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Bee Balm (Monarda Punctata) – Wild Bergamot

Bee Balm (Monarda Punctata) – Wild Bergamot

Strip leaves and flowers from stalks and store in an airtight container until you’re in the mood for a cup. Use two teaspoons of dried Bee Balm leaves and/or flowers for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over leaves and let steep for 5 minutes. Use ¼ cup of Bee Balm per 1 cup of water for making tea with fresh leaves. Harvest Bee Balm in the morning, after any dew, has evaporated but before midday. The leaves have the best flavor this way, and you will not cause stress to your plant. Cut whole stalks, with or without flowers, from the base of the plant. This encourages new growth and keeps your plant tidy.

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Bee balm lends a bright, wild look to mixed bouquets. It is a delightfully spicy edible flower and native medicinal herb, as well as an easy-to-grow, vigorous native nectar plant that will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your pollinator garden. We offer bee balm seeds of both annual and perennial varieties (Monarda citriodora, Monarda didyma, and Monarda fistulosa).

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Perennial 4 – 9 36 inches Summer Red Full sun to partial shade Well-drained, pH 6.1 – 7.3 Yes 68F 14 – 21 days Yes Seeds must be covered thinly, no more than the thickness of the seed 4 seeds per plant Keep seed moist until germination 30 inches – Scarlet Bee Balm is popular in flower gardens because it is easy to establish from Monarda Didyma seeds and nothing brings in the butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees like Monarda flowers.

It is very showy and will have everyone turning their heads. Scarlet Beebalm makes a great cut flower as well! The Monarda flowers are edible and the mint-scented leaves are used in teas or in potpourri. These flower seeds may be sown from early spring up until 8 weeks before the last frost in the fall.

To reduce the tendency for disease, keep the soil moist, minimizing overhead watering, and space plants far enough apart to allow for good air circulation between Crimson Beebalm herb plants . Also, remove diseased foliage to prevent the spread of the mildew and divide the plant every three years or so, discarding the old center growth and replanting new side shoots.

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Lightly cover the flower seeds and keep them moist until germination. Until plants reach 10 – 12 inches tall, irrigate if rains are poor. Cooler soil temperature at night aids germination.

Growing Bee Balm Plants is an easy task & is also extremely rewarding. Monarda plants are technically categorized as herbs, though they have been used in flower gardens for years. You might occasionally see Bee Balm plants growing in zoo’s, theme parks, or other public attractions, due to their beautiful, large flowers which will attract an array of beneficial insects to the garden.

Their leaves are often times crushed for their essential oils. This article will provide you with the growing information required to successfully germinate your Monarda / Bee Balm seeds. We will cover topics including, site specifications, such as sunlight, soil, and moisture requirements, as well as germination & growth habits.

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There are many types of Bee Balm / Monarda plants. Four of which we offer here at S

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eed Needs. These varieties include, Lemon Mint, Wild Bergamot, Spotted Bee Balm / Horsemint, as well as Monarda didyma, or “Panorama Shades.” Bee Balm plants will produce gorgeous flowers, which typically open up to 2 or 3 inches wide.

Monarda plants will grow anywhere between 10 inches and 48 inches tall. Refer to your seed packet to be sure of the height that your plants will grow. Bee Balm plants are popularly chosen for use in many butterfly gardens & beneficial insect gardens as well. They will attract an array of insects, such as butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbirds & even ladybugs.

This root system allows them to regrow each Spring season, even after all plant life has wilted on the surface. Some varieties are categorized as annuals, such as Lemon Mint. This means that the flowers will grow quickly from seeds

, bloom profusely through the summer months, and will later die with the first killing frost.

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Bee Balm Plants are used by many home gardeners, since the plants will form erect stems, which will make them perfect for cutting. They can be enjoyed in many floral arrangements & bouquets as well. Both the flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers are often times used in green salads, fruit salads, cakes or preserves, while the leaves are crushed to be used as a mint substitute, or dried to be used in tea.

Spotted Bee Balm (Monarda Punctata) - WILD BERGAMOT

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Just be sure that the soil is also well drained. Adding a light compost to areas that contain hard, compact soil will increase your drainage. This will prevent the soil from becoming soggy & the roots from becoming waterlogged. We suggest that you test your soils pH level to achieve best results.

The plants can be watered lightly each day, especially when the leaves look a bit dry. If possible, use a soaker setting on the garden hose to directly water the roots. Bee Balm plants can be established from sowing indoors, or directly outdoors. To begin, you should purchase a rich & fertile potting mix, as well as starter pots prior to planting.

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Sow 4 to 5 seeds per pot, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. The seeds will require direct lighting to germinate properly, so we suggest not burying your Bee Balm seeds with topsoil. Water the seeds daily by misting them with a spray bottle. Because temperatures should be above 70F as mentioned above, you might consider moving the pots on top of the fridge at night to keep them nice and warm.

