Bee Balm, Beebalm, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, Horsemint, Mountain Mint, Oswego Tea 'Dark Ponticum'

Monarda didyma

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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 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


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

Prattville, Alabama

Livonia, Michigan

Jordan, New York

Spokane, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 5, 2010, akilgore42 from Spokane, WA wrote:

Positives: Pretty purple flowers, bergamot scented leaves that can be used for tea, very easy to grow

Negatives: Invasive, since they spread through the root. I planted 2 small plants several feet apart, and 2 years later they have completely taken over that entire area of the garden. They look kind of straggly as they grow taller. (I recommend planting them at the back of the border so other plants will hide the stems.) And mine are susceptible to powdery mildew, possibly due to over watering and/or poor circulation, which is hard to avoid when they grow so prolifically in a full sun garden with plants that need lots of water. I have tried them in other areas of the garden, but the powdery mildew develops there too. Some varieties are supposed to be more mildew resista... read more