Monarda Species, Lemon Mint, Lemon Balm, Horsemint, Bergamot, Lemon Bee Balm, Beebalm

Monarda citriodora

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: citriodora (sit-ree-oh-DOR-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Monarda aristata
Synonym:Monarda dispersa
Synonym:Monarda tenuiaristata
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Elk Grove, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Riverview, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Welaka, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Lewiston, Idaho

Itasca, Illinois

Decatur, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Milton, Massachusetts

Mathiston, Mississippi

Blair, Nebraska

Roswell, New Mexico

Hannibal, New York

Ithaca, New York

Rochester, New York

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Lone Wolf, Oklahoma

Spencer, Oklahoma

Friedens, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Laurens, South Carolina

Middleton, Tennessee

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(4 reports)

Boerne, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Fate, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Gladewater, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kingsland, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Leander, Texas

Lipan, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Paris, Texas

Princeton, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(5 reports)

Santo, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Temple, Texas

The Colony, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas

Woodway, Texas

Moab, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Wytheville, Virginia

North Sultan, Washington

Redmond, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Sultan, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 7, 2019, bobbymac29649 from Greenwood, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

If it goes by the name Bergamot, that explains a lot about the strong taste. That's what give Earl Grey tea it's flavor. You either love it or hate it. I love it!
I just received some seeds so I can't wait to plant in my bee / butterfly garden next year.


On Jul 3, 2015, jrlatham4567 from Boerne, TX wrote:

I am trying to save native horsemint seed from the Boerne, Texas area. I have collected several plant stems with brown flowers on them. I assume the extremely small black specks are the seeds. Is there a good way to collect them from the flowers?

Plant them in the Fall or Spring? I assume you firmly place them against open ground in the sun and water them with a mist? How long to sprout?

As you can tell I am not very knowledgeable about this one.



On Apr 16, 2014, mawkovin from Dewey Beach, DE wrote:

I hate to get all nit-picky about it but I am wondering why Monarda citriodora is not in the AHS Encyclopedia. Did they change the name to something else or is it just not considered good enough for a garden plant? Just wondering.


On Jul 2, 2012, ratlover1 from Rising Sun, IN wrote:

Easy to grow from seed (I purchased mine from Artistic Gardens).
Pretty plant, fairly fast growing.
I have made tea with it, with fresh leaves. The flavor is very strong, almost medicinal, it reminds me of thyme with a lemony twist. Not really what I was expecting, but definitely different. I will dry some and see if that is more tolerable.
Regardless of flavor, it will remain in my herb garden as a butterfly attractor and as eye candy!


On May 14, 2012, LongFrets from Lufkin, TX wrote:

Qualifies as a 60 mph plant for me (though we were only going 55, honest). Stopped and took pics of it on way back through, May 12, 2012. Great color and thriving right next to the pavement of a busy farm road. I should know this plant, as I often make roadside stops to investigate unfamiliar plants, but this one I had not seen and have lived in East Texas my entire life. Knew it had mint/monarda/bergamot characteristics, so found it fairly quickly on the Net. This particular plant seems to have better flower color and form than most pictures I've found for it. If I knew it would transplant alright I'd dig it up and move it rather than see it mowed down by the highway dept. Will definitely be adding this to our yard's landscape.


On Jul 30, 2010, damienstafford from Decatur, IN wrote:

Grew this plant from seed this year for the first time. Some growing in pots on my patio in organic potting soil and some growing in my flower bed behind my garage in plain garden soil that I have in my yard ( some clay in it but mostly good dark soil). Both doing well, however the one in the pot is much bigger. Potted one is in part shade, behind the garage is in full sun. I love the flowers of this plant and the scent of the leaves is wonderful. Planning on trying it as a tea since everything I have read says you can dry it and do so and I love trying new teas! All in all I say that this plant is a great one for having in the garden or on the patio. Bees and butterflies love it and it is very attractive!


On Mar 21, 2009, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant appeared in the ditches during our heavy 2007 rains but not since because of the drought. See the pic I uploaded.


On May 24, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lemon Mint, Lemon Balm, Purple Horsemint, Lemon Bee Balm, Beebalm Monarda citriodora is a lovely plant Native to Texas and other States.


On Mar 4, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Used by Native Americans as a tea. It also replaced tea during the time of the Boston Tea Party. Perennial in zones 5-9.


On Oct 5, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

My herb book relates that the leaves are very good in a tea and the the Hopi indians used it to flavor wild game. To bad its an annual, unlike most other Bergamots.

Very pretty and unusual flower. It did well dispite our record heat this year and recieved no water. But it did flop over and lay on the lawn in my very sandy soil. Still growing well, at a new angle. Pleasant scent. Tolerates shade well.


On Jul 18, 2006, carrielamont from Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant arrived as a volunteer in my 6a garden. It has grown very rapidly, although so far it's just taking all the empty space. It acts like a perennial, and now that I know it's an annual, I sure wish I had kept track of those flowers! It has a lovely fragrance, like monarda with a twist of lemon. The soil is haphazardly moist; I'm certainly not paying it any special attention. I'll find out how hardy it is come winter...


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

This plant is reported to be hardy to zone 6. It prefers a part-shade environment. It is in flower from July to August and the flowers are fragrant. The leaves can be used to make tea. This plant is very easy to grow and is not especially picky about soil types. Bees and butterflies love it.


On Jun 15, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native Texas wildflower. "Interesting" fragrance. Loves heat and dryness. This would be a good plant for xeriscape-ish gardens when you want more than just cactus and agaves.


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

An easy annual to direct seed in the garden or it can be started a few weeks early indoors. It's fragrant and a wonderful plant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.