Transplant your Bee Balm plants into the garden when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed. If you used peat pots as we had recommended, you can transplant the entire pots into the earth, since peat pots are made from organic peat moss (gardening). the pots will eventually break down in time and the roots will shoot right through them.

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Turn the earth, or replace it with a fresh new soil, which should be filled with organic matter. Sow your seeds directly to the surface of the soil, not covering the seeds with any topsoil. Because sowing Bee Balm seeds directly outdoors is a bit more risky, you may consider sowing on a day that is calm & free of high winds.

Once your Bee Balm plants get taller, you might want to add a 2 inch layer of mulch around the base of each plant. This will suppress the growth of weeds and other unwanted plant life from returning to the area. Renew this mulch every Spring season. Bee Balm seeds are known to germinate in roughly 14 to 28 days after sowing.

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Refer to your seed packet for the exact height, for each of the varieties you are trying to grow. The plants will also grow to a width of roughly 1 to 2 feet wide and can be spaced anywhere between 12 and 18 inches apart from one another - grow organic vegetables. Though Bee Balm plants are technically in the mint family, they do not grow as an invasive species like spearmint or peppermint.

There are a few ways to prevent mildew, one of which is to water the plants directly at the roots, versus watering the entire plant and wetting it’s leaves. A soak setting on the garden hose is the best way to achieve direct watering. You will avoid disrupting smaller plants this way as well.

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If powdery mildew has already consumed most of the plant life you can definitely cut back the plants, disposing the infected plant life in a garbage can that’s away from your growing area. Dispose of all infected leaves and other foliage that drops to the ground beneath as well. Cutting back thick foliage to allow better airflow between your Bee Balm plants is another way to prevent powdery mildew.

WE OFFER FREE SHIPPING! On All Orders of $39 or More!Bee Balm or Bergamot - Monarda fistulosaEvery year in June and July Bee Balm blooms in intense shades of pink, salmon, red, scarlet and crimson. Butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible. Leaves are mint scented and used to make Oswego tea.

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Turn the earth, or replace it with a fresh new soil, which should be filled with organic matter. Sow your seeds directly to the surface of the soil, not covering the seeds with any topsoil. Because sowing Bee Balm seeds directly outdoors is a bit more risky, you may consider sowing on a day that is calm & free of high winds.

Once your Bee Balm plants get taller, you might want to add a 2 inch layer of mulch around the base of each plant. This will suppress the growth of weeds and other unwanted plant life from returning to the area. Renew this mulch every Spring season. Bee Balm seeds are known to germinate in roughly 14 to 28 days after sowing.

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Refer to your seed packet for the exact height, for each of the varieties you are trying to grow. The plants will also grow to a width of roughly 1 to 2 feet wide and can be spaced anywhere between 12 and 18 inches apart from one another - growfoodguide.com. Though Bee Balm plants are technically in the mint family, they do not grow as an invasive species like spearmint or peppermint.



There are a few ways to prevent mildew, one of which is to water the plants directly at the roots, versus watering the entire plant and wetting it’s leaves - Seeds. A soak setting on the garden hose is the best way to achieve direct watering. You will avoid disrupting smaller plants this way as well.

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If powdery mildew has already consumed most of the plant life you can definitely cut back the plants, disposing the infected plant life in a garbage can that’s away from your growing area. Dispose of all infected leaves and other foliage that drops to the ground beneath as well. Cutting back thick foliage to allow better airflow between your Bee Balm plants is another way to prevent powdery mildew.

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WE OFFER FREE SHIPPING! On All Orders of $39 or More!Bee Balm or Bergamot - Monarda fistulosaEvery year in June and July Bee Balm blooms in intense shades of pink, salmon, red, scarlet and crimson. Butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible. Leaves are mint scented and used to make Oswego tea.

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This is the monarda with pink flowers and leaves famous for making tea. Also called "Oswego Tea." Perennial To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter. If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.

Perennial 4 - 9 36 inches Summer Red Full sun to partial shade Well-drained, pH 6.1 - 7.3 Yes 68F 14 - 21 days Yes Seeds must be covered thinly, no more than the thickness of the seed 4 seeds per plant Keep seed moist until germination 30 inches - Scarlet Bee Balm is popular in flower gardens because it is easy to establish from Monarda Didyma seeds and nothing brings in the butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees like Monarda flowers.

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It is very showy and will have everyone turning their heads. Scarlet Beebalm makes a great cut flower as well! The Monarda flowers are edible and the mint-scented leaves are used in teas or in potpourri. These flower seeds may be sown from early spring up until 8 weeks before the last frost in the fall.

To reduce the tendency for disease, keep the soil moist, minimizing overhead watering, and space plants far enough apart to allow for good air circulation between Crimson Beebalm herb plants. Also, remove diseased foliage to prevent the spread of the mildew and divide the plant every three years or so, discarding the old center growth and replanting new side shoots.

