Alphabetical Plant Listing

Monarda citriodora (Lemon Bee Balm)

Lemon Beebalm, Purple Horsemint, Lemon Mint, Plains Horsemint, Lemon Horsemint, Horsemint, Purple Lemon Mint, Bergamot, Monarda dispersa, Monarda aristata, Monarda tenuiaristata


Monarda citriodora (Lemon Bee Balm) is a short-lived perennial, often grown as an annual or biennial, boasting showy clusters of scented, two-lipped, tubular, lavender to pink flowers resting upon white or lavender bracts. Blooming for weeks from late spring to mid summer, they are borne in tiered, globular clusters around the stem and attract scores of butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators to the garden. If watered, Lemon Bee Balm will continue flowering through the end of summer and even into fall. Each flowering stem usually carries between 2-6 flower clusters. Stiff and square, the stems are lined with pairs of narrow, toothed, lance-shaped leaves which release a citrus or lemony scent when rubbed or crushed. The leaves may be used raw or cooked for flavoring in salads and for tea. Long-blooming, easy to grow, low care, Lemon Bee Balm is best suited to perennial borders, naturalized areas, prairies and meadows.

  • Grows up to 12-30 in. tall (30-75 cm) and 9-12 in. wide (22-30 cm). Self-seeds freely to form large colonies. May become aggressive in optimum growing conditions.
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil. Protect from excessive winter wet and do not allow to dry out in summer. Drought tolerant.
  • This showy plant is a striking addition in cottage gardens, herb gardens, native plant gardens, prairies and meadows.
  • Monarda flowers attract streams of butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial pollinators, but this plant is deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Generally pest-free. Keep an eye out for powdery mildew.
  • Deadhead regularly, then cut stems down to the ground in the fall.
  • Propagate by seed or division. Spread the seed evenly and rake into loose topsoil in fall or early spring.
  • Native to central and southern United States, and northern Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Monarda - Bee Balms
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 9" – 1' (22cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Larry Smith (Flickr), Chanticleer Gardens

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Monarda - Bee Balms
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 9" – 1' (22cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Monarda - Bee Balms

Guides with Monarda - Bee Balms

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