Bee Balm Flower: How to Grow and Care for This Beauty

Bee balm, also known as Monarda, is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add a splash of color and fragrance to any garden. But what many people don’t know is that bee balm is also a favorite of bees and butterflies, making it an important addition to any pollinator garden. Growing and caring for a bee balm flower may seem daunting at first, but with a few simple tips from a gardening expert, it can be a breeze. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know to grow and care for bee balm, from planting and watering to pest control and harvesting. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these tips will help you create a beautiful and thriving bee balm garden that both you and the pollinators will love. So let’s get started!

Benefits of Growing a Bee Balm Flower

Bee balm is not only an attractive addition to your garden, but it also serves many important purposes. Here are some of the benefits of growing bee balm:

  • Attracts pollinators: Bee balm is a favorite of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it an excellent addition to any pollinator garden.
  • Medicinal properties: Bee balm has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, and is still used today to treat a variety of ailments.
  • Culinary uses: The leaves and flowers of bee balm can be used to flavor tea, salads, and other dishes.
  • Beautiful blooms: Bee balm produces beautiful, brightly colored blooms that are sure to brighten up any garden.
Bee Balm Flower

Choosing the Right Location for Bee Balm

When choosing a location for your bee balm, it’s important to keep in mind that it prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Here are some tips for choosing the right location:

  • Choose a sunny spot: Bee balm needs at least six hours of sunlight each day to thrive, so choose a spot that gets plenty of sun.
  • Avoid wet areas: Bee balm doesn’t like wet feet, so choose a location with well-drained soil.
  • Consider companion planting: Bee balm pairs well with other plants that attract pollinators, such as lavender, echinacea, and coneflower.

Soil and Watering Requirements for a Bee Balm Flower

Bee balm prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Here are some tips for soil and watering:

  • Soil: Mix organic matter into the soil before planting to improve soil quality. Bee balm prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Watering: Bee balm needs regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water deeply once a week, rather than frequently shallow watering.

Fertilizing Bee Balm

Bee balm doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer, but a light feeding once or twice a year can help promote healthy growth and blooms. Here are some tips for fertilizing:

  • Use a balanced fertilizer: Choose a fertilizer with balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Apply in early spring: Apply fertilizer in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge.
  • Don’t overdo it: Too much fertilizer can lead to leggy growth and reduced blooms.
Bee Balm Flower

Pruning and Deadheading Bee Balm

To keep your bee balm looking its best, it’s important to prune and deadhead regularly. Here are some tips for pruning and deadheading:

  • Prune in early spring: Prune dead or damaged stems in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge.
  • Deadhead regularly: Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage more blooms and prevent the plant from going to seed.
  • Cut back in fall: Cut back bee balm in the fall to prevent the plant from becoming too leggy.

Pest and Disease Control for Bee Balm

Bee balm is generally a hardy plant that is resistant to pests and diseases. However, there are a few issues to watch out for. Here are some tips for pest and disease control:

  • Watch for powdery mildew: Bee balm is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid conditions. To prevent powdery mildew, water at the base of the plant and avoid overhead watering.
  • Control spider mites: Spider mites can be a problem, especially in hot, dry weather. To control spider mites, spray the plant with a strong stream of water or use an insecticidal soap.
  • Keep an eye out for caterpillars: Caterpillars can sometimes be a problem, but can be easily controlled with handpicking or using an organic insecticide.
Bee Balm Flower

Propagating Bee Balm

If you want to propagate your bee balm, there are two main methods: division and seed. Here are some tips for propagating:

  • Division: Divide your bee balm every three to four years in early spring before new growth appears. Dig up the plant and separate the clumps, then replant in a new location.
  • Seed: Collect seed from your bee balm in late summer or early fall, then plant in a seed tray and keep moist until germination.

Using Bee Balm in Your Garden Design

Bee balm is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden designs. Here are some ideas:

  • Pollinator garden: Bee balm is a natural choice for any pollinator garden, where it can attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
  • Cottage garden: Bee balm’s colorful blooms and sweet fragrance make it a perfect addition to a cottage garden.
  • Herb garden: Bee balm’s leaves and flowers can be used to flavor tea, salads, and other dishes, making it a great choice for an herb garden.
Bee Balm Flower


Bee balm is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be a valuable addition to any garden. By following these tips for growing and caring for bee balm, you can create a thriving garden that both you and the pollinators will love. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, bee balm is a great choice for adding color, fragrance, and beauty to your outdoor space.

Are you interested in adding rare flowers to your garden? Check our rarest flower guide. Also, don’t forget to learn more about the benefits of visiting a Lavender Farm.

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