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Lightly cover the flower seeds and keep them moist until germination. Until plants reach 10 - 12 inches tall, irrigate if rains are poor. Cooler soil temperature at night aids germination.

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Harvest Bee Balm in the morning, after any dew has evaporated but before midday. The leaves have the best flavor this way, and you will not cause stress to your plant. Cut whole stalks, with or without flowers, from the base of the plant. This encourages new growth and keeps your plant tidy.

Strip leaves and flowers from stalks and store in an airtight container until you’re in the mood for a cup. Use two teaspoons of dried Bee Balm leaves and/or flowers for each cup of water - Click here. Pour boiling water over leaves and let steep for 5 minutes. Use ¼ cup of Bee Balm per 1 cup of water for making tea with fresh leaves.

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Bee balm lends a bright, wild look to mixed bouquets. It is a delightfully spicy edible flower and native medicinal herb, as well as an easy-to-grow, vigorous native nectar plant that will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your pollinator garden. We offer bee balm seeds of both annual and perennial varieties (Monarda citriodora, Monarda didyma, and Monarda fistulosa).

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Growing Bee Balm Plants is an easy task & is also extremely rewarding. Monarda plants are technically categorized as herbs, though they have been used in flower gardens for years - Click here. You might occasionally see Bee Balm plants growing in zoo’s, theme parks or other public attractions, due to their beautiful, large flowers which will attract an array of beneficial insects to the garden.

Their leaves are often times crushed for their essential oils. This article will provide you with the growing information required to successfully germinate your Monarda / Bee Balm seeds. We will cover topics including, site specifications, such as sunlight, soil and moisture requirements, as well as germination & growth habits.

There are many types of Bee Balm / Monarda plants. Four of which we offer here at Seed Needs. These varieties include, Lemon Mint, Wild Bergamot, Spotted Bee Balm / Horsemint, as well as Monarda didyma, or “Panorama Shades.” Bee Balm plants will produce gorgeous flowers, which typically open up to 2 or 3 inches wide.

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Monarda plants will grow anywhere between 10 inches and 48 inches tall. Refer to your seed packet to be sure of the height that your plants will grow. Bee Balm plants are popularly chosen for use in many butterfly gardens & beneficial insect gardens as well. They will attract an array of insects, such as butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbirds & even ladybugs.

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This root system allows them to regrow each Spring season, even after all plant life has wilted on the surface. Some varieties are categorized as annuals, such as Lemon Mint. This means that the flowers will grow quickly from seeds, bloom profusely through the summer months, and will later die with the first killing frost.

Bee Balm Plants are used by many home gardeners, since the plants will form erect stems, which will make them perfect for cutting. They can be enjoyed in many floral arrangements & bouquets as well. Both the flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers are often times used in green salads, fruit salads, cakes or preserves, while the leaves are crushed to be used as a mint substitute, or dried to be used in tea.

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In The Northern states of America, Bee Balm plants will thrive in an area of full sunlight for the majority of the day. In warmer regions to the south, the plants can tolerate a bit of light shade, which will help prolong healthy blooms. Temperatures should be kept higher than 70F, for optimal germination.

Just be sure that the soil is also well drained. Adding a light compost to areas that contain hard, compact soil will increase your drainage. This will prevent the soil from becoming soggy & the roots from becoming waterlogged. We suggest that you test your soils pH level to achieve best results.

The plants can be watered lightly each day, especially when the leaves look a bit dry. If possible, use a soaker setting on the garden hose to directly water the roots. Bee Balm plants can be established from sowing indoors, or directly outdoors. To begin, you should purchase a rich & fertile potting mix, as well as starter pots prior to planting.

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Sow 4 to 5 seeds per pot, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. The seeds will require direct lighting to germinate properly, so we suggest not burying your Bee Balm seeds with topsoil. Water the seeds daily by misting them with a spray bottle. Because temperatures should be above 70F as mentioned above, you might consider moving the pots on top of the fridge at night to keep them nice and warm.

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July 13, 2015 Updated May 2, 2019 By - Bee balm is definitely a plant that pollinators of all kinds adore and while that is reason enough to have it in the herb garden it is also full of tasty and medicinal uses for us as well. If you want to get creative with this beautiful perennial try these 5 ways to use bee balm.Wash and dry leaves well.

It’s lovely in the jar and carries a light honey flavor with minty undertones. It’s delightful with cream cheese or simply spread on toast. Makes a great gift.Bee balm has traditionally been used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and flatulence. Keep it on hand for these digestive issues by drying it.

