Height: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm) 15-18 in. (38-45 cm) 18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink Rose/Mauve Magenta (Pink-Purple) Red Scarlet (Dark Red) Violet/Lavender Purple White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous Aromatic
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
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: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On May 31, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:
I inherited a patch of these with the house. They are in a half sunny spot, clay loam, watered semi-regularly, fertilized with slow release organic fertilizer once a spring. I do not know the cultivar, but they are bright crimson-red, bloom all July and August, and do not get mildew. They are vigorous and spreading. I have divided them once, which they seemed to like.
A hummingbird favorite.
On May 1, 2009, beansandpenney from Orchard Park, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
We have a beach house, and I threw this into the little garden up there, along with some coneflower. The soil is sandy up there, and I can only take care of that garden on the weekends. Well, both plants went NUTS, it was a jungle, and heaven for the bees, butterflies and hummers!! Everyone loved watching the show. I recommend this plant with the coneflower. I am going to start it at my real house where I have coneflower, along with phlox and russian sage. Should smell wonderful and bring more friends...
The monarda did get mildewy, even with the nice lake-air circulation...but I decided it was worth it for the fragrance and the butterfly/hummer attraction...
On Aug 2, 2008, RosemaryA from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:
Bought a small plant, about 1 foot high, in May or June. By July it was 4 feet tall and covered with long-lasting, big red flowers! The supermarket where I bought mine was marketing it as a "very easy perennial", and it definitely is very easy in my garden!
On Nov 17, 2007, kd2000 from toronto Canada wrote:
Despite having purchased numerous specimens of this plant and placing in different areas of the garden I find they all eventually become plagued with powdery mildew. They do spread well for me in Zone 4/5, and flower profusely the first year when small 3" pot plants are purchased in the spring.
On Nov 1, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Monarda - Bergamot, Horsemint
This is a genus of 15 species of perennials or annuals from North America with green, sometimes purple-tinged, veined, aromatic leaves. They are much loved by bees and are used for flavoring teas and in poppourris, as well as for their ornamental value, flower color and scent. Plants can be single stemmed or sparsely branching, and bear 2-lipped, tubular flowers from mid-summer to early fall.
Cultivation: They are very frost-hardy plants best planted in full sun although some shade is acceptable. They must be well-drained; in fact the annual species do best on sandy soil. The perennials are happy in moist soil and in some climates like a good feed of manure or compost. Annuals are sown directly into their permanent spot, and perennials are usually grown by division of established clumps.
Monarda didyma - Bee Balm, Oswego Tea
This herb was used by the American Indians and early colonists as a tea. With its spidery white, pink or red flowers borne in late summer, it is one of the showiest of the culinary herbs. The young leaves may be used in salads or as a soothing tea; they can also be used as a stuffing for roast meat. The species grows 3' or more tall. 'Aquarius' has deep, purple-lilac flowers with purplish green bracts. 'Cambridge Scarlet' is a vigorous perennial to 3' with dark green, slightly toothed leaves that when crushed or brushed against emit an exotic, citrus-like scent. 'Croftway Pink' grows to 30" tall and has rose-pink flowers from mid-summer to early fall.
On Jun 8, 2004, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've just discovered a wonderfully HUGE stand of wild Monarda Didyma in the field beside my house. I've had so much fun identifying the wild flowers in that field this year. (This is our first year living in this house) I could see that the bumblebees and butterflies loved them.
On May 11, 2004, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Mine might be considered invasive, but since I love them, I just pot up volunteers, move them to other areas, and give them away. Most people seem to be happy to receive any free plants, and I keep a three tier plant shelf full of anything that I have too much of and when people come over, tell them to help themselves to what they want. Bee balm is always popular.
On May 10, 2004, ZaksGarden from Winston Salem, NC wrote:
Bee Balm is one of my favorite perennials. I find it does best in sun, or partial sun, however this plant does prefer cosistent soil moisture. It grows about 30-36" tall, and you should space it atleast 18-24" apart. Its striking flowers that bloom in the summer attract butterflies, and even hummingbirds. You should also divide every 2-3 years to control spread.
