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Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Wild Bergamot, American Wild Bergamot, Wild Bee Balm

Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamot, American Wild Bergamot, Wild Bee Balm, Lavender Monarda, Lavender Bee Balm, Lavender flowers
Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamot, American Wild Bergamot, Wild Bee Balm, Lavender Monarda, Lavender Bee Balm, Lavender flowers

Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) is a clump-forming perennial boasting masses of fragrant, lilac-purple, tubular flowers, borne in dense, globular terminal heads, 2-3 in. across (5-7 cm). Blooming for weeks from mid-summer to early fall, they rest upon a whorl of decorative whitish bracts. The colorful and nectar-rich blooms ensure that butterflies and hummingbirds are regular visitors to the garden. The foliage of deep green aromatic leaves may be used to flavor teas. Less showy than the blossoms or Monarda didyma, Wild Bergamot is best suited to wild gardens, prairies, and meadows.

  • Grows in clumps of upright stems, up to 2-4 ft tall (60-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Tends to self-seed. Will expand into colonies from shallow vigorous rhizomes.
  • Performs best in full sun or partial shade in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil. It is not too fussy about soils and tolerates poor soils. Heat and drought tolerant.
  • This showy perennial is a striking addition to prairies and meadows.
  • Monarda flowers attract streams of butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial pollinators, but this plant is deer and rabbit resistant.
  • The essential oils of Wild Bergamot show good repellent activity against the yellow fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti. Find 18 best plants that repel mosquitoes.
  • This species is prone to powdery mildew, especially during rainy weather. Providing good air circulation to combat powdery mildew is important.
  • 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.
  • Native to most of North America

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Monarda
Common names Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Monarda media (Purple Bergamot)
Monarda ‘Blue Stocking’ (Bee Balm)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Bee Balm)
Monarda citriodora (Lemon Bee Balm)
Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ (Bee Balm)
Monarda bradburiana (Eastern Bee Balm)

Recommended Companion Plants

Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Coreopsis (Tickseed)
Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-Eyed Susan)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

How to Create an Enchanting Butterfly Garden
For the Love of Butterflies: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
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How to Cultivate a Thriving Bee-Friendly Garden
Hummingbird
Monarda (Bee Balm)
Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Monarda
Common names Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Monarda (Bee Balm)
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Monarda (Bee Balm)
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