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Avatar for JimmothySunderstone
May 4, 2020 1:18 PM CST
Mobile, Alabama
Hello, everyone.
First time posting. I have a question about my Bee Balm. I've planted quite a few of them in my pollinator garden in the hopes of attracting more butterflies. Unfortunately, some of my Bee Balm plants are changing colour. The healthy onces are green-topped leaves , with a purplish underside, whereas the odd ones' leaves are changing fully to a purplish (almost bronze colour). I bought them from Lowes (Burpee variety) so their tag just said "Bee Balm" without a scientific name or cultiver. The picture did have a light white-purple colour to the flowers, though.
>If it helps in any identification problems, my soil is a red clay (ultisol) with much mulch/manure additions, so it's not so thick, plus it's topped with a bark mulch.
>My zone is 8b (Mobile, Alabama), so disgustingly hot and humid.
>My yard is on a creek, so heavy rains cause some floods, but not quite where the problem Bee Balms are located (though the soil is consistantly moist).
This has happened once before with a Rudbeckia plant, wherein the leaves changed to a purplish colour, but it bounced back into a green in about two weeks, whereas the Bee Balms have been slowly transitioning over the course of the last couple of months (and has never happened to any other plants nearby).
I appreciate any help ya'll are willing to give, any spitballing ideas of what could be wrong with them. Thank you for your time.

-Jimmothy, a flower guy
Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 5, 2020 2:10 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
The clay soil has a high pH and so the phosphorus is lock out when the pH rises above 7 turning the plants stem and even leaves purple. Using tap water will raise the pH a little too. Take a hand cultivator remove the mulch and aerate the soil a couple of inches around the plants. You amendments you added will fix the problem, but it will be very slow and take time to work. So be patient they will get better.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
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