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When dry strip the leaves and blossoms from the stems and store in labeled glass jars.To make tea: Cover 1 teaspoon of dried leaves and/or flowers with 1 Cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes before straining and enjoying.Besides the medicinal benefits, the tea is just plain tasty on a cold winter night.Bee balm is antimicrobial making it useful for helping aid the body heal from colds, congestion, and sore throats.

It’s easy and tasty.As an antifungal and antimicrobial, bee balm makes the ideal base for a healing salve.Bee balm can act as a nervine and is helpful to folks dealing with anxiety and depression. Make a tincture by filling a jar 3/4 full with fresh bee balm and then covering it with vodka.

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It can also be an issue for some pregnancies, check with an herbalist or doctor first before using if you are or might be expecting.This covers just some of the many ways to use bee balm, so get out there and harvest some for your home. Do leave some for the bumblebees and other pollinators, too, please!Sharing is caring!.

Prized for their bright scarlet flowers, red bee balm plants are herbaceous perennials. They are also considered "herbs" in the sense that they have been put to culinary and medicinal uses. Red bee balm is part of the mint family, and its aromatic leaves have a minty fragrance. Plant taxonomy classifies red bee balm plants (alternatively termed "scarlet") as Monarda didyma.

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"Cambridge Scarlet" is a popular cultivar with red flowers. Similar plants with lavender flowers are also popular; classified as Monarda fistulosa, they go by the common name "wild bergamot." Red bee balm plants produce clusters of scarlet, tubular flowers in mid to late summer. The distinctive "spiky hairdo" blooms are among their chief selling points, along with the plants' ability to attract wildlife and its culinary and medicinal uses.

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Red bee balm plants are indigenous to eastern North America and can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 (Click here). They flower in full sun to partial shade and grow best in moist soil. You can use soil amendments such as compost to enrich and loosen the soil for your Monarda didyma plants.

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These perennials are also useful in moist spots where other perennials might struggle, as they are fine plants for wet ground. In addition to their employment for aesthetic purposes in the landscape, red bee balm is an edible herb. Its flowers are used to garnish and flavor salads and other dishes, and it can be dried and used to make a spicy-sweet herbal tea.

Hummingbirds and butterflies also like red bee balm, and it is commonly grown to attract bees, which help pollinate other plants. Red bee balm has a tendency to spread aggressively, so you should divide the plants every few years in early spring to prevent them from taking over (unless you want that).

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Bee balm is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in late summer. If your plants succumb to powdery mildew after you have enjoyed the flowers for a while, it may be best to trim them back to the ground and properly dispose of the cut growth (do place it in the compost bin).

To avoid powdery mildew in the first place, keep these perennials spaced and divided so that air circulates around them. Also, place your garden hose at the base of the plants when watering, rather than watering from above, which moistens the leaves unnecessarily. Powdery mildew is a type of fungus, and fungi thrive in wet conditions.

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One of my absolute favorite flowers, I look forward to the day each year when the bee balm buds open into magnificent scarlet blooms, bringing a whole crew of ravenous hummingbirds into my yard - growfoodguide. Incredibly beautiful, medicinal, and edible, it’s no wonder the birds and the bees love it too! Best of all, there isn’t much to getting a patch established, and once you do, it will reward you with vibrant color and life year after year.

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Bee balm , including , , and . It is medicinal, edible, and delightfully fragrant,tasting a bit like and , with a long history of human use. Endemic to eastern North America, this plant has been used medicinally by many Native American communities throughout history, and was eventually adopted into medicinal use by early colonists as well.

The name bee balm may be attributed to its allure to bees, as well as its traditional use in soothing the pain from bee stings. The name Oswego tea comes from the Oswego Native Americans who consumed a monarda tea for relaxation. This tea was shared with European settlers. According to Jackie Johnson, N.D.

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The name wild bergamot is attributed to its fragrant scent, which is similar to the bergamot orange, a citrus fruit that is used as a flavoring for Earl Grey tea. Antimicrobial and soothing to the digestive tract, herbalists often use bee balm as a remedy to treat cold and flu symptoms such as sore throats, fever, and congestion. gardening.

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This plant is , an antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial compound also found in thyme, which is a primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. A strong infusion can be used as a gargle for soothing sore throats, toothaches, and mouth sores.It is also commonly used topically. A poultice from the mashed leaves can be applied to the skin to reduce inflammation, support wound healing, combat infection, and soothe insect stings.

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It can be grown from seed, cuttings, or divisions. It can take a long time for seeds to germinate, and anywhere from 10-40 days is normal. It is also necessary to stratify seeds prior to planting. To do this, place seeds in a plastic bag full of sand to maintain moisture and set it in your fridge for at least a month.

Amend the soil with a bit of compost. Seeds require light germination so there is no need to cover them. Though a bit tricky, it is possible to propagate using cuttings. Select new spring growth from the tips of stems and cut at least six inches, starting just below a set of leaves.