On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
"Blue Stocking" is supposedly mildew resistant, but mine had mildew even worse than the "Cambridge Scarlet." And once it's mildewed, the whole plant looks bad. Needs to have something shorter planted in front to hide its bare legs. Cutting back the flowers as soon as they're spent prevents self seeding, gets rid of the ugly leaves, and encourages the plant to put out new flowers. It does really spread, but the roots are shallow, so the volunteers are easily dug up and moved. Different cultivars are different heights, so check to make sure you're getting one that fits your garden.
On Jul 19, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
(My garden's in the Mid-Atlantic). Cultivars with blossom colors from light pink to purple to fuschia to red. Blossoms stand above fuzzy, greysih/green foliage. Grows about 2 to 4 feet tall. Very easy to grow. Prefers richer, hummusy, somewhat acidic soils, but is tolerant of a variety of soils and conditions. Sun to part to light shade, but avoid scorching sun. Its least favorite thing is probably drought. It can sometimes get mildew in very humid weather, but don't be deterred from growing it for that reason, mildew warnings are greatly exaggerated. My plants have never had mildew. Slightly invasive, don't plant next to the shyest perennials. No bugs or pest problems or diseases. Supposed to have a "Bergamot" smell and flavor, but in the hybrids I've noticed very little. Bees, butterflies, AND hummingbirds LOVE it! Great garden plant!
On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:
Bee balm is one of favorites and a staple in my northern garden. It you're interetsted in attracting wildlife it's a must! When in full bloom the plants just hum with activity. I could sit and watch it for hours.
The foliage is extremely fragrant, and the plants become covered with their shaggy, tubular flowers in mid to late summer. Bee balm is a spreader and will make a clump 4 feet wide. Plants tend to die out from the center so it's best to divide it every few years to keep it vigorous. There are many cultivars available at the garden centers, and it comes in a wide range of colors. Choose one that claims to be mildew resistant and you shouldn't have any problems. It likes sun and adequate moisture but it doesn't seem to be too fussy about the conditions.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Kibler, Arkansas Merced, California Crawford, Colorado Denver, Colorado Stamford, Connecticut Townsend, Delaware Bartow, Florida Brandon, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Marietta, Georgia Boise, Idaho Fox River Grove, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Wilmette, Illinois Fishers, Indiana Fountaintown, Indiana Oak Park, Indiana Villisca, Iowa Lansing, Kansas Benton, Kentucky Prospect, Kentucky Litchfield, Maine Madison, Maine Berwyn Heights, Maryland Ellicott City, Maryland Laytonsville, Maryland Linthicum, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Upton, Massachusetts Mason, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Coates, Minnesota Hopkins, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Young America, Minnesota Scooba, Mississippi Walnut Grove, Missouri Camp Three, Montana Omaha, Nebraska Pinardville, New Hampshire North Plainfield, New Jersey Roswell, New Mexico Deposit, New York East Patchogue, New York Orchard Park, New York Penn Yan, New York Deep Gap, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Fayetteville, North Carolina Lake Toxaway, North Carolina Tobaccoville, North Carolina Winston-salem, North Carolina Belfield, North Dakota Page, North Dakota , Nova Scotia Blue Ash, Ohio Columbus, Ohio Madison, Ohio Pocola, Oklahoma Gresham, Oregon East Norriton, Pennsylvania Lewisburg, Pennsylvania Roscoe, Pennsylvania Manning, South Carolina Hendersonville, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Bellmead, Texas Belton, Texas Colleyville, Texas Dallas, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Houston, Texas (2 reports) Spring, Texas Sugar Land, Texas West Springfield, Virginia Seattle, Washington Sumner, Washington Cross Lanes, West Virginia Ellsworth, Wisconsin Marinette, Wisconsin Mondovi, Wisconsin Pulaski, Wisconsin Wittenberg, Wisconsin Atlantic City, Wyoming