The Q&A Archives: Beebalm Stunted

Question: In may of 1997, I planted a beebalm which was two feet tall. It bloomed beautifully that summer. In 1998, it grew to a height of only six inches and did not exceed that height. I carefully worked the soil around the plant and fed it twice monthly with KayGro (K-Mart) per instructions. I also kept it watered during the dry part of the summer. Do you have any suggestions? ps: I can understand the problem with the server. I have had similar problems, therefore, no need for an apology.

Answer: Thanks for your understanding re: our technical difficulties, and for reposting your question!

Beebalm (Mondarda) is usually a strong grower, and generally trouble-free, aside from being succeptible to powdery mildew. It sounds as though the crown of the plant suffered damage or disease during the winter/spring, perhaps from the fungus Pellicularia rolfsii. In general, fertilizer and excess moisture can make diseases worse. If your beebalm begins to grow poorly again this season, I suggest that you replace it with a healthy specimen that is certified disease free, and plant it in a different location. Hope it recovers!

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