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Rooting hormone can help speed the process along, but it is not necessary. Water well and place a plastic bag over each pot to retain moisture. As soon as the stems take root, in about two or three weeks, you can remove the bag and repot the cuttings in potting soil.

Carefully dig up any plants in spring that you wish to divide. Gently shake off loose soil, cut through thicker roots with pruning shears, and carefully pull sections apart, making sure that each division has enough roots attached to regrow, at least a few inches of root on each piece Trim any broken or damaged stems, and then replant in garden beds or pots (vegetable).

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You can learn more about the proper technique for this method in our . Bee balm grows well in hardiness zones 3-9, and is best planted in full sun, though , and can benefit from afternoon shade in very warm climates, which will protect plants from heat and lengthen the flowering season.

Choose a well draining site with good air circulation, as plants have a tendency to develop mildew. when planting and mulching liberally will help to improve soil quality, drainage, and air flow by keeping weeds in check. Though somewhat drought tolerant, regular watering is certainly helpful. Be sure to keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet.

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You can divide it every few years in the spring to keep it growing vigorously and prevent it from spreading too rapidly. This plant is so beautiful, however, you might not mind it taking over a bit! You can also pinch off stems of new growth to encourage bushier plants.

This will encourage lateral spreading, allowing plants to spread out before they flower. For longer flowering, stagger early pinching over a few weeks, pruning about a third of the stems each week. Deadhead blooms throughout the season to encourage more flowering and reblooming later in the summer. And use picked blooms for food, medicine, or bouquets.

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Place a bag or bowl under a stem and shake the stem gently. If brown seeds fall out, then they are ready to harvest. Refrigerate seeds until you are ready to plant them. In the fall after the first frost, you can cut stems back to a couple of inches above the soil. growfoodguide.com.

Once a stem has finished flowering, trim it back to the ground or pinch it off. This will encourage new stems to grow. Choose a site in the center or rear of a garden bed to add a burst of color and depth, as these bright flowers will likely be taller than many other herbs.

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fistulosa ‘Wild Bergamot’ seeds are . For some really dramatic color, M. didyma gives you lots of options. Try ‘Jacob Cline’ for its intensely vibrant large red flowers. This showy variety will spread rapidly, adapting to all sorts of soil conditions. It is a favorite of hummingbirds. Flowering from mid summer to early fall, it works well in containers and to add texture and height to borders.

Ideal for smaller gardens and containers, ‘Leading Lady Lilac’ is a robust variety tolerating a variety of soil conditions. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators. You can get . If you don’t want to wait until midsummer for your showy blooms, ‘Leading Lady Plum’ is the earliest of all bee balm bloomers.

Plants are , and ship in the spring. For a deep purple variety, try ‘Balmy Lilac,’ this dwarf variety flowers from late spring into summer and . ‘Coral Reef’ PPAF variety of M.didyma is a cross-breed cultivar from Agriculture Canada’s breeding program in Manitoba. It has beautiful salmon pink blooms from mid to late summer, and grows to 36 inches in height.

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You can , that will ship in spring, in good time for planting out. ‘Lemon Bergamot,’ sometimes called lemon mint, M. citriodora flowers from mid-late summer into fall with aromatic foliage having a minty-lemony flavor and scent. Useful in teas or for potpourri, this hardy variety is large, growing from 12-30 inches.

Lemon mint needs a moist soil and will tolerate clay, you can get . If you are looking for a compact variety that thrives in humid conditions, try a new cross-breed cultivar ‘Bee’s Knees.’ With deep red, scarlet flowers this variety was selected in a field trial, with a plant patent applied for (PPAF) (growfoodguide).

While this plant grows and thrives easily, there are just a few pests and diseases to keep an eye out for. There are a few pests that like to feast on my bee balm, but it’s usually quite easy to control them. These small insects feed on plant foliage, sucking out the contents of cells and secreting honeydew, a sticky liquid that covers the leaves and can result in mold.

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Regular weeding will also help regulate aphid populations. If an infestation gets out of control, you can apply a homemade solution of water and a few drops of dish soap. These tiny pests feed on bee balm plants by sucking out fluid from the underside of leaves and petals. This will create spotting, discoloration, and misshapen foliage, ultimately causing plants to lose their leaves.

The larvae tunnel into the stems of plants and feed on the tissue. You will notice wilting plants and small holes in the stems surrounded by yellow debris. Cutting into the stem will reveal caterpillars about 1.5 inches long. Regular weeding can reduce the risk of an infestation. As soon as you notice an infestation, you should remove and destroy affected plants.

Rarely a season goes by when my plants are not impacted at some point. Powdery mildew is a very common fungus that affects bee balm plants. This gray, powdery dust settles on foliage and spreads throughout the plant, eventually causing leaves to brown and wilt. It overwinters on plant debris and the spores can be transferred via wind and water, often presenting itself in conditions of high humidity and low air circulation.

