Bee Balm - Spotted Beebalm Horsemint (Monarda punctata L) Spotted Bee Balm Bergamot Monarda Flowering Herb
Height: 6 in to 3 ft
Monarda punctata, is a herbaceous aromatice and erect perennial plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, and is commonly called spotted beebalm, spotted horsemint and horsemint. 'Monardas' are sometimes called horsemints because 'horse' signifies 'large' or 'coarse', as these members of this genus are generally larger, coarser plants than many other members of the mint family.
This native to the eastern U.S., Canada and Northeastern Mexico, Spotted Beebalm typically grows in dryish soils on prairies, sandy areas and coastal plains. The leaves and flowers and aerial portions are edible; long blooming (April to August) and drought tolerant - deer and rabbit resistant. Rosettes of flowers are usually yellow with maroon spotted markings on the upper petals, and may also be white or green. The bracts are showier and may be purple, pink, white or yellow; the tubular flowers occur in whorls, forming a dense, elongated spike at the end of the stem or from leaf axils. Each whorl is subtended by large, conspicuous, whitish, purple-tinged, leaf-like bracts.
Plants sometimes require support. These plants do grow in partial shade, but won't produce as many flowers, and may be susceptible to powdery mildew. Spotted Beebalm is high in thymol, which has antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties and was used historically to treat ringworm and hookworm infections. When crushed, the leaves emit an oregano-like scent. The leaves and flowers can be brewed into a mild tea that is said to promote relaxation.
- Full Sun
- Well draining moist soil
- Direct seed after frost danger or start indoors 8 weeks before last frost. Cover seed
- OR start seeds indoors in containers of pre-moistened soil. Scatter the seeds on top – it may be helpful to mix the tiny seed with sand first, as the sand stands out against the soil, making it more obvious where seeds have already been sown.
Gently tamp the seeds down with your fingertips, and cover with plastic wrap or a greenhouse top. These are light-dependent germinators, so keep the seeds warm, moist, and in the light until germination occurs. Seedlings will likely be very closely clustered together. Wait until seedlings have at least two true leaves before attempting to divide. In very dense clusters, thin out unwanted seedlings with a pair of scissors so that the remaining seedlings can grow large enough to be divided.
- Germinates: 14 to 21 days @ 18 C
- Harden off seedlings for 2 weeks once they are ready. Transplant to outdoors after several sets of leaves are formed and all risk of frost has passed.
- Spacing: 12 in
- 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. Can self seed. Deadhead to keep blooming.
- The dried flowers can be used in tea.
- All bergamots are highly attractive to honeybees and other pollinators.
- Seed Count: 20