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Monarda (Bee Balm)

September 8th, 2016

I have a very large patch of monarda in the potager, in fact I keep splitting it to increase the amount that I have. It’s a lovely plant, drought tolerant, easy care, and beautiful. The pollinators love it more than I do, it’s a constant buzz during it’s long blooming season. Besides the lovely pink/purple blooms, my favorite quality is that it outcompetes weeds like no other plant. It spread vigorously, but is really easy to pull the offshoots if you want to maintain the size of the plant. Since I have a very large garden space, I’m not worried about the spreading. In fact, I’m thinking of dividing mine again so that it can fill a 1000 sq foot hillside that I don’t want to weed or mow.
butterfly on monarda
hummingbird on monarda (1)
With such a large patch, I’m now in need of companion plants, one, maybe two, that will combine well with the monarda. They need to be tall, my monarda is between four and five feet tall. Right now I’m thinking a large planting of ‘limelight’ hydrangea would be nice, and perhaps a variegated grass as well.

7 Comments to “Monarda (Bee Balm)”
  1. Jodiana on September 8, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I love bee balm as well. I have the red color. My problem is every year it gets powdery mildew on it. Not just one bed either. I have it in 3 different spots in the yard. It makes me sad, but it certainly is pretty while it is in it’s prime.

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  2. Chris on September 8, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I must have the same one that you do, judging by the color. It’s pretty in a bouquet too as the long spiky component. I think your choices of companion plants would be beautiful with it, especially the hydrangea. I have phlox next to mine which is nice because it’s tall and they seem to bloom about the same time! :)

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  3. Kara on September 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Do you have any recommendations on keeping away the powdery mildew? My bee balm got it for the first time this summer. I’m not sure what I did differently this year. It was hot but not particularly wet.

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  4. Charlie@Seattle Trekker on September 8, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Monarda is on my “must add” list for the garden. I understand it makes a great tea.

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  5. Joan on September 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

    The monarda that you gave me looks beautiful! I’m eager for it to spread and grow bigger next year.

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  6. Nebraska Dave on September 9, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Susy, yeah, keep it up and you will have me growing flowers like and expert. :-) I really like the color of the plants that you have. Doesn’t Bee Balm come in different colors or is all Bee Balm that color? Does it have to be in full sun? I have a spot in mind that has full morning sun until 2pm. Would that be enough for Bee Balm?

    Have a great Bee Balm day.

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  7. Sarah on September 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I had only seen white bee balm before.

    Can you explain sometime how to divide plants?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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