Bee Balm - Scarlet Red (Monarda didyma) Red Bee Balm Bergamot Monarda Flower
Height: up to 4 ft (poss 6 ft)
Monarda didyma, also known as Scarlet Red Bee Balm, Beebalm, Oswego Tea, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, Horsemint, Mountain Mint, and Scarlet Monarda, is member of the mint family and native to Eastern North America; it is a bushy, clump forming plant with dark green mint-scented leaves and very showy, tubular, bright scarlet red flowers that are formed into globe shaped terminal flower tufts that are typically 3 to 4 inches across. Scarlet Red Beebalm can reach 6 feet tall in the right conditions - the bright red tubular shaped flowers are excellent hummingbird magnets.
Medicinal Properties of Bee Balm. Bee balm is antimicrobial and soothing, so it's often used to treat colds and flu. It also has a soothing effect on the digestive tract and helps to treat indigestion, bloating and nausea
Blooms June to October. Deer and drought resistant. Best grown in clumps to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Great for planting beside ponds or streams. This plant has a clumping habit and spreads by rhizomes, making it a good choice for soils that need stabilizing. Bee balm spreads rapidly, and dividing it regularly is one of the best things you can do to ensure its vigour. Simply dig it up, discard the woody centre, and make small divisions of the newer shoots and roots, and replant.
- Part shade to full sun
- Prefers moist soil
- Directly sow outdoors in the spring when temperatures begin to warm. Lightly cover the flower seeds and keep them moist until germination. Until plants reach 10 to 12 inches tall, keep watered if rains are nil. Cooler soil temperature at night will aid germination.
- OR start indoors 8 weeks before the last frost. Cover seed lightly and keep moist until germination. Transplant outdoors after risk of frost has passed.
- Germinates @ 18 C
- Spacing: 2 ft
- Can self seed; seeds are easy to collect for seed saving.
- Flower stems are good for cut flowers and dry well
- Deadhead regularly
- Harvesting: seeds can be harvested 1 to 3 weeks after the flowers bloom. Bend the stems over a paper bag, when the brown seeds start dropping, they are ready to harvest.
- All bergamots are highly attractive to honeybees and other pollinators.
- Harvest: harvest seed heads 2 to 3 weeks after bloom time. Place in a paper bag and allow to sit for a week or two; shake the seed heads in the bag and store in a cool dark place until use.
- Count: 10