Bee balm is a cute perennial that’s also an herb, native to North America.
Useful to all for its many medicinal properties (Monarda) and cooking flavor, it’s also a very ornamental plant.
Key facts to remember
Name – Monarda
Family – Lamiaceae
Type – perennial
Height – 32 to 48 inches (80 to 120 cm)
Exposure – full sun and part sun
Soil – ordinary
Flowering – June to September
Planting bee balm
- Bee balm loves sun-filled spots.
- Soil must be moist and rich enough for the blooming to be truly noteworthy.
- Bee balm tends to turn invasive, so it’s best to plant it somewhere where it’s easy to keep it under control.
- You can also give it an extra boost with amendments such as manure and seaweed, a few handfuls at the bottom of the planting hole.
Propagate beebalm through clump division in spring, or through cuttings.
Pruning and caring for bee balm
During the blooming, you can deadhead your flowers as they fade away, to trigger more blooming and new flowers.
If your beebalm shows signs of a whitish powder on its leaves, it’s surely due to a disease called powdery mildew.
- Here is how to treat against powdery mildew on beebalm.
Uses of bee balm
It has a great many uses in cooking and in treating benign ailments: simply as an infusion for a flavorful tea party; and the flowers are edible in a tossed salad for instance.
It has therapeutic properties regarding cough and sore throat.
Note that dried beebalm flowers and leaves are often used in pot-pourri, where they release their citrus-y fragrance for a long time.
To prepare the dried flowers, just cut the blossoms when they just open, early morning, and hang the stems upside-down in a well-ventilated shed (no direct sun).
Smart tip about bee balm
Cocoa hull mulch is particularly well suited for mulch thanks to its fertilizing properties.