Bee balm is the ‘queen bee’ of flirty blooms – in appearance and in attracting bees! Bee balm is also labelled monarda or bergamot, though I often call it ‘Dr. Seuss flower’, since it reminds me of his fanciful illustrations. The upright tubular petals encircle the pincushion centers in a flamboyant halo. It’s like they are cheering with hair flying in the wind. These lively blooms come in shades of pink, violet, white or red. Being part of the mint family, the blooms and entire plant are fragrant, attracting not only bees, but butterflies and hummingbirds too. Bee balm adds a special splash to the garden.
Technical stuff – Bee balm is a hardy perennial (most varieties to Zone 4), height of about 36” and spread of 24” (dwarf varieties are available), can be aggressive spreader in a happy spot, likes sun or part sun and moist soil, blooms mid-summer into fall, susceptible to powdery mildew.