Monarda, Bee Balm, Beebalm, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, Horsemint, Mountain Mint, Oswego Tea 'Marshall's Delight'

Monarda didyma

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: didyma (DID-ee-muh) (Info)
Cultivar: Marshall's Delight




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


24-36 in. (60-90 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



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

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

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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


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

Winsted, Connecticut

Alpharetta, Georgia

Itasca, Illinois

Naperville, Illinois

New Paris, Indiana

Solsberry, Indiana

Ames, Iowa

Princeton, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Gonzales, Louisiana

Brookeville, Maryland

Milton, Massachusetts

Pembroke, Massachusetts

Pinconning, Michigan

Andover, Minnesota

Anoka, Minnesota

Buffalo, Minnesota

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Penn Yan, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Plain City, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Baker City, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Mill City, Oregon

Walterville, Oregon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Hartford, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Waterloo, Wisconsin

Watertown, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 30, 2010, gary1173 from Sugar Land, TX wrote:

I planted three of these in my garden last year. Vigorous, bright pink flowers occurring in late spring, and dead-heading them caused a second blooming in August. This year, the one I had planted in part shade is small and looks like it is struggling, but the two in full sun are doing great. I'll probably need to divide them this year, they're starting to take up valuable real estate in my back yard. I love the unique scent which comes from both the flowers and the foliage, and so do the butterflies and hummingbirds!


On Sep 27, 2008, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grew these [Marshall's Delight] by WS method the winter of `07
They bloomed second year, [summer of '08] and they are taller than i had anticipated, so time to move them.

I have yet to find any seeds on them though.

They are very pretty when in bloom, but sort of ratty looking afterward. I've cut half of them back ... and I have found they are more drought tolerant than stated. I have them where i can't water, so they only get what 'mom nature' gives them.


On Apr 18, 2008, KaylyRed from Watertown, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Last summer I purchased a pot of 'Marshall's Delight' at the local nursery. It was scraggly and half dead and probably a week away from the compost heap. Since it was clearance priced, I decided to try to rescue it. It looked quite ratty and sad in the garden so I pruned it back to about 6 inches, kept it watered, and left it alone.

This spring those three twiggy stems have put out dozens of babies via runners. I'm going to have to thin them out to prevent powdery mildew. Not only did the plant survive, but it's spreading quite happily. I'm looking forward to plenty of monarda in my garden this summer.

So far, two green thumbs up for this sturdy and prolific little fellow. I would've never in a million years thought it would survive.


On Jan 11, 2008, DATURA12 from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

It will be one full season this spring coming that this plant has been in the ground and what a disappointment. I have about a dozen of these and all of them had powdery mildew. They also do not like to be pruned, when I deadheaded the head of the only bloom, the whole stem of the plant died. I see now that if I prune it I will have to take the stem down to the crown because it will just die if I don't. The plant does smell really great though and is really spreading well. I will give it one full season, if it doesn't perform off to the compost pile it goes.......


On Jul 13, 2007, jt0791 from Pembroke, MA wrote:

planted Marshalls delight this spring and it is doing wonderfully the bees and butterflies love this plant not problems with mildew so far


On Jul 14, 2005, SummerRain from Naperville, IL wrote:

I've had great success with this plant in my midwest garden. No powdery mildew and flowers that the bees absolutely love. The flowers are a clear bright pink that bloom from June to mid-July and I usually get a smaller, secondary rebloom.


On May 20, 2004, lightningbug from Buffalo, MN wrote:

Zone 3 friends report that this plant has done wonders in thier gardens. I will purchase my first Marshall's Delight this year. I have however tried Blue Stockings and I'm very disappointed due to it being a great home for mildew. I hope Marshall's Delight pulls me out of the disappointment of Blue Stockings and makes my flying critters happy this summer.


On Mar 25, 2004, juliacamille wrote:

I planted Marshall's Delight last year some time. It was over 12" tall at the time but lost it's height with the change of season. What it looks like now is a low growing very invasive plant. I'm curious to know if this is really Bee Balm and not an intruder and that it will grow taller as the season grows. It has done a great job spreading underneath and I'll wait to see if it blooms and has the right charachteristics of Bee Balm so I'm really just curious about it.


On Jul 16, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

(My garden's in the Mid-Atlantic) Bright fuschia/magenta flowers that stand above fuzzy, greysih/green foliage. Grows about two feet tall. Very tolerant of a variety of conditions. Very easy to grow. Its least favorite thing is probably drought. Slightly invasive, don't plant next to shy perennials. No mildew on mine ever. No bugs or diseases and pests. Supposed to have a "Bergamot" smell and flavor, but I've noticed very little. Bees and butterflies LOVE it. Great garden plant!


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

'Marshall's Delight' is a cheery, bright, pink cultivar reported to be mildew resistant. I've had it several years in my garden and it's done wonderfully. It makes a large clump and the hummingbirds love it. I divide it every few years to keep it from invading its neighbors and to keep the clump vigorous. I've managed to collect a few seeds from this cultivar but I wouldn't count on it coming true from seeds. I suspect a paler pink bee balm that popped up in my garden is a self-sown seedling from it.