Bee Balm blooming!

justkristy(8TX)June 15, 2014

In my small gardens I sometimes think of Bee Balm as a bit of a pest. I threaten every year to pull it all up, and do a fair amount each year....and then it blooms, and I forgive it of it's sins of overcrowding and showboating.

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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Very nice - wonderful color!

I never have much luck with this. It grows well, but does not bloom well. I started mine from seed, pinkl and purple, and after several years of disappointment, finally ripped it out a year or two ago.

Then I got some red monarda in a swap and was very excited for it to bloom last year, and it had those little worms! Dang. I was just out working in the bed where this red monarda is and I was wondering if I should cut it back....

I think as long as you do what you do - ripping some out and controlling it - it's definitely a plant worth having for blooms like those!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 1:30PM
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ked1985(7a NoVA)

Lovely! I planted a red Fire Marshall variety just recently and the color is starting to come in on the blooms. Very excited, but weary of it spreading lol. Unfortunately some pest has gotten to the leaves recently, slugs I think. I'll have to start the battle against them soon.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:42AM
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I love monarda. I started some from seed about 18 years ago, which produced 5 different colors. They have spread around the fields and in various places (I live in the country) and attract hummingbirds, bees, etc. The deer eat them if I am lax about spreading the dried blood, but they are such beautiful flowers in bloom. I pull them out where they spread where I don't want them. Clumps seem to move toward the sun.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:03PM
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I never have much luck with this. It grows well, but does not bloom well.

This is so me as well! It seems to bloom for such a short time. I keep hemming and hawing about replacing it but I do like that scent of bee balm.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:40PM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Not a true fan of monarda until a chance meeting with Coral Reef. Intrigued by its striking coral pink fluffy blooms & full foliage, planted a gallon in clay-based loam on a slight slope in a mixed perennial bed four years ago. Wowed by its bloom power & health, now wouldn't be without this super performer.

A cross between Mahogany & Marshall's Delight from the Morden Research Center in Canada, find it grows 30" high here, has widened to 20" at the base over time without encroaching on its neighbors & blooms from mid-June past frost. (A little late this year from an on-again off-again Spring, expect it to be in full bloom by the first of July.) No reseeding so far, believe because the finches relish its seedheads left standing decoratively over the winter. Hummingbirds & butterflies swarm the hundreds of blossoms. Bees love it so much they continue to visit & feed on pollen from the spent flowers, so rarely deadhead yet the blooms keep coming. Hummingbird moths frequent it in the evenings. One of the busiest destinations for the many fliers, seems a perpetual stage for the aerial ballet during its long bloom season.

Wand water that bed regularly if rainstorms don't oblige, never letting it completely dry out, and no problem with mildew in this hot muggy garden where it enjoys an outside edge position in 6-8 hours of sun beginning early in the morning. The saturated coral goes well with the fruit salad colors of many of its neighbors as well as the silvers, whites, blues & pastels of general companions, and doesn't disappear in subdued light. One of its interesting traits is the blossoms continue to expand after opening till they become pompom shaped, loaded with petals. Love this one & highly recommend!

(Edited to add: Deer & bunnies leave this alone. In fact, it "guards" roses behind it in the same manner as lavender.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Coral Reef

This post was edited by vasue on Tue, Jun 17, 14 at 22:13

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:21PM
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Great post vasue.

And here I was going to rip out my existing monarda and replace it with something else. And now it seems that something else will be "Coral Reef".

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:54PM
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This is petite bee balm that is purple.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:32PM
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ked1985(7a NoVA)

I am sad to say the pest that came with my transplanted fire marshall was not slugs, but those worms. I deadheaded the entire thing and am distraught to say the least. I might just replace it before I get too attached.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:35PM
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