Monarda, Bee Balm, Beebalm 'Cambridge Scarlet'


Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Cultivar: Cambridge Scarlet
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (dark red)

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By tip layering

Seed Collecting:

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


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Little Rock, Arkansas

Denver, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Downers Grove, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Evansville, Indiana

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

Sandwich, Massachusetts

Mason, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Byhalia, Mississippi

Springfield, Missouri

Chester, New Jersey

Kirtland, New Mexico

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Cincinnati, Ohio

Hamilton, Ohio

Lima, Ohio

Tallmadge, Ohio

Northampton, Pennsylvania

Springfield, Virginia

Stafford, Virginia

Marinette, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 1, 2014, cottelpg from Hamilton, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Cambridge Scarlet Monarda puts on a splendid display in the middle border in early summer. Its bright red blooms are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. Two objections are frequently raised with respect to this cultivar. First, it is a bit thuggish. I have successfully controlled it into an area with a plastic barrier. Any runners that do escape are easily dealt with by my soil knife. Second, it is susceptible to powdery mildew. Until recently I had no solution for this. Then I discovered Neem Oil Spray. Early and frequently application has eliminated powdery mildew for me. With its beauty and ability to attract hummers, Cambridge Scarlet is a welcome addition to my border.


On Feb 13, 2013, albaughman from Evansville, IN wrote:

I planted 4 of these in a 6' diameter bed and they practically took over. apparently S. Indiana really agrees with them. I love the bees and hummingbirds that are drawn to them and the rest of the garden.


On May 29, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted mine as 5 little plants I bought off of someone on Craigslist back in 2008 and they spread like wild fire and are growing great as of 2011. My plants do get up to 4 feet tall and sometimes a little taller. I do dead head cutting about 8 inches down from the flower heads after the first set of blooms which are big and bright start fading and I get a second bloom. I have read some cut them down to the ground but I figured in my area it is not a long growing season and may never see the second blooms appear. The flowers on the second bloom are smaller then the first set but still look good. This spring I took a shovel back in April and sliced under the plants like you would kinda do for sod when they were about 2inches tall and moved some to different areas. When I planted them in t... read more


On Jul 6, 2006, flowerfarmer19 from Tallmadge, OH wrote:

This plant (bee-balm) has grown very well for me here in tallmadge Ohio (Northeast Ohio).zone 5-6


On Mar 3, 2005, thurbersmom from Springfield, MO wrote:

In Missouri, I grew this at our previous house in full afternoon sun and it spread like crazy. Easy to grow--I started mine (5) from bare-root mail-order plants that looked like dried twigs, but they all grew. I didn't realize that all you need is one to get started because they will spread quickly (as in possibly too quickly). The blooms were incredibly gorgeous, but the plants bloomed for a short time only and then the stems looked awful. A heavy rain would also topple the stems, even when blooming. So the plants looked great for a couple weeks in summer and terrible the rest of the year. If I grow them again, it will be at the back of the yard where they have room to spread and will provide a nice spot of color when seen from the house. I didn't deadhead, they might have bloomed ... read more


On Mar 30, 2004, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

I love the bee balm family. They produce some very striking and unusual flowers. It seems to thrive in Virginia's clay soil, but they do tend to be agressive growers. Mine are planted in a mass of Shasta Dasies, Black Eyed Susans and a False Sunflower. This is a rough neighborhood in which to grow, but their holding their own. They do seem to appreciate being out of full sun.


On Mar 27, 2004, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

The flowers are striking, but the foliage is prone to mildew and it spreads about 12" out in each direction each year. At least the roots are shallow and it's easy to pull. Definitely needs to be planted behind 3' tall plants that will hide the mildew and legginess. Thrives in clay soil and dappled shade.