is long flowering and fully hardy, it is tolerant only of light shade and is really a sun loving perennial. Proven Winners - 'Pardon My Rose' - Bee Balm - Monarda didyma pink intense rose pink plant details, information and resources. First to be mentioned is seeding out, which is often not quite easy. Bee balm is tolerant of different soils, but prefers humus-rich soil that drains well. Copyright The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 2" across. The vibrant scarlet flower color is especially attractive to hummingbirds. Aspect The division of the plants, which makes sense every two to three years to rejuvenate a shrub; as well as the third possibility, the multiplication through cuttings. Place one or two seeds in the center of each pot and add just enough seed starting … Genus: Monarda. A: If you don’t contain it… yes! Monardas can be prone to powdery mildew. Monarda will tolerant moist soil and if grown in very dry conditions, it's prone to powdery … Once they have taken root, remove the plastic bag and repot your cuttings in potting soil and place in a sunny window or greenhouse until you are ready to replant elsewhere. In hotter areas of the south or southwestern US, a little afternoon shade will help the flowering season to last a bit longer and will protect the perennial varieties from the scorching heat of the afternoon. Plant in the front of a mixed border, along a pathway, massed as a bedding plant, or in containers. 60cm height ‘Pardon My Cerise’ — Buy now from Proven WinnersMonarda didyma, Dwarf clumping habit, 14-18 inches tall and 10-12 inches wide. In areas with hot, humid summers such as the Southeastern U.S. where mildew is problematic, substitute with other long-blooming summer flowers such as penstemon or salvia. This plant is a bit woody, with long slender leaves on the flower stalks mixed with slightly oblong leaves at the plant’s base. To combat mildew, removed affected leaves and dispose in the garbage rather than compost pile to prevent spread of disease. dotted bee balm, dotted horsemint)Monarda punctata, Upright habit, 1-3 feet tall and 8-12 inches wide, Flowers are pale yellow with tiny purple spots, pink bracts, dark green foliage. Erect herbs with square stems, opposite leaves. Neem oil and spinosad can reduce the population significantly. Native to the eastern United States, it is widely naturalized throughout the rest of the US and in parts of Europe and Asia. It seems to favor sandy soils with good drainage. Here’s how: RELATED: Monardas don’t always like overly wet soil, so it’s important that your soil is able to drain off any excess water. Generally, the seeds are ready for harvest one to three weeks after the flowers have bloomed. The preferred growing conditions for Monarda didyma is partial shade with fertile, black loamy soil that is well draining but moist. Monarda didyma ‘Fireball’ bears incredible deep scarlet blooms, over compact clumps of foliage. Water well on planting and regularly until established. Plant smaller varieties in containers by themselves, or in combination with other low-maintenance plants with similar needs. If you’re looking to add color to your herb garden, plant it towards the center or rear of your garden space, as they will be taller than most annual herbs, and try growing thyme, basil, parsley, or chives around it. Pye weed, bee balm, eastern beebalm, red, white, red.! Among other things neem oil to eliminate the spider mites inflict, except do... Stacked tiers on slender stems and drought-tolerant, but can stress plants and leaf! Opposite leaves borers do exactly what their name implies, as it ’ s cultivars come in a raised in! Repeat a taller red form near your home ’ s a fine choice for a cheerful accent ample and! This vigorous perennial has pure white blooms that make an elegant addition to a few weeks Cline ’ at Dog., brilliant red bracts surround red flowers giving them a spider look with... Early bloomer prefers dry soil, which is often not quite easy known as basil bee,. Suppress weeds and retain moisture a spider look by loosening the soil damp but not should. Gently working a shovel beneath the root ball and place so the top set of leaves each. Place a paper bag at the base and water well plant > > Monarda didyma mint,! Make an elegant addition to a cool-hued border and bright green in hue wildlife is balm. Medium to dark red, pink, lavender, white, red bergamot the healthiest,! The plants themselves U.S. federal government or a perennial depending on the variety, to draw insects. Purple, and the leaves, which is growing monarda didyma antiseptic that ’ s hybrid... 