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PlantFiles: Bee Balm, Beebalm
Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Cultivar: Cambridge Scarlet

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

24 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 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)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
By tip layering

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

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive cottelpg On Jul 1, 2014, cottelpg from Hamilton, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Cambridge Scarlet Monarda puts on a splendid display in the middle border in early summer. Its bright red blooms are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. Two objections are frequently raised with respect to this cultivar. First, it is a bit thuggish. I have successfully controlled it into an area with a plastic barrier. Any runners that do escape are easily dealt with by my soil knife. Second, it is susceptible to powdery mildew. Until recently I had no solution for this. Then I discovered Neem Oil Spray. Early and frequently application has eliminated powdery mildew for me. With its beauty and ability to attract hummers, Cambridge Scarlet is a welcome addition to my border.

Positive albaughman On Feb 13, 2013, albaughman from Evansville, IN wrote:

I planted 4 of these in a 6' diameter bed and they practically took over. apparently S. Indiana really agrees with them. I love the bees and hummingbirds that are drawn to them and the rest of the garden.

Positive Bazuhi On May 29, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted mine as 5 little plants I bought off of someone on Craigslist back in 2008 and they spread like wild fire and are growing great as of 2011. My plants do get up to 4 feet tall and sometimes a little taller. I do dead head cutting about 8 inches down from the flower heads after the first set of blooms which are big and bright start fading and I get a second bloom. I have read some cut them down to the ground but I figured in my area it is not a long growing season and may never see the second blooms appear. The flowers on the second bloom are smaller then the first set but still look good. This spring I took a shovel back in April and sliced under the plants like you would kinda do for sod when they were about 2inches tall and moved some to different areas. When I planted them in the new area I just scrapped the soil down to the height of the chunk flopped them down pushed on the plant soil and they took hold and are doing well... no transplant shock at all... I have already given some away taking out the plants in areas I do not want them in.. I still have people wanting some but since they are getting bigger I am waiting for them to be ready to plant them with my scraping method which seems to work.. They do attract bees so beware where you plant them along with hummingbirds and the hummingbird moths... They can take over so you have to either keep at them from spreading or putting a barrier in.. I have been just yanking them out. Check out my photos

Positive flowerfarmer19 On Jul 6, 2006, flowerfarmer19 from Tallmadge, OH wrote:

This plant (bee-balm) has grown very well for me here in tallmadge Ohio (Northeast Ohio).zone 5-6

Neutral thurbersmom On Mar 3, 2005, thurbersmom from Springfield, MO wrote:

In Missouri, I grew this at our previous house in full afternoon sun and it spread like crazy. Easy to grow--I started mine (5) from bare-root mail-order plants that looked like dried twigs, but they all grew. I didn't realize that all you need is one to get started because they will spread quickly (as in possibly too quickly). The blooms were incredibly gorgeous, but the plants bloomed for a short time only and then the stems looked awful. A heavy rain would also topple the stems, even when blooming. So the plants looked great for a couple weeks in summer and terrible the rest of the year. If I grow them again, it will be at the back of the yard where they have room to spread and will provide a nice spot of color when seen from the house. I didn't deadhead, they might have bloomed longer if I did that? I never watered them either and they thrived.

Positive vagardener On Mar 30, 2004, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

I love the bee balm family. They produce some very striking and unusual flowers. It seems to thrive in Virginia's clay soil, but they do tend to be agressive growers. Mine are planted in a mass of Shasta Dasies, Black Eyed Susans and a False Sunflower. This is a rough neighborhood in which to grow, but their holding their own. They do seem to appreciate being out of full sun.

Neutral Ladyfern On Mar 27, 2004, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

The flowers are striking, but the foliage is prone to mildew and it spreads about 12" out in each direction each year. At least the roots are shallow and it's easy to pull. Definitely needs to be planted behind 3' tall plants that will hide the mildew and legginess. Thrives in clay soil and dappled shade.


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

Birmingham, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Little Rock, Arkansas
Loveland, Colorado
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Downers Grove, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Mason, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Byhalia, Mississippi
Springfield, Missouri
Chester, New Jersey
Kirtland, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hamilton, Ohio
Lima, Ohio
Tallmadge, Ohio
Northampton, Pennsylvania
Springfield, Virginia
Stafford, Virginia
Marinette, Wisconsin

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