Perennials forum: Do you cut down beebalm?

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 3, 2014 4:16 PM CST
Thumb of 2014-08-03/gardengus/b42cd1 Thumb of 2014-08-03/gardengus/410636
my large patches of beebalm are looking done , do you cut them down , or just deadhead?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Aug 3, 2014 4:23 PM CST
I generally leave them because the stems are hollow. But I find it hard not to because it can look really ratty.
Name: Peter
(Zone 9a)
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Cantillon
Aug 3, 2014 4:28 PM CST
Hi gardengus,

Some people leave the heads for winter display. In my experience though they are more prone to getting mildew. I don't think you can do them any harm cutting them to the ground, I may even do it myself this year. As you know, they are herbaceous perennials, so they die back to the ground anyway.

The theory is that the goodness goes into the roots if the leaves are left to die back naturally, but there is no corm, bulb or tuber with beebalm, so I don't know if that is relevant to this plant.

I would cut it back, don't think there is much risk.

Peter I tip my hat to you.






Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Aug 3, 2014 4:36 PM CST
I cut mine down just as soon as I can't stand it anymore. Hilarious! It always comes back each year thicker and more beautiful than the year before. I'd had misgivings at first, too, due to the hollow stems, but it doesn't seem to bother them at all. I, too, think that keeping the mildew from attacking spent plants by removing the stalk is more beneficial than anything else.
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 3, 2014 5:25 PM CST
Thanks all
I think I will cut it down , I am getting tired of the brown and it is starting to mildew.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
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jvdubb
Aug 3, 2014 6:00 PM CST
Hey, I'm going to cut mine down too then! Thanks
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Aug 3, 2014 6:10 PM CST

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After flowering I cut them down to about a foot tall or so tall to neaten things up a bit, then I cut them to the ground in Fall..
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Aug 3, 2014 6:22 PM CST
When they look ugly and the sight of them offends my eyes I cut them to the ground.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Aug 3, 2014 6:43 PM CST
I agree

Either way works. I've tried both ways, to the same effect. After all, in a good season I can cut and harvest my regular mints maybe 4 times, and it doesn't hurt them a bit either. Not much does. Hilarious!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens



caitlinsgarden
Aug 5, 2014 6:30 AM CST
This is interesting! I quit growing bee balm because of mildew. I could just try cutting it back if it gets icky and it will come back next year? Great news!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Aug 5, 2014 9:00 AM CST
Yes, they will return.

caitlinsgarden
Aug 6, 2014 8:52 AM CST
Maybe I will give them another chance!
Name: Peter
(Zone 9a)
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Cantillon
Aug 17, 2014 2:04 PM CST
Mine have mildew now, so I am cutting them down to about three inches.
Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
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Sheridragonfly
Sep 21, 2014 4:23 PM CST
I have never been able to grow bee balm because of the mildew
this year I bought a pot of just a mildew resistant one at Lowe's and
I have had no mildew at all..it is gorgeous and we had 104 heat index
a few days and high humidity all the time.average temps of upper 90's
in summer...

I watered mine more often this year and also put mulch cypress around it
but not touching the green of the plants..

I am just amazed..I do not know what next growing season will bring with this
bee balm..also it got half day of sun..morning sun is all..

Sheri/sheridragonfly
Thumb of 2014-09-21/Sheridragonfly/d66ba1


Thumb of 2014-09-21/Sheridragonfly/c124eb

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Sep 21, 2014 5:49 PM CST
I have also struggled with mildew on beebalm. This year I replaced 'Jacob's Cline' with 'Raspberry Wine' and so far no mildew. I just cleaned it out for winter and have left the seed heads standing. It is mostly done, but still being visited by bees, and doesn't have that rag-tag frosted gray look my prior plants always had. What variety do you have?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
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Sequoiadendron4
Oct 3, 2014 6:22 AM CST
Raspberry Wine gets mildew. If you don't have any spores in your soil, then you won't get mildew. Once you get it though, figure on getting it every year unless the mildew prone plants are removed. It's just cosmetic for most plants but some plants it can drastically reduce flowering.
Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
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Sheridragonfly
Oct 3, 2014 7:07 AM CST
I do not know the variety of my bee balm..
I wish I did..still no mildew on it and it is October
still green and growing well..
Mine is a wine color when it blooms yet pinkish.
Does this look like any particular variety?
thanks
sheri


Thumb of 2014-10-03/Sheridragonfly/144563

Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
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Sequoiadendron4
Oct 3, 2014 8:35 AM CST
One thing I've noticed about powdery mildew is that as soon as we hit any sort of drought, it starts it's onslaught. It's almost as if it waits until the plant is a little stressed and then BAM, it's on.

I also have a coreopsis (Zagreb) that gets PM every year after flowering. I think this is due to it being in too much shade but the PM doesn't do anything other than make it look ugly. I cut most of it down a few weeks ago as an experiment. I think it will come back fine though.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Oct 3, 2014 8:56 AM CST
Our Zagreb is in full sun and never gets PM but the monarda has been cut down already. It's just so ugly when it's attacked.
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Oct 15, 2014 9:01 AM CST
Cinda, I cut everything down including BB in the fall and take to our local compost site. I cut the BB flower heads off after blooming and everything else is removed in the fall.
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