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Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)


Light:

Sun to part shade

Flowering:

Early to mid summer

Soil:

Best in a consistently moist soil

Height:

30 to 36 inches

Color:

Red

Hardiness:

Zone 4

Uses:

Mixed beds. hummingbird and butterfly gardens

Care:

Divide every 2 to 3 years to prevent overcrowding and mildew. Forms large clumps in moist rich soil.

Native:

No

Comments:

Bee balms are hardy, aggressive plants with a pleasant fruity scent. They come in assorted shades pinks and reds being the most common and are 30 to 36 inches tall. The flowers, which appear from mid to late summer, form 2 to 3 inch whorls. It prefers a moist soil, rich in organic matter. It is very good for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.

This bee balm is somewhat prone to powdery mildew, which most often appears after flowering. Although unsightly, it rarely kills the plant. I simply cut back the affected foliage to improve appearance and minimize spreading. A fungicide can also be used. The plants can be very aggressive spreaders but are fairly easy to keep in check with a little shovel work. Space plants 24 to 30 inches apart.

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