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How to Grow Bee Balm Flowers

Perennial, Monarda Didyma

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.

Bee Balm plants grow 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 desk.

Other Names: Bergamot, Oswego Tea

Plant Height::  grows 1 to 2 feet. Dwarf varieties grow up to 10"

Plant Propagation:

Bee Balm are 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 seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" of garden soil. Give them plenty of room.

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

How to Grow Bee Balm Plants:

Low maintenance 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.

Insect and Disease:

Insects and disease problems are not a major problem. If problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.


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