How to Grow Bee Balm Flower Plants

Tree Branch, How to Grow

About Growing Bee Balm Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

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! While we traditionally consider hummingbirds to be attracted to red, tubular blooms, you will find them at bee balm flowers of any color. Plant them near the house where you can watch them feed on the nectar of the flowers. 

Smaller varieties look good in containers on your patio or deck.

Bee Balm Plant Specifications

Flower Colors: Pink, purple, red, and white.

Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall.

Plant Height: The plant grows 1 to 2 feet. Dwarf varieties grow up to 10inches tall.

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial sun.

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0.

Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9

Toxicity: It is an edible herb.

Native To: North America.

Plant Type: Perennial herb.

Other Names: Bergamot, Oswego Tea

Botanical Name: Monarda Didyma

Are Bee Balm Plants Edible?


It is safe for humans and your pets. It has a unique, sweet and citrus-like flavor.

Use bee balm plants for salads or mix them with other vegetables. Make a stress-relieving tea from the flower’s petals. Try it in salad dressings and sauces. add bee balm to breads, muffins, cookies, and muffins. Check online recipe sites for a plethora of recipes that use bee balm. Add a little bee balm to your favorite vinaigrette recipe and see what you think. Also, it is good in cocktails.

Also, you can make bee balm jelly for your bagels or muffins.

Bee Balm Medicinal Uses

Bee balm plants are both antimicrobial and soothing. They are used in a wide array of medicinal applications. Here are just some of them:

  • It helps to relieve bloating, indigestion, and nausea.
  • Additionally, it relieves flatulence.
  • Use it as a topical ointment to treat itches and rashes.
  • Use bee balm as an antimicrobial ointment to treat minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Internally, it helps to relieve anxiety and stress.
  • It is also known to treat coughs and as a decongestant.

Perennial Bee Balm Plant Propagation

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.

How to Grow Bee Balm Flower Plants

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.

Insects and Plant Disease

Insects and disease problems are not major problems. However, powdery mildew can be a problem in warm and humid weather

If problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

Also see: Plant Problems – causes and cures.

Related Articles

Also, people who read this article will like:

Deadheading Blooms – This gardening technique encourages many flowering plants to grow new or continuous blooms. And, it improves plant appearance.

Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.

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