Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) in the Bee Balms Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Herb/Forb
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun
Water Preferences:Mesic
Plant Height:3 feet or more
Plant Spread:2 to 3'
Flower Color:Red
Flower Time:Summer
Other: Deadhead flowers to prolong bloom period.
Uses:Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant:Bees
Propagation: Seeds:Self fertile
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Root
Stolons and runners

credit: Joe Schneid

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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Nov 16, 2011 1:57 AM

Monarda is native to eastern North America. It's endangered in some areas.

It is of the mint family, evidenced by its square stems and the strong scent of its leaves. The Native Americans at one time made tea from the dried leaves of Monarda didyma and shared it with the settlers, who went on to use it as a substitute when imported tea became scarce after the Boston Tea Party.

Some groups thought the tea effective in treating colds and sore throats while others steamed the plant and inhaled the fumes to clear sinuses.

The plant is not recommended for its medicinal use today, but the tea from the leaves is still popular in some areas.

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Posted by threegardeners (Brockville, Ontario, Canada - Zone 5a) on Jan 31, 2012 4:50 PM

The red Monarda didyma is the most prolific grower in my Zone 5 garden. It isn't prolific to the point of being invasive, but if left alone it will gladly fill a large area over a few years.
Super easy to rip out though because of its very shallow root system.
Transplants like a dream, yank out a hunk and barely shove it in some soil and it will grow.
Prefers full sun (Canada) but will grow nicely, although not as prolifically or as tall, in partial shade.
Not fussy about soil. My gardens are sandy.
Doesn't need any extra watering up here either although we do get rained on at least once a week.
Leaves will get mildew during years of high rainfalls or if the nights are too damp and cool. This can be alleviated by thinning the patch to allow airflow between the stems.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 2, 2014 7:52 PM

According to NPIN, Monarda didyma has special value to native and bumble bees, and is attractive to hummingbirds.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihkOn May 9, 2015Transplanted
SeedforkOn April 11, 2012Obtained plant
Buds and Blossoms Nursery
flaflwrgrlOn October 10, 2014Potted up
flaflwrgrlOn October 7, 2014Obtained plant
Rec'd division in trade.
thequeen770On March 10, 2017Plant emerged
New growth showing in entire pot ( which is still planted in the front flowerbed
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread TitleLast ReplyReplies
Humming Bird by prabhisettyNov 5, 2016 6:18 PM2
Bee Balm by NolaZ1Jul 1, 2017 12:22 PM2
pollinator plants by TrishJun 22, 2017 2:44 PM7
What Are You Getting In 2017? by MarilynAug 13, 2017 4:47 PM38
Monarda didyma 'Pardon My Pink' by UrbanWildJan 29, 2017 7:53 AM2
Can you identify these? by LouisegAug 3, 2016 9:38 AM10
Bee Balm flower within a flower by torybirchJul 13, 2016 12:43 PM4
Plant ID for a friend please by Nhra_20Jul 3, 2016 2:20 PM2
Plant ID - Rhode Island by birthdaysuitJun 28, 2016 10:53 PM4
A Shady Spot by ChillybeanAug 24, 2015 6:31 PM17
Good morning, Plant Tips by bltgirl1Aug 4, 2015 8:02 PM5

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