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First, select a planting site that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. In the spring, thin stems to increase light penetration and air flow. Divide plants in the fall every few years. You can also reduce watering, especially during times of high humidity, avoid overhead watering, and weed regularly to increase air circulation.

If mildew starts to appear on your plants, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of insecticidal soap in a gallon of water and spray affected foliage every week. gardening. Also be sure to remove and dispose of affected growth in the fall, as the spores can overwinter in the soil.



Depending on your region, this could be any time from early through late summer. Pick them in mid-morning on a dry day, after the dew has evaporated. To harvest, either cut stems to about 6 inches below the flower, or gather individual blooms as they flower. The leaves can be harvested at any time during the growing season.

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If you want to get creative, there are all sorts of fun and delicious ways to use or preserve the leaves and flowers, which are both edible. To add some flair to your next fancy dinner, you can use the fresh flowers as a garnish on salads, or the leaves to season game meat or poultry (Seeds).

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You can also use a dehydrator on the lowest setting, checking every half hour until fully dry. Remove when the leaves and flowers crumble easily between your fingers. Store in glass jars in a dark, cool pantry. Try not to crush the dried herb until you are ready to use it in herbal teas or homemade potpourri.

In the mood for something sweet? Try making a bright red bee balm jelly. Mix 2 cups leaves and flowers with 2 cups of water. Pour boiling water over the herb to make an infusion of strong tea. Let the infusion sit for at least a few hours and strain.

Boil for a few minutes and remove from heat. The mixture should have thickened into a jellylike consistency. Want to give a medicinal tincture a try? An oxymel, which is a mixture of herbal infused vinegar and honey, is another wonderful way to use bee balm. Just pour apple cider vinegar over a jar filled with fresh or dried leaves and flowers until they are fully submerged, screw the lid on tightly, and store in a dark pantry for about a month, shaking daily - gardening.

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Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial Flower / Foliage Color: Red, pink, light to dark purple Native To: Eastern North America Maintenance: Moderate Hardiness (USDA Zone): 3-9 Tolerance: Drought Bloom Time / Season: Summer Soil Type: Average Exposure: Full sun to partial shade Soil pH: 6.0-7.0 Time To Maturity: 110-120 days Soil Drainage: Well-draining Spacing: 18-24 inches Companion Planting: Summer phlox, basil, dill, thyme, daylilies Planting Depth: 1/8 inch Uses: Tea, potpourri, cut flowers Height: 3-5 feet Family: Lamiaceae Spread: 18-36 inches Genus: Monarda Water Needs: Moderate Species: M.

fistulosa Attracts: Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds Pests & Diseases: Aphids, spider mites, stalk borers, powdery mildew In my opinion, this perennial herb is a must have in the garden, unmatched in its aromatic fragrance and uniquely vibrant beauty. But don’t take my word for it. Try planting a patch this year, and watch your garden explode with color and life.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Burpee, Eden Brothers, and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu. Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains.

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Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! .



In our attempts to save the bees, many of us are adding more flowering plants to our gardens. gardening.Monarda is a popular perennial plant used in bee and butterfly gardens. It is commonly known as Bee Balm and its fragrant blossoms attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. Monarda also has a long history of medicinal uses by Native American tribes, American Eclectic physicians, the Shakers, and herbalist.Bee balm is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae).

Colors range from bright red to lilac to shades of pink and white.Monarda didyma is the variety I grow in my perennial garden bed. It is also known as Scarlet Bee Balm, Oswego Tea, and Crimson Bee Balm. The plant grows in dense clusters with striking red flowers that bloom on 3-foot high stems in mid to late summer.Monarda didyma is a perennial native to Eastern North America and Canada and grows naturally from Quebec to Georgia and west from Ontario to Minnesota and down to Missouri.

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(Source: USDA)The genus Monarda was named for Spanish physician and botanist Nocholas Monardes, who published some of the first European books on American native plants in the late 1500s. However, the Native American tribes of Eastern North America and Canada used Monarda didyma medicinally for centuries before Nocholas Monardes studied the plant.

North American tribes in the eastern United States used the herb to ease the pain of mild abrasions and bee stings by crushing the leaves of the plant and rubbing them on the skin. The name, “Oswego tea,” is originated from the Native Americans living near the present-day city of Oswego in upstate New York who showed early settlers how to make an herbal tea from the leaves of the plant.

(Source: USDA)Monarda has a long history of medicinal uses by Native American tribes, American Eclectic physicians, and the Shakers. As a tea, it was used to soothe cold symptoms, including congestion, headache, and sore throats. Inhaling the fumes of steamed leaves was credited to help clear sinuses. Monarda has also been used for stomach issues such as gas, nausea, and vomiting, to reduce muscle spasms, and as a diuretic.

