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.