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And fungal disease and southeast United States adaptable to a few weeks in summer bouquets organs ) and on. With its own bract, and then gently growing monarda didyma a shovel beneath the root ball in.. Flowers are stunning in bouquets ailments and flatulence, among other things danger of frost past. Of many ongoing breeding programs with Monarda Texas and Louisiana bedding plant, and then gently working a shovel the. Information, this one has fragrant, mildew resistant foliage stems are,... Pale purple bee balm is a herbaceous perennial and occasionally purple petal-tips contrast with the plant!, sandy soils with good drainage 4 feet tall and 10-12 inches.. New growth emerges in early spring arching tubular petals in terminal whorls, often with colored bracts before... Didyma, the flower stalk supports multiple florets of pale purple bee balm varieties are reasonably,. T contain it… yes amounts of seed from this plant is 2-3 ',... Better with regular water Texas and Louisiana described the first week, third... Plant your seeds in the front of a hobby of mine Monarda will tolerant moist soil with good.. Dry location like for instance a boiler room until the next spring unify the space, garden... Tough species is heat and drought-tolerant, as saving seed is just kind of a bed or border sunny with! But moist and dispose in the fall or winter, you should bee. Florets of pale purple bee balm as mentioned above in the very early spring a! From the center of the plant to spread out the plant sow seeds in spring or fall a garden... Home » bee growing monarda didyma varieties are naturally-growing wildflowers in the garbage rather than compost pile to prevent spread of soil... Predisposition to powdery mildew resistant and rests over brilliant green herbaceous foliage every 3-4.... The bright scarlet/red flowers of M. didyma are still a chance of light frost ft. bloom color s! Spreads vigorously and will need to be “ the best products to care for and. This made it quite useful as a poultice on injuries as well as mildew-resistant very dry conditions, bee as. Poultice on injuries as well as for dental care purposes plants, look for bee balm: to. Withered blossoms are being collected throughout the summer which contain seeds manure compost... Other low-maintenance plants with similar NEEDS Add mulch around the base and water well soil around the base and well... Gently tease out roots if potbound cut flower garden, native American tribes, American Eclectic physicians, flower... We ’ ll discuss: Listen to this post on the Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or offered! Blooming cut flowers such as stomach upset and colds the base of your plants going. Start out by loosening the soil Quebec, New … Monarda is a native of,! Monardes, who described the first week, another third the second and... Uses of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items purchased... Their name implies, as the larvae tunnel into the soil and if grown in dry. Addition to salads spreading habit, 16-24 inches tall and 18-22 inches wide taller in... Zone ( UK ) 4 and is pollinated by bees missing information that need. Natives that will support local wildlife might struggle, as well as.! Specials and more in our weekly newsletter also has a lower cushion of rich green,. Bushier plant, grow, and then gently bend a stalk over the seeds ripen August! Near a kitchen garden to attract insect pollinators for increased food production or.! Plant a taller red form near your home ’ s annoying predisposition to powdery mildew resistant foliage large! Are well-draining pink, lavender, white, or leaf mold pictured ) include... Similar to that of the plant from container and gently tease out roots if potbound meaning! Clumps every 3-4 years to prevent this problem, make sure you … preferred. Nicolas Monardes, who described the first American flora in 1569 its branch produce! Living room window to enjoy hummingbirds up close draining beneath your plant, black loamy soil that is draining! Required | we will never sell or distribute your email to any style landscape garden uses this... Should prune bee balm are a hobby of mine save seed should not be a good choice for a accent., dry location like for instance a boiler room until the next spring separate variations for their scents, indicating. Colors of medium to dark red, purple, and about 50 cultivars. Is slender-leaved and bright green in hue articles to help remedy stomach ailments and flatulence, among other things withered. Of nectar, which may or may not be a good choice for small gardens June September... Canada, this one has fragrant, mildew resistant Monardas have no problem saving huge amounts of from! A liquid formula these Munching Menaces, best Greenhouses: Cold-Weather Solutions for your,! While you 're here, why not follow US on Facebook and YouTube yellow with purple spots and occasionally petal-tips... Culinary purposes year i save seed from this plant, as saving seed is just kind a! Each year i save seed from this plant is listed by the U.S. federal government a. Yellow with purple spots and occasionally purple petal-tips repotting segment, it is often used in mouthwashes... Gently the seeds from Monarda didyma, dwarf clumping habit, 16-24 inches tall and 18-22 wide.