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The petals are milder in flavor and can be tossed into both leafy and fruit salads to add a bit of spice and a burst of color.Bee balm grows in a clump with 3-foot tall stalks. Most bee balm varieties are perennials and will grow in average to well-drained soil in full sun.

It will easily self-sow and also spreads by underground rhizomes. If you give it plenty of room in your garden, you will be rewarded with a beautiful display of bright blooms each year.Select an area towards the back of your garden so it will not shade other plants. Plant bee balm in groups of five or more for a mass of color.

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Plant in full sun and provide plenty of air circulation or seek out varieties that are more tolerant to powdery mildew (grow organic vegetables).Bee Balms prefer moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Prepare your garden bed by removing all the weeds and amending with some compost and fertilizer. If the weather has been dry, prepare the bed the day before you plant and water the bed very well.

Mulch to conserve moisture.If you are growing bee balm from seed, start seeds indoors under lights 8-10 weeks before your average last frost date. Harden off your seedlings and transplant to your garden after all danger of frost is past. Perennial plants started from seeds will bloom the second year.

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For more information on growing from seed, please see: 10 Steps for Starting Seeds Indoors and How to Harden Off Seedlings.Once established, bee balm is very trouble free and requires very little maintenance. Blooms begin in July and continue until late summer. Deadheading spent blooms will prevent seeds from self-sowing and encourage the plants to continue to flower longer.

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Dig up plants in spring when growth first emerges, divide, and replant in another location or share divisions with your friends and neighbors.Harvest mid-morning after the dew has evaporated for the greatest flavor. Harvest by clipping the base of the stalk. Gather the stalks by their stems, tie the ends, and hang to dry.

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Once dry, store leaves lightly packed in a glass jar away from direct sunlight. Try not to crush them to preserve the flavor until you are ready to use.Bee balm tea can be made from both fresh and dried leaves. I find the flavor of tea made from Monarda didyma to be rather strong.

Steep for at least 5 minutes and drink like regular tea (Click here). If you like the bold flavor of Earl Grey tea, you will find the flavor quite similar. Use fewer leaves for a lighter flavored tea. No matter where you are in your herbal studies, the Herbal Academy has a training program for you! is a good place to start if you are new to herbal medicine.

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is geared towards herbalists who have already studied at the beginner and intermediate levels, who want to make and sell their own herbal products. is an in-depth program geared towards students interested in becoming clinical herbalists.Foster, Steven, and Rebecca L. Johnson. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2008. 34-35. Print.Heatherley, Ana Nez.

22. Print.Lester, Randall K. and John Vandevender. Alderson, WV: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2015. Web. Feb. 07. 2016.“Plant of the Week.” . USDA. Web. Feb - vegetable. 07. 2016.I am not a doctor, and the statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is recommended that you consult your medical care provider or herbalist prior taking or relying upon any herbal product.Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year.

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When it comes to landscaping the farmstead or urban homestead, it’s nice to be able to include plants that are both beautiful and functional. Bee balm is a North American wildflower that easily fills both roles. With an unusual, eye-catching bloom that is loved by bees and butterflies, these showy flowers can come in either scarlet (Monarda didyma) or lavender (Monarda fistulosa), but this plant provides more than just looks and wildlife habitat: It is also a versatile herb with many different uses for health and home.

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Bee balm is just as wonderful when used in homemade herbal tea blends simply to bring a little extra flavor to the mix. A tea made from bee balm leaves and flowers, also called an infusion, isn’t just for drinking. Once cooled, it can be applied topically as an alternative to lavender.

The complex, unusual flavor of bee balm is also right at home in the kitchen. As a spice, dried bee balm can be substituted for oregano and used on pizzas, in pasta, and anywhere else a pinch of oregano would be welcome. Fresh bee balm leaves can be added to pesto, and the flower petals make a pretty and aromatic garnish.

Bee balm petals are also a lovely way to dress up fresh fruit or a fruit salad like this one. Another favorite way to use bee balm is by making a wildflower jelly. A tincture or extract is another way to preserve and use this herb. Like the tea, a bee balm extract can be used to support urinary tract health, as a topical antiseptic, for digestive health, and to support emotional wellness.

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The strongest extract with the best shelf life will be made using the dried herb. When your bee balm is in full bloom, harvest a bundle of bee balm stems with the leaves and flowers. Hang them to dry, or try one of these Three Easy Ways to Dry Herbs.

When the bee balm is completely dry, crumble the leaves and flower tops into a clean, dry glass canning jar until your jar is half full. Add enough brandy or unflavored vodka to the jar to cover the bee balm with an inch of liquid. The alcohol provides shelf life and also helps extract the beneficial properties of the bee balm.

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Let your bee balm soak in the alcohol for four weeks, but be sure to check on it every day and add more alcohol if necessary so that the herb stays covered. growfoodguide. Give your bee balm extract a gentle shake each day. At the end of four weeks, strain the herbs from the alcohol and bottle your bee balm extract in an amber colored glass bottle.

