Perennial Bee Balm plants are an old-fashioned favorite. This woodland wildflower is a member of the mint family and is native to eastern North America. Pressed for time in today’s busy world!? Try growing bee balm, as it is a low-maintenance plant.
Bee Balm plants look their best growing in clumps. The flowers are daisy-like, with tubular petals. Brightly colored, scented blooms are pink, purple, red, or white. Flowers grow on branching, square stems. The leaves are aromatic, too. These perennials bloom the second year after planting.
Bee Balm attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and of course, bees!
Smaller varieties look good in containers on your patio or deck.
Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall.
Other Names: Bergamot, Oswego Tea
Plant Height: grows 1 to 2 feet. Dwarf varieties grow up to 10″
Perennial, Monarda Didyma
Bee Balm is started from seed. Sow seed directly into your flower garden after all danger of frost. They can also be spread around fields as a wildflower.
For an indoor start, sow seeds in pots 5-8 weeks before the last frost.
Sow Bee Balm seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8″ of garden soil. Initially, give them plenty of room to grow. They will quickly spread to fill in empty spaces.
The final spacing should be 12″ – 18″.
Plants can be propagated by division of the clumps in either the spring or early fall.
You can also root cuttings.
Days to Germination: 10 – 20 days.
Low maintenance perennial Bee Balm plants like full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.
The soil should be fertile, and well-drained. Fertilize regularly during the season, every 1-2 months, with a general-purpose fertilizer.
These plants do well in wet soil. Make sure to provide ample water, especially in dry summer months. Mulch around plants, to help retain soil moisture.
Keep plants pruned, for a neat appearance. Pinch growing tips to produce a bushier plant. But, do not let it get too bushy. Make sure to provide good air circulation, to minimize plant disease.
Deadhead blooms to promote new flowers.
Plants can be invasive. Keep growth of clumps in control. Or, use garden edging to contain plants.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0.
Insects and disease problems are not major problems. If problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.
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