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
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: Normally 2 to 3 feet in height but may grow to 6 feet.
Plant Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fragrant
Fruit: Other: Tan to brown pods.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: Deadhead flowers to prolong bloom period.
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Needs specific temperature: 60ºF - 70ºF.
Days to germinate: 2 to 4 weeks.
Depth to plant seed: Shallowly sow, lightly covering with a thin layer of soil.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Root
Division
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Bees

credit: Joe Schneid

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Comments:
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
piksihk On June 4, 2018 Bloomed
HW finally blooms
piksihk On May 9, 2015 Transplanted
Seedfork On April 11, 2012 Obtained plant
Buds and Blossoms Nursery
flaflwrgrl On October 10, 2014 Potted up
flaflwrgrl On October 7, 2014 Obtained plant
Rec'd division in trade.
thequeen770 On March 10, 2017 Plant 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 Title Last Reply Replies
Humming Bird by prabhisetty Nov 5, 2016 6:18 PM 2
Need help to identify species (if possible, Binomial name) 23 by NightCrow Jan 15, 2019 9:49 AM 1
ID this perennial that I found in the back field! by Regulator Jul 21, 2018 7:02 PM 2
Floral Alphabet Soup! Mmmmmm! M! by KatEnns Mar 12, 2018 11:58 AM 18
Bee Balm by NolaZ1 Jul 1, 2017 12:22 PM 2
What Are You Getting In 2017? by Marilyn Aug 13, 2017 4:47 PM 38
Monarda didyma 'Pardon My Pink' by UrbanWild Jan 29, 2017 7:53 AM 2
Can you identify these? by Louiseg Aug 3, 2016 9:38 AM 10
Bee Balm flower within a flower by torybirch Jul 13, 2016 12:43 PM 4
Plant ID for a friend please by Nhra_20 Jul 3, 2016 2:20 PM 2

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