Bee Balm

19 Sep

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), deciduous, vertical clumping growth to 3-4 feet in height with a  2-3 ft. spread, rounded mop-head clusters of scarlet, pink, lavender or white flowers bloom in summer, full sun, regular water, good cut flower, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, use leaves in tea.

Native to eastern North America. Bushy, leafy clumps grow 2 to 4 ft. high with an initial width of about 1 1/2 ft.; after that, they spread rapidly at edges but are not really invasive. Dark green, 4- to 6-in.-long leaves have a strong, pleasant odor like a blend of mint and basil. In summer, upright stems are topped by tight clusters of long-tubed flowers much visited by hummingbirds. Divide every 3 or 4 years. Not long lived in areas with warm winters and long, hot summers.

 Basic species has scarlet flowers surrounded by reddish bracts. All bloom over long period of 2 months or more when spent flowers are removed. Don’t let soil dry out.

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