Cottage Gardening forum: How to care for BeeBalm

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jul 20, 2016 10:28 AM CST
I planted some of this last spring, and this spring it got at least 3 ft tall and bloomed pretty. The only problem is I have found it to be very brittle and it snaps off even w a breeze. I am wondering if I can cut it back early spring to make it bushier and shorter instead of tall and thin and breaking off? I don't want to lose the blooms of course.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 21, 2016 7:06 PM CST
I've never tried cutting mine back. The bush has gotten thicker each year and has sustained some pretty bad windstorms this year. Maybe next year yours will be stronger. Mine is somewhat protected up against taller plants though. Maybe that's part of what keeps them safe.

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jul 22, 2016 7:28 AM CST
mine is just in the open mostly with no protection. If it isn't stronger next year I may dig it out, I'm really disappointed in this.I lost probably half of it due to breakage. Yours is pretty with the lilies together.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Jul 22, 2016 7:40 AM CST
I agree with Connie. The taller bee balms need other plants around them to provide a little support and shelter. In an exposed, windy situation you might have better luck with a dwarf cultivar.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jul 22, 2016 8:11 AM CST
ok, thanks, I didn't know there were dwarf ones, will have to look into that, I love the colors and it has bloomed all summer and the bumble bees love it, beetles left it alone too.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 22, 2016 4:47 PM CST
It's great for a hit of color from a distance. I love seeing it from my kitchen window, and this year I split the plant and put a piece in the front yard so that people walking by the house also get that nice hit of color amongst all the green where the peonies have finished blooming.
Name: Missy
SC (Zone 8a)
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Zazinnia
Jul 22, 2016 5:44 PM CST
I have a tall reddish colored type. It grows against a wall. In early spring, I put up a metal fence in front of it....nothing fancy, just the kind you find at any store. The fence keeps it from flopping everywhere and once it grows a bit, the fence is hidden.
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Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 22, 2016 6:22 PM CST
Missy, I use something similar for my delphiniums. I buy them at the Dollar Store. Mine are small wooden twigs tacked together like an accordion. I just spread it out along the Delphinium rows and, like you said, they fill in and then you can't see them, but they're in there keeping the narrow flimsy stalks from getting knocked over.
Name: Lori
Upstate NY (Zone 5b)
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LoriK
Aug 5, 2016 4:14 PM CST
I have some really tall bee balm. I planted it last fall and this year it got to about 4 feet and a little sparse, but the sphinx moths and hummers love it. I had a couple stems flop over from wind, but it has stayed pretty strong. I hope it fills out more next year.
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Peachtree City, GA (Zone 7b)
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thequeen770
Sep 5, 2016 3:38 PM CST
I'm creating a new front yard bed and have planted my Bee Balm in a five gallon pot then planted the pot to keep it from taking over the bed. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Sep 6, 2016 10:07 PM CST

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I agree with others' responses. Mine have done quite well inside a circle of evergreen trees. They've been in that spot for a decade or so and haven't blown over or spread out of bounds. They do indeed prefer sheltered areas and somewhat crowded conditions.

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Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
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SCButtercup
Sep 12, 2016 3:58 AM CST
Although I don't grow beebalm in pot I use that tactic with mint. Be sure to repot in early spring, that's what I do with the mint. Sometimes you have to clean out a bunch of ants, that's the only problem Ive had.

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