Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

36 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


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:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Floridian
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There are a total of 27 photos.
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9 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral amallen 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.

Positive 1jbweaver 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

Positive guygee 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.

Positive Erutuon 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.

Positive ransom3 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.

Positive nanniepb 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.

Positive sallyg 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.

Positive artcons 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 still under the Sable palm. It turns out it doesn't get enough sun there. The one pictured is just about under the East border wall of my yard. A second plant was put in just about five feet away from the first plant as insurance. I have a third plant from cuttings on the North side of my pool fence. It's in full sun most of the day, but will loose the sun the fastest of the three, as the sun is already reached it's peak here for the year. Within the next month it will be out of the sun. I will be able to observe how the plant acts without sun after it has bloomed. All this is because I don't know how these plants act in the winter time. I remember how it looked when I got it.

This nursery it came from is on the North side of Naples. They have much colder winters there than we do here in Fort Lauderdale. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it's true. Tempratures drop 15 to 20 degrees lower than we get here in Fort Lauderdale. I am hoping the plant doesn't die back completely in winter but I don't know for sure.

Now that it has begun to bract up and flower, I have to admit the nursery owner was right. the bracts have a great light violet coloration and the small flowers peeking out from under the bracts have a lot of character. I quote from Floridata "The little corolla is tube shaped and bilaterally symmetrical with two lips, in typical mint fashion. The flower tubes are pale yellow with purple spots, less than an inch long, and protrude from the rounded heads. The leaves smell like fine Greek oregano."
Yep, that about describes it.
I am beginning to see butterfly action on and a lot of flying around, the flowers.
This plant is a Florida native.

Neutral smiln32 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."

Positive julie88 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.

Neutral Crimson 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.

Positive ButterflyGardnr 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.

Neutral Weezingreens 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 beachside plant. It is attractive to butterflies. In cultivation, it looks best in groupings. The dried bracts are used in dried floral arrangements and wreaths.


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
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
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

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