They can be propagated by division in spring or fall, by softwood cuttings in late spring, or seeds. In all cases, sow seeds just under the soil about 1/4 inch deep, as they are quite small. Bee balm will spread via runners during the growing season, and then die back in the fall. He has been captivated by walnut trees, kiwi vines, daylilies, and the ecology of gardens and farms ever since. Remember, if your plant is a hybrid – a cross of two or more different species or cultivars – its offspring grown from seed won’t necessarily share a resemblance, especially if pollen from nearby varieties have entered the mix. Allow them to sit and dry for about a week before placing them in a sealed bag or airtight container in the fridge. Staking: Taller cultivars of bee balm occasionally need staking, but usually the strong square stems do a good job of keeping it upright and stray outer stems can be cut off. Growth Habit: Bee balm can grow up to 4 ft tall with a spread of 3-4 ft, but dwarf varieties top out at just 15 inches, with a spread of 18-24 inches. For me, in Southern Ontario, this is in late August in preparation for fall rains. As a member of the notoriously fast-spreading mint (Lamiaceae) family, bee balm (Monarda spp.) Once seedlings have grown at least two sets of true leaves, thin them to 18-24 inches apart, or transplant them as desired to their permanent location. Let’s look at a short list of some of the types and the differences between them.Monarda bradburiana, ‘Eastern beebalm’This perennial variety has a lower cushion of rich green foliage, with lightly-toothed edges along oval leaves. When plants have two sets of true leaves, carefully pick out the seedlings and put them in individual four-inch pots or in their permanent position. Compact, Monarda 'Petite Delight' (Bee Balm) is a clump-forming perennial of oval habit boasting masses of lavender-rose flowers, borne in dense, globular terminal heads. Bee balm, also known as monarda, Oswego tea, horsemint and bergamont, is a member of the mint family that produces vibrant, wide summer flowers in white, pink, red and purple. Just make sure to place your plants where you don’t mind them spreading out when you transplant, and don’t put them near any smaller plants that will be taken over easily. u/Dabo57. In small garden settings, some varieties of bee balm can out-compete less aggressive neighbors, so be careful where you plant them. Not only are the blossoms beautiful during the extensive blooming period, but many people use this plant to relieve an assortment of physical maladies. Quickly taking over an area if left to their own devices, their shallow root systems are also easily dug, or pulled up. A native wildflower hybridized for gardens, the flowers of bee balm are at their peak in summer. I recommend placing pots in a bottom-watering tray under a humidity dome, or with a clear plastic bag suspended above the cuttings. One of the most important things to know about bee balm is that they are vigorous plants. If you do want to propagate some shoots and plant them elsewhere, sever them from the mother plant and dig a clump of them up with a shovel. Choose their new homes carefully – these plants can be very aggressive and have a tendency to take over less robust plants via the spreading rhizomes. This 4-10-3 (NPK) fertilizer mix includes IBA Root Stimulator to stimulate root growth, and helps to prevent transplant shock while providing a boost of nutrients. Bee balm jelly is essentially just bee balm petal tea with sugar and pectin. Make sure to select the right location to give your plants a good start. But it is not really invasive. Does bee balm spread? You want to get rid of that part of the root system by cutting away and disposing of any diseased portions, and consider amending the soil in the planting area to improve drainage. While studying journalism in college in 2003, Trent Rhode stumbled upon the world of gardening while working on an assignment. Keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate. 100% Upvoted. Bergamot needs dividing every two or three years to keep the plants vigorous, and this is a great time to propagate the plants. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. This prevents them from rotting, resulting in higher success rates. Bee balm has a tendency to expand outward via its underground rhizomes. Product photos via Growershouse and Home Depot. Lemon balm is an upright, bushy, herbaceous perennial. In addition, the centers of the clumps often die out within a few years. This should take about 10 to 40 days at 60°F. The flowers are distinct with a spiky appearance. Pieces taken from a parent plant grow into clones with an identical genetic makeup and associated characteristics. This is from the mint family and is widely spread through the underground stems. Bee balm spreads by rhizomes, or underground stems, which makes them easy to split and divide. How small should these smaller clumps be? Also, the centers of the clumps often die out within a few years, and to control their spread and rejuvenate the plants, it’s usually necessary to dig and divide Bee balms every 2 to 3 years. The leaves and stems are … 4 months ago. I also recommend applying a layer of mulch the new plantings to help them maintain moisture and prevent weed growth while they’re becoming established. Early spring is the best time to dig and divide bee balms. Bee balm is a flower that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to … Add to that the roots are not very deep so a little pluck here and a little there and I keep it well in control. I like to use Nutri-Root Plus Rooting Gel, available from Growershouse. Bee balms spread rapidly via underground stems or stolons. If the seeds are ready, they should fall into the bag. In fact, the plant can become invasive and spread every year with the right growing season. