Horsemint, Spotted Beebalm, Bee Balm

Monarda punctata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: punctata (punk-TAH-tah) (Info)
Synonym:Monarda punctata subsp. punctata
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Pale Yellow


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall




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:


Propagation Methods:

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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:

Auburn, Alabama

Seale, Alabama

, American Samoa

Little Rock, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Apopka, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Bushnell, Florida

Deland, Florida (2 reports)

Deltona, Florida

Ellenton, Florida

Flagler Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Homosassa, Florida

Largo, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Satellite Beach, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Pacific Junction, Iowa

South Amana, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Buckfield, Maine

Cumberland, Maryland

Swansea, Massachusetts

Bay City, Michigan

Midland, Michigan

Mount Clemens, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)

Spring Grove, Minnesota

Leakesville, Mississippi

Oak Island, North Carolina

Newark, Ohio

Rush Springs, Oklahoma

Charleston, South Carolina

Hampton, South Carolina

Johns Island, South Carolina

Laurens, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Oneida, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Belton, Texas

Carrollton, Texas

Cedar Creek, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Paige, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Trenton, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Mc Lean, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Rosalia, Washington

Muscoda, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 22, 2014, amallen from Johns Island, SC wrote:

Planted this to attract butterflies. Chose lightest lavender to fit with garden color scheme but color was so light the flowers just looked dead from ten feet away. Plants grew well and foliage was strong and dense, two plus feet tall, even in high shade. No mildew problems despite Coastal SC high heat and humidity.
Am replacing with a stronger purple this year in hopes butterflies and hummingbirds will visit. If purple is not strong color then perhaps too much shade.


On Jul 13, 2013, 1jbweaver from Savannah, GA wrote:

I've read that horse mint is a great deterrent for Mosquitos and was wondering if this is true.

J from Savannah


On Mar 14, 2013, guygee from Satellite Beach, FL wrote:

I had this attractive plant in my front yard from a randomly strewn seed for two years. Anything to help the bees and other faithful pollinators, which seem to be scarcer each year from indiscriminate insecticide use. It is a subtle yet attractive flower for the garden.
I have been getting stingier with water this year so I am not sure if the plant will come back, It was on the east side of my yard exposed to salty winds and a lot of sun. I would like to get a few more of these going in a more sheltered location.


On Jun 7, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Last year (2010) I got seedlings of horsemint and angel's trumpet from a friend. The angel's trumpet grew huge and covered the horsemint, but it set seed, and this year there are lots of seedlings. Apparently it isn't a perennial in Minnesota, or else it was just too weak since it was shaded by the angel's trumpet. This year more plants will be in sun, so hopefully I'll find out.


On Apr 11, 2011, ransom3 from Zephyrhills, FL wrote:

If you like watching bees, then this plant will be fascinating.Winged hymenopterans of all kind are visitors to flowering horsemint.I mean all kinds. It is also pretty and requires minimum care. It will truly add some life, excitement and lots of buzz to your garden.


On Jul 23, 2009, nanniepb from Cumberland Mtns, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I received seeds marked 'Monarda punctata - Spotted bee balm from a seed swap on DG in the fall of 2008 and Wintersowed them in a milk jug around Feb. 15th, 2009. I didn't take the time to research what the plants would look like so I was pleasantly surprised when the plants started to bloom. I hope to save seeds and grow many more next year.


On Feb 3, 2007, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

grew this from seed from Park's in about 1995. Also saw lots of it wild in Calvert County at Flag Ponds, near the beach. An interesting unusual bloom.


On Jul 31, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I received this plant as a throw in when I purchased several others at a native plant nursery in Naples back in January. The plant looked so pathetic I don't think the owner felt right charging me for it. He did note I would be totally blown away when I saw it in full bloom.

I didn' t know what to expect so with caution the original plant went into the dirt under my Sable palm in January. Under this palm is the safest place in my yard for unknown plant behavior. Under the palm it received decent winter light which was coming in from the South. The plant grew just enough to provide me with cuttings to experiment with.
The cuttings I planted out in the yard with a different exposure for each plant. The cuttings have grown two or three times the size of the one... read more


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

From the Plants for a Future website: "Horse mint was traditionally taken by several native North American Indian tribes to treat nausea and vomiting, and to encourage perspiration during colds. It was also applied externally as a poultice to treat swellings and rheumatic pains. Nowadays it is used primarily to treat digestive and upper respiratory tract problems."


On Sep 14, 2004, julie88 from Muscoda, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

This is the first year that I took careful notice of this plant. It grows wild in the dry sand barrens of our zone 4b area. I was quite surprised when I looked closely enough at the plant to realize that it wasn't a dryed out stiff "left-over" of some prairie weed, but rather a plant with a very unique flower.


On Feb 2, 2003, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Did very poorly (zone 4) didn't like being with the Celosia, they grew much faster and swamped it... I want to try it again some day.


On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is one of the best plants there is for bringing in all types of pollinators (bees, butterflies, wasps, etc.) The plant can get leggy, but light prunings will keep it in bounds. At the end of the season, the dead stems should be cut back. It spreads readily by seed in the south. The longer stems of the plant will sometimes mat down and root, forming a rather large clump of the plant. The plant a very pleasant scent when brushed, crushed, or cut. The flowers are very unusual.


On Nov 12, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Mondara punctata is a herbaceous, semi-woody, rangy, shrub-like plant. The opposing leaves are lanceolate with a scent resembling oregano. Both the square stems and the leaves are hairy.

The flowers are approximately 3/4" in length, yellow with purple spots and have an arching upper lip. The small flowers are rendered insignificant by the showy pinkish lavender bracts from which they grow.

Mondara punctata is found throughout Eastern North America from Vermont to Minnesota, Eastern Texas & Mexico growing along roadsides, old meadows, woodland openings, and any area where the soil has been disturbed.

Though full sun is preferred, horsemint grows in semi-shaded areas, as well. It prefers sandy soil, and is salt tolerant, so it is an excellent be... read more