A spectacular sight in summer, award-winning Monarda 'Squaw' (Bee Balm) displays bright scarlet flowers, borne in dense, globular terminal heads, which rest upon a whorl of decorative, chocolate bracts that attract scores of butterflies and hummingbirds. This vibrant color is set off to perfection by the bright, fresh green of its leaves, which are delightfully fragrant and can be enjoyed in salads or simply by passing by.
Considered to be the best of the red monardas, 'Squaw' is significantly more resistant to powdery mildew than most older varieties.
- Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
- Blooming for weeks from mid summer to early fall, this showy perennial is a striking addition to informal borders, wildflower meadows and prairie plantings, or water edges. The boldness of its blooms makes it terrific for massing or as an accent plant.
- Makes excellent cut flowers too!
- Growing in clumps of upright stems, up to 3-4 ft tall (90-120 cm), clad with aromatic, mid green leaves, it performs best in full sun or partial shade. It is not too fussy about soils, provided they are consistently kept moist. Protect from excessive winter wet and do not allow to dry out in summer
- Providing good air circulation to combat powdery mildew is important
- Monarda flowers attract streams of butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial pollinators but this plant is deer and rabbit resistant.
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Fast growing, Monarda spreads vigorously and will need to be divided every 3 years.
- Should be cut to the ground after flowering to promote the growth of new healthy shoots and leaves.
One of the showiest summer-blooming perennials, Monarda are brilliant additions to late summer gardens. Monarda didyma (Bee Balm) and Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) are the most commonly cultivated of the 16 species native to North America. Monarda didyma produces scarlet-red flowers collared by red-tinged bracts, whereas Monarda fistulosa enjoys light lavender to pinkish-white flowers surrounded by bracts that are often tinted with pink. Both species have tall, sturdy stems and spreading habits. Many hybrid cultivars have been developed between these species, not only with the effect of widening the color range but also to improve their drought tolerance and disease resistance.