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. However, I find they transplant more readily if I wait until they’ve had a bit of time to grow strong roots and a wet season is about to begin. This is also a good time to remove any damaged stems or unhealthy-looking foliage as well as any dead roots or stems. Some bees pollinate them, but primarily it is butterflies and humming birds, or humming bird moths. It is prized for its color and its tendency to attract bees and butterflies. Bee balm thrives in full sunshine. As is the case when transplanting most plants, I think it’s also a good idea to give them a kickstart with a shot of transplant fertilizer, like this product from Bonide that’s available from Home Depot. Given its height (2-4 feet), bee balm makes for an excellent background plant in a pollinator garden. Have you tried propagating bee balm in your garden? There are many different varieties of the Monarda species, and about 50 commercial cultivars commonly available. Leaves are light green, arrowhead shaped, somewhat hairy and coarse textured. How to Grow Bee Balm Throughout the Season. If you do not want to plant new bee balm, simply discard the dug up shoots and allow the mother plant to continue growing. Bee balm is a perennial wild flower grown for many purposes in a flower garden. There are a few ways you can sow your seeds, which we’ll go over in a moment. This includes planting your seeds in flats in a heated greenhouse, or placing your seed starting trays in a sunny window eight to 10 weeks before the last frost in your area. Prepare a weed-free area for either a nursery bed or permanent planting. Keep reading to learn more about how to manage bee balm plants. Begin by loosening the soil around the roots and then sliding the shovel underneath the roots a… 14 comments. The pollinators love these natives, so why not share? The bee balm plant spreads easily, so it will need to be pruned and trimmed throughout the year. Sow Lemon Bee Balm seeds directly in prepared areas in the spring when temperatures begin to warm. Once you have the root clump loosened enough, you should be able to slide under the roots with your shovel and pry up the clump. Cuttings should be about six inches long and the cut should be made just below a leaf node. Plant a few fragrant Bee Balm plants (Monarda) in your garden and watch them come alive with activity from hummingbirds and butterflies. Not only are there varying colors, but also varying heights, so a … It can spread quickly, though, and requires a bit of care to keep it under control. Does Bee balm spread? Propagating bee balm plants is a great way to keep them in the garden year after year or to share them with others. Submerge the cuttings two inches deep in four-inch pots filled with vermiculite or potting mix. Bee balms spread rapidly via underground stems or stolons. To harvest, bend the plants over and place a paper bag under the flower heads. This is a good thing because it’s also a plant that you can’t really ever have too much of – unless it starts taking over other plants in your garden, of course! What are your thoughts? They are also one of the top rabbit-resistant plants for your garden. Thereof, does bee balm spread? Planting: Plant bee balm in the spring or early fall. Dig up the plants as soon as they emerge from the ground. Here is more about what we do. Provide additional water until the plants reach 10 - 12 inches tall. If you are growing this in Canada or the United States, it can be an aggressive grower. The caption on the Nutri-Rooting Gel should be ROOTing Gel, not ROTTing Gel. Sign up for our newsletter. It is prized for its color and its tendency to attract bees and butterflies. Blooming for weeks from mid to late summer, they rest upon a whorl of decorative purple bracts and attract scores of butterflies and hummingbirds. If you’re starting your seeds outside where temperatures tend to fluctuate, germination may be more sporadic or slow. Monarda didyma common name of bee balm is attributed to the use of the herb for soothing bee … To control their spread and rejuvenate the plants, it's usually necessary to dig and divide bee balms every 2 to 3 years. Leave two to three shoots per divided clump with an intact root system that’s at least six inches in diameter. Bee balms spread rapidly via underground stems or stolons. To control their spread and rejuvenate the plants, it's usually necessary to dig and divide bee balms every 2 to 3 years. Bee balms spread rapidly by underground stems or stolons. Or, you could simply reach under the roots with your hands and pull the root ball up. Bee Balm is a deciduous perennial in the mint family and is native to the North Carolina mountains and may be seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway flowering in summer. Perhaps the most commonly cultivated variety, M. didyma, boasts bright red tufted blossoms with tubular petals. Start by digging your shovel in around the perimeter of the clump you’ll be digging up. Start indoors 5-8 weeks before the last frost date. Read on to learn how to propagate bee balm through divisions, seeds, and cuttings. Ready to learn more about propagating other flowering plants? But an awful lot of bee balm varieties are naturally-growing wildflowers in the United States. The main benefit of choosing to propagate via cuttings or divisions versus seeds is that you’ll know exactly what type of plant you’re going to get. 27 of the Best Lily Varieties with a Guide to Divisions, 13 of the Best Dill Varieties for Your Herb Garden, Grow Common Sage, a Mediterranean Culinary Staple. Plant in spring after the last frost has passed. Close. They can be planted in their permanent position if you can keep the soil consistently moist. Once established, Lemon Bee Balm should re-seed itself. To control their spread and rejuvenate the plants, it's usually necessary to dig and divide bee balms every 2 to 3 years. See our TOS for more details. Compact, Monarda 'Petite Delight' (Bee Balm) is a clump-forming perennial of oval habit boasting masses of lavender-rose flowers, borne in dense, globular terminal heads. Blooming for weeks from mid to late summer, they rest upon a whorl of decorative bracts and attract scores of butterflies and hummingbirds. Where I planted the Bee Balm it has these beautiful red flowers however this spreading plant below does not seem to flower. Bee balm propagates by rhizomes, or runners, that spread under the ground to produce new shoots. This is because it quickly spreads via underground rhizomes. As I mentioned above, after about two to three years, you may find that the center part of clumps of bee balm has declined, with sections that are growing poorly. Bee balm control can be achieved effectively by dividing bee balm. Bee balm does wander around, starting new plants from underground stems. Keep an eye on the cuttings to check for root growth coming out of the bottom of the pots, which should happen in two to four weeks. The plant attracts pollinators, and is a good addition to homemade potpourris and lotions. 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