Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bee Balm, Beebalm, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, Horsemint, Mountain Mint, Oswego Tea
Monarda didyma 'Violet Queen'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: didyma (DID-ee-muh) (Info)
Cultivar: Violet Queen

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By Clary
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Clary On Jan 11, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very bright true violet color.

Reliable performance, no mildew.

More kudos for this plant. It's established itself in a difficult shady spot near an outdoor work area. To prevent it from flopping as it stretches for sun I shear it nearly to the ground in April and by July it's low and lush again and flowering like crazy. Doesn't seem to need much water and never mildews even in PA's heat & humidity. I've actually never seen a yellow leaf on it and any time it gets bogged down from another plant laying on it or someone stepping on it, rather than wilt it just starts suckering like the mint that it is. However, it grows only moderately and is easy to pull out, so it's quite manageable. The flowers and leaves smell very nice. Hummingbirds love it too.

Even more praise for this plant: It's a delicious herb. Rather than lopping it off in the spring we are pinching it back & eating the herbal growth tips. The flavor is similar to oregano but more "green." We have been using this for cooking in April, before our oregano has started to attain growth and flavor. We also include it in medicinal herbal teas. According to wikipedia, monarda was valued by Native Americans for its flavor and medicinal qualities; it contains thymol, which is an antiseptic, and they used monarda leaves as a poultice as well.

Positive Moda127 On Apr 9, 2005, Moda127 from Morristown, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

Spreads quickly and is deer, rabbit, groundhog resistant

Positive CBernard On Oct 22, 2004, CBernard from Perris, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Has anyone in So California had success with this plant? I just planted three of them from out of state and I am eager to see if they will grow. Thanks, Chuck 7/11/2005 This plant is a pleasure to grow. Never needing trimming. It is just my first year growing these but I am already sold on them. The blooms are profuse and beautiful!! Thanks, Chuck

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

'Violet Queen' has a fuzzier foliage texture than most of my other monardas. It also stays in a well-behaved clump and doesn't need such frequent divsion. It's a mid-season bloomer with tubular, purple flowers. It's also a great choice for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

I thought I should add to this comment. I decided this past spring that 'Violet Queen' would soon be ousted from the garden and I'd try a new cultivar. She has since earned her keep. She blooms a later than other bee balms and she reatins the flowers for much longer. She was still going strong after all the other bee balms have quit. So to make a long story short...... she stays :)


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

Perris, California
Pinconning, Michigan
Morristown, New Jersey
Burlington, North Carolina
Bend, Oregon
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Charleston, West Virginia

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