Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Grow Bee Balm Flowers for Late Summer Blooms

The Bee Balm flower a native perennial in North America is commonly called horsemint, Monarda and wild bergamot. This plant is in the mint family and has a unique white, pink, purple or red flower that blooms in mid to late summer.

Here is a greeting card that I created from a
 photograph of a red bee balm flower.

Red Bee Balm Garden Flower Blank Inside Photograph Card

The entire bee balm plant is very fragrant, the leaves, stems, and flowers have a mint/oregano aroma. So if you enjoy fragrant flowers then I would recommend that you grow bee balm close to your outdoor living space.

I have red and purple bee balm growing close to my garden path and flagstone patio. Butterflies and hummingbirds find the bee balm to be attractive and we enjoy watching the wildlife.

Here are some photographs of bee balm
 flowers that grow in the garden.

The bee balm in this photo has powdery mildew 
due to excessive rain in June.

Bee balm growing wild in a field

My bee balm flowers bloom the end of June and continue to bloom through August provided I deadhead all spent blooms. In late summer I will not deadhead because the seed-heads provide a source of food for the sparrows and finches during the fall to the winter season.

Bee Balm Growing Tips

  1. Grow from seed, cuttings and root divisions.
  2. Plant in spring or in late summer / early fall
  3. Choose a planting area that has ample area for this plant to grow and spread. Grow plants 20 inches apart in a loamy soil that is slightly acidic. Soil should be moist but well drained.
  4. Plant in full sun, however, this plant will tolerate part sun in the late afternoon as long as it has six hours of direct sun daily.
  5. Grow bee balm in an area that has good air circulation. Avoid planting next to a wall or a wooden fence as these structures will prevent proper air flow and powdery mildew will form on leaves and stems. Excessive watering will also cause powdery mildew.
  6. Water plants to prevent soil from drying out.
  7. Bee Balm is hardy in the USA growing zone 3.4.5,6,7,8,9

Care and Maintenance

  1. Fertilize in the spring and weekly with a bloom booster flower food. I use Miracle-Gro a water-soluble weekly throughout the blooming season.
  2. Apply a layer of mulch around the stem to help to retain moisture and to prevent weed growth.
  3. Water plants to prevent soil from drying out. Soil that is moist but well-drained is best.
  4. After a hard frost cut back the flower stems to 2-inches above the soil. (or leave seed-heads throughout winter for the birds.
  5. In spring when plants start to grow in check your plants for overcrowding. Divide and transplant when needed or every two years.
  6. If not maintained in your garden this plant can become invasive.

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