The scarlet blooms look like bursts of fireworks in the sky. Bees love it. Hence the name Bee balm.
Bee Balm grows in a isolated part of my garden. It is what I call a ‘runner’. It spreads rapidly in moist soils. I planted in garden bed with barriers of cobblestones and cement. 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 doesn’t take over. The periodic summer droughts of Philadelphia also keep it in check.
How to Grow Monard Didyma
It is easy to grow from seed and easy to divide. The plant will spread and take over less vigorous plants when plant in its ideal habitat, moist soil. The plant is 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 Quick Facts
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: Monarda didyma 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 re-bloom
Bloom color: scarlet; cultivars of different colors have been breed