Bee Balm, Beebalm, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, Horsemint, Mountain Mint, Oswego Tea 'Violet Queen'

Monarda didyma

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




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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

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

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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:

Perris, California

Pinconning, Michigan

Morristown, New Jersey

Burlington, North Carolina

Bend, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Charleston, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 11, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very bright true violet color.

Reliable performance, no mildew.

More kudos for this plant. It's established itself in a difficult shady spot near an outdoor work area. To prevent it from flopping as it stretches for sun I shear it nearly to the ground in April and by July it's low and lush again and flowering like crazy. Doesn't seem to need much water and never mildews even in PA's heat & humidity. I've actually never seen a yellow leaf on it and any time it gets bogged down from another plant laying on it or someone stepping on it, rather than wilt it just starts suckering like the mint that it is. However, it grows only moderately and is easy to pull out, so it's quite manageable. The flowers and leaves smell very nice. Hummingbirds love it ... read more


On Apr 9, 2005, Moda127 from Morristown, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

Spreads quickly and is deer, rabbit, groundhog resistant


On Oct 22, 2004, CBernard from Perris, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Has anyone in So California had success with this plant? I just planted three of them from out of state and I am eager to see if they will grow. Thanks, Chuck 7/11/2005 This plant is a pleasure to grow. Never needing trimming. It is just my first year growing these but I am already sold on them. The blooms are profuse and beautiful!! Thanks, Chuck


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

'Violet Queen' has a fuzzier foliage texture than most of my other monardas. It also stays in a well-behaved clump and doesn't need such frequent divsion. It's a mid-season bloomer with tubular, purple flowers. It's also a great choice for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

I thought I should add to this comment. I decided this past spring that 'Violet Queen' would soon be ousted from the garden and I'd try a new cultivar. She has since earned her keep. She blooms a later than other bee balms and she reatins the flowers for much longer. She was still going strong after all the other bee balms have quit. So to make a long story short...... she stays :)