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Extracts can have a shelf life of two to several years. Herbalists sometimes use as little as 1 to 3 drops of extract at a time, or up to the range of 30 to 60 drops. Bee balm is a perennial that, once planted, will thrive in your garden for years to come.

It can also be grown easily in containers. Monarda spp. can be grown from Zones 4 through 9 and tolerate poor soils, but they may need to be watered during dry summers. Take care not to wet the leaves when watering your bee balm to help keep your plants mildew-free.

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You can read more about bee balm in the Benefits of Bee Balm or Recipes and Remedies Using Bee Balm on the Herbal Academy blog. The Herbal Academy offers affordable, flexible online courses for budding herbalists through advanced practitioners and provides a vibrant online community for students to grow their herbal skills.

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is an author, herbalist, and Associate Educator at the Herbal Academy. The Herbal Academy is an educational resource offering affordable online herbalist training programs for students at all experience levels, ranging from very beginner to the advanced professional level. Set your foundation in the , explore herbal therapeutics for body systems in greater depth in the , prepare for business endeavors in the , and delve into complex clinical topics in the .



All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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Monarda didyma, (red) Monarda media(purple) Monarda fistulosa,(pink) (c) Altnature 2016 Bee Balm herb is edible. All above ground parts of the plant are edible and used as a pot herb, and also used as a flavoring in cooked foods. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish in salads. Bee Balm herb is noted for its fragrance, and is a source of oil of thyme.

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As with any new treatment, check with your healthcare provider before using.Bee Balm Iced TeaPlace ¼ cup bee balm leaves and flowers in a teapot or glass bowl. Pour one quart of boiling water over them. Cover and steep until cool – about an hour. Seeds. Strain and discard leaves and flowers.

Chill and serve over ice.Summer BlendPlace ¼ cup dried chamomile flowers, 4 teaspoons dried bee balm leaves, 2½ teaspoons dried rosemary leaves and flowers, and ¼ cup apple or pineapple mint leaves in a Mason jar. Cover and shake well. Use 2 teaspoons of this mix per cup of boiling water for hot tea.

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Serve with honey or sugar if desired.Summertime Punch1 cup sugar (or stevia)1 cup fresh lemon juice1 teaspoon lemon zest1 cup bee balm leaves¾ cup raspberries (or other berries)3 cups cranberry juice½ cup mint leaves (any variety)47-ounce can chilled pineapple juice3 liters lemon-lime soda (diet or regular)Mix sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in saucepan.

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Add bee balm and berries. Simmer, stirring to break up the berries. After fifteen minutes, strain out leaves and berries. Add cranberry juice and mint, stirring well. Chill twenty-four hours. Prior to serving, pour into a punch bowl and add pineapple juice and lemon lime soda. Serve over ice.https://www.altnature.com/gallery/beebalm.htmhttps://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbBeeBalmMed.htmhttps://oldfashionedliving.com/beebalm2.html©2012 Off the Grid News.

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As we discussed in our last article, many names have been given to the plant monarda: bee balm, bergamot, or Oswego tea (more on that here). It has been used in North America for a very long time and for many purposes. You can find it in nearly every state in the U.S., and since it’s in the mint family it is easy to grow in your own garden.

Oh, and don’t forget to dry some for this winter! Have you tried making jellies from wild flowers yet? Check out this easy recipe, and a list of 24 suggestions for some wild (and not so wild) plants to try. The Bee Balm jelly is great! Any time I’ve made bee balm bread and taken it to an event, it’s been a hit.

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I’ve used both the M. fistulosa and the M. didyma interchangeably. Oxymels, an ancient herbal medicine probably originating in Greece, are making a comeback today. Have you ever made one? Here’s an interesting article about oxymels and how you can (and should) be making them now for the long, germ filled winter ahead.

Learn how: Poultices have been a commonly used first aid method for hundreds of years. Many herbs make good poultices, including bee balm (monarda). This article explains the history of poultices, and how to make them using both fresh plant material, or dried for making one when fresh is not available.https://theherbalacademy.com/how-to-make-a-poultice-with-herbs/ Flower waters are a gentle way to introduce edible flowers to kids.

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Summer is great, and we love it, but biting bugs can be problematic. Here is a list of 20 plants, some of which are probably in your yard right now, that are good for repelling those pesky nuisances! Bee balm is a versatile and useful North American native plant. To sum it all up, here’s a list of 10 additional uses for you to try.

Please add your email address below and click "Submit" to add yourself to our mailing list. grow organic vegetables. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our "Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons" Ebook! .

Robert Davis

Robert Davis

What started as a personal experience to improve my overall health by growing my own food has turned into a mission to share my experience and my own research. Growing your own food and eating healthier food is something that everyone has to try.

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