Alphabetical Plant Listing

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Bee Balm)

Scarlet Beebalm, Oswego Tea, Red Bergamot, Bergamot, Bee Balm, Bee Balm Tea Plant, Fragrant Balm, Hare Mint, Indian Feathers, Indian Plume, Lad's Love, Low Balm, Mountain Mint, Robin-Run-Around, Rose Balm, Sweet Bergamot, Monarda kalmiana, Monarda coccinea, Monarda oswegoensis


Prized for its bright flowers and minty fragrance, Monarda didyma (Scarlet Bee Balm) is a clump-forming perennial boasting 2-lipped scarlet-red flowers, borne in dense, globular terminal heads, 3-4 in. across (7-10 cm). Blooming for about 8 weeks in late spring to mid fall, they rest upon a whorl of decorative red-tinged bracts and attract scores of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Their vibrant color is set off to perfection by the lance-shaped, deep green leaves, 3-6 in. long (7-15 cm), which are delightfully fragrant and can be enjoyed in salads or simply by passing by. Native to eastern North America, this sturdy perennial wildflower occurs naturally in bottomlands, thickets, moist woods and along streambanks. Very showy, Scarlet Bee Balm provides long-lasting color for the perennial border, cottage garden, prairie or meadow, herb garden or along ponds or streams.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Will spread by rhizomes and self-seeding to form colonies.
  • Performs best in full sun in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Appreciates afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Protect from excessive winter wet and do not allow to dry out in summer. Providing good air circulation to combat powdery mildew is important.
  • This showy perennial is a striking addition to informal borders or prairies and meadows. The boldness of its blooms makes it terrific for massing or as an accent plant. Good cut flowers.
  • Monarda flowers attract streams of butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial pollinators but this plant is deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Keep an eye out for powdery mildew.
  • 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.
  • Propagate by seed or division in spring.
  • Native to North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Monarda - Bee Balms
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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123rf, Vahan Abrahamyan, Shutterstock

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 4 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Monarda - Bee Balms
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Monarda - Bee Balms

Guides with Monarda - Bee Balms

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