Monarda, also known as Bee Balm, Horsemint and Bergamot, is a colorful perennial that is native to North America. It caught the eyes of early settlers in the Colonial days and since then has been hybridized to include a great variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, making Bee Balm a must-have in any perennial garden.
The colorful, crown-shaped flowers of Bee Balm attract an array of Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and other pollinators to the garden in the summer months. Depending on the variety, the height of these beauties can range from 12” to 60” and they prefer full sun with plenty of moisture. We recommend making sure the stems have good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew. All varieties of Bee Balm are unattractive to deer and have a sweet fragrance, making them perfect both in the garden and cut for gorgeous summer bouquets.
Bee Balm leaves can be crushed up to make a spicy, fragrant essential oil. This essential oil smells like Bergamot Orange, which is why one of Bee Balm’s common names is Bergamot. The plants have also been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years, on a variety of different ailments.
There are over 50 known varieties of Bee Balm in circulation. We carry a large variety of Monarda, including the smaller and compact Fireball, the mildew-resistant Jacob Kline, the tall Marshall’s Delight, and many more.
What are your experiences growing Bee Balm in your garden? Please post in the comments below or on our Facebook Page. Happy Gardening!