Purple bee balm with no blooms - Knowledgebase Question

Montpelier, VT
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Question by EEICOORD
July 20, 2006
I was given a pot of purple bee balm last year, late in the season and I planted it. Last year when the

Answer from NGA
July 20, 2006
I'm not really sure what is happening with your bee balm. It may be a cultural problem or it might be weather related. In either case, I would prune it back a bit, both to encourage healthy new growth but also to encourage a second flush of bloom. Here's some general information on growing bee balm:
The Bee Balm plant, Monarda didyma, grows best in full sun but tolerates light shade, and will thrive in any moist soil that is rich in organic matter such as manure, compost, or leaf mold.

It grows from two to four feet tall depending on the variety, and will fit well into your herb garden or can be used for a perennial border planting.
Be sure to allow for good air circulation around the plants to prevent attacks from powdery mildew.

Like other members of the Mint Family, Bee Balm can become invasive, but you can keep your clump contained by dividing the roots in either spring or fall. The plant should be divided every 3 years to keep it tidy. Dig up the root clump in the early spring, discard the inner, older portion, and re-plant the new divisions 12 to 15 inches apart.

You can stimulate a second flowering in the same year by cutting the flowers right after they bloom.

In the fall, prune your Monarda plants to within an inch of the ground. For faster growth, fertilize in the spring with a good all purpose (10-10-10) liquid plant food.

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