Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Common name: Bee Balm, Scarlet Bee Balm, Oswego Tea, Bergamot

Scientific name: Monarda didyma

Family name: Mint (Lamiaceae)

Attracts: Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds sip the nectar’ Fritillary butterflies are particularly draw to the nectar.

Native range: This plant is found in upland woods, thickets, and prairies from Quebec to Manitoba and British Columbia south to Georgia, Louisiana, and Arizona.

Habitat: moist soil, moist open upland woods, thickets, and meadows, stream banks, mountains to 6500 feet

Height: 36 to 48 inches tall

Light needed: partial sun to partial shade

Hardiness zones: 3 to 9

Bloom period: from June to September, deadhead to rebloom

Bloom color: scarlet;  cultivars of different colors have been breed

Growing Tips: easy to grow from seed; easy to divide; plant will spread and take over less vigorous plants when plant in its’ ideal habitat – moist soil. Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Plant seedlings in a sunny, weed-free well-drained soil, one and one-half to two feet apart. Water, until rains come.

Once established Bee balm still benefits from extra watering during dry summers.

Bee balm in my garden.

Description:  The scarlet blooms look like bursts of fireworks in the sky. If you plant this plant in moist soil except it to run and take over the area. I have it planted in dry soil and it does’t take over. The periodic summer droughts of Philadelphia also keep it in check.


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