The Q&A Archives: Monarda Won't Bloom

Question: I planted Monarda "Violet Queen" in the spring of 1996. While they have multiplied,, they have not bloomed, and they've only grown to about 12 inches high. My soil has been amended with peat and top soil, and I mulch heavily to keep the ground moist. Any suggestions on getting this to bloom (besides a bloom starter, which I tried last summer, unsuccessfully)?

Answer: Monarda, or Bee Balm, usually blooms its head off all summer. Perhaps yours needs more direct sunshine than it's receiving. Try transplanting one of the plants to a sunnier area to see if it will form flower buds. Provide ample water, but no fertilizer. (Excess nitrogen will result in lots of green growth - sometimes at the expense of blossoms.) If the transplanted Monarda blooms, then you'll know you'll need to transplant the others to a sunnier spot.

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