Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lemon Mint, Lemon Balm, Purple Horsemint, Lemon Bee Balm, Beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: citriodora (sit-ree-oh-DOR-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Monarda citriodora subsp. citriodora

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

59 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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to view:

By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Monarda citriodora by poppysue

By poppysue
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By gramoz
Thumbnail #3 of Monarda citriodora by gramoz

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Thumbnail #4 of Monarda citriodora by gramoz

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #5 of Monarda citriodora by Jeff_Beck

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #6 of Monarda citriodora by Jeff_Beck

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #7 of Monarda citriodora by Wingnut

There are a total of 33 photos.
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8 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral mawkovin On Apr 16, 2014, mawkovin from Dewey Beach, DE wrote:

I hate to get all nit-picky about it but I am wondering why Monarda citriodora is not in the AHS Encyclopedia. Did they change the name to something else or is it just not considered good enough for a garden plant? Just wondering.

Positive ratlover1 On Jul 2, 2012, ratlover1 from Rising Sun, IN wrote:

Easy to grow from seed (I purchased mine from Artistic Gardens).
Pretty plant, fairly fast growing.
I have made tea with it, with fresh leaves. The flavor is very strong, almost medicinal, it reminds me of thyme with a lemony twist. Not really what I was expecting, but definitely different. I will dry some and see if that is more tolerable.
Regardless of flavor, it will remain in my herb garden as a butterfly attractor and as eye candy!

Positive LongFrets On May 14, 2012, LongFrets from Lufkin, TX wrote:

Qualifies as a 60 mph plant for me (though we were only going 55, honest). Stopped and took pics of it on way back through, May 12, 2012. Great color and thriving right next to the pavement of a busy farm road. I should know this plant, as I often make roadside stops to investigate unfamiliar plants, but this one I had not seen and have lived in East Texas my entire life. Knew it had mint/monarda/bergamot characteristics, so found it fairly quickly on the Net. This particular plant seems to have better flower color and form than most pictures I've found for it. If I knew it would transplant alright I'd dig it up and move it rather than see it mowed down by the highway dept. Will definitely be adding this to our yard's landscape.

Positive damienstafford On Jul 30, 2010, damienstafford from Decatur, IN wrote:

Grew this plant from seed this year for the first time. Some growing in pots on my patio in organic potting soil and some growing in my flower bed behind my garage in plain garden soil that I have in my yard ( some clay in it but mostly good dark soil). Both doing well, however the one in the pot is much bigger. Potted one is in part shade, behind the garage is in full sun. I love the flowers of this plant and the scent of the leaves is wonderful. Planning on trying it as a tea since everything I have read says you can dry it and do so and I love trying new teas! All in all I say that this plant is a great one for having in the garden or on the patio. Bees and butterflies love it and it is very attractive!

Positive eatmyplants On Mar 21, 2009, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant appeared in the ditches during our heavy 2007 rains but not since because of the drought. See the pic I uploaded.

Positive frostweed On May 24, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lemon Mint, Lemon Balm, Purple Horsemint, Lemon Bee Balm, Beebalm Monarda citriodora is a lovely plant Native to Texas and other States.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 4, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Used by Native Americans as a tea. It also replaced tea during the time of the Boston Tea Party. Perennial in zones 5-9.

Positive renwings On Oct 5, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

My herb book relates that the leaves are very good in a tea and the the Hopi indians used it to flavor wild game. To bad its an annual, unlike most other Bergamots.

Very pretty and unusual flower. It did well dispite our record heat this year and recieved no water. But it did flop over and lay on the lawn in my very sandy soil. Still growing well, at a new angle. Pleasant scent. Tolerates shade well.

Neutral carrielamont On Jul 18, 2006, carrielamont from Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant arrived as a volunteer in my 6a garden. It has grown very rapidly, although so far it's just taking all the empty space. It acts like a perennial, and now that I know it's an annual, I sure wish I had kept track of those flowers! It has a lovely fragrance, like monarda with a twist of lemon. The soil is haphazardly moist; I'm certainly not paying it any special attention. I'll find out how hardy it is come winter...

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 4, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is reported to be hardy to zone 6. It prefers a part-shade environment. It is in flower from July to August and the flowers are fragrant. The leaves can be used to make tea. This plant is very easy to grow and is not especially picky about soil types. Bees and butterflies love it.

Positive Wingnut On Jun 15, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native Texas wildflower. "Interesting" fragrance. Loves heat and dryness. This would be a good plant for xeriscape-ish gardens when you want more than just cactus and agaves.

Positive poppysue On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

An easy annual to direct seed in the garden or it can be started a few weeks early indoors. It's fragrant and a wonderful plant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Elk Grove, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Riverview, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Welaka, Florida
Lewiston, Idaho
Itasca, Illinois
Decatur, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Milton, Massachusetts
Mathiston, Mississippi
Blair, Nebraska
Roswell, New Mexico
Hannibal, New York
Ithaca, New York
Rochester, New York
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Lone Wolf, Oklahoma
Spencer, Oklahoma
Conway, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
Middleton, Tennessee
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (4 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Fate, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Gladewater, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kingsland, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Lipan, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Paris, Texas
Princeton, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (5 reports)
Santo, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Temple, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Woodway, Texas
Moab, Utah
Leesburg, Virginia
Wytheville, Virginia
North Sultan, Washington
Redmond, Washington
Seattle, Washington

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