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Bee Balm

Monarda Didyma


Plant Type


Hardiness Zone

4 - 9

Flower Color


Bloom Period

Summer to Fall

Height at Maturity

1' - 3'

Width at Maturity


Sun Requirements

Full sun

Soil Type

Clay, organic, moisture retentive, medium-wet to wet

About this species:

Its name is derived from its odor, which is considered similar to that of the bergamot orange. Bee balm grows from 1 to 3 feet high with a 1-to-2-foot spread. This perennial spreads easily. The blooms are red on this native plant. You can prune it during the season to extend the period of bloom. The leaves on this plant are toothed and have a minty fragrance. Bee balm grows best in full sun to part shade.

Bee balm is susceptible to powdery mildew. Avoid watering from overhead to protect the plant. Rust is another problem for bee balm.

You can propagate this plant through division, leaf cuttings or seed.

Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to bee balm. It is also a larval host to some insects.

This plant is a natural source of the antiseptic Thymol, the primary ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. Bee balm is resistant to deer and rabbits.


Key to Label Symbols:

Hollow stems, leaves and roots are sources of shelter for wildlife. Insects may make a winter home under dropped leaves. Other animals may make shelters within the roots of the plant.
Food Source
Birds and other wildlife use the seeds, berries and leaves for their food source. Leaves may be used to help build nests for birds
Nectar Source
Bees, butterflies, birds and some insects use nectar for their food. Pollen is also used by some wildlife.
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