Melinda Myers offers advice for the care of this summer-blooming favorite.
Plant Monarda if you want to see hummingbirds and butterflies in your garden.
Bring in the birds, bees and butterflies throughout the summer with bee balm. This long blooming low maintenance perennial combines nicely with ornamental grasses and other perennials.
Both the native and cultivated bee balms are pollinator favorites. The showy pink, red, lavender or purple flowers are great in the garden or added to a summer bouquet. Include them to your herb, meadow, perennial or natural garden. Place them in a location where you can easily view the flowers and pollinators they attract.
Grow bee balm in full sun to light shade in moist well-drained soil. Give the plants plenty of room. In early spring remove any unwanted seedlings. Move some to another spot in the landscape or add them to the compost pile. The fragrant foliage provides a bit of aromatherapy as you cleanup and prepare the garden for spring.
- Avoid problems by selecting powdery mildew resistant varieties. Choose a disease resistant variety with the flower color and size that best fits your landscape design.
- Extend your enjoyment with a bit of deadheading. Remove the flowers as they fade to encourage more blooms for a longer season of beauty.
- So make room on your shopping cart and in your garden for a few of these low maintenance beauties that you and the pollinators will enjoy.
Bee Balm (Monarda) at a Glance
Name: Bee Balm (Monarda)
Size: 10 to 48 inches tall and 18 to 36 inches wide, depending on variety
Light: Full sun to light shade
Water: Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist.
Fertilizer: Spread a 1” layer of compost over the soil surface every other year. Fertilize in spring with a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer if plants need a nutrient boost.
Soil: Moist well-drained soil. Add organic matter to clay soil to improve drainage while maintaining soil moisture.
Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!