Bring the Outdoors Home

Bee Balm | Plant Profile

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) are damp woodland plants that are native to the American northeast. They are fragrant clump forming plants that are part of the mint family. The magenta-red flowers are spherical and the stringy petals can resemble unkempt mop heads. The deep green leaves are oval and serrated. When damaged, the leaves emit a minty fragrance.

Bee Balm are attractive to many pollinators. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies frequent the long-lived flowers, particularly when grouped together. They are effective additions to damp wildflower or pollinator gardens.

Bee Balm has been used in many applications by Native Americans and locals. Resins were used to soothe bee stings and the dried leaves can be used to make tea. Fresh leaves are tasty additions to salads.



Bee Balm Characteristics

Bee Balm prefers fertile, medium to wet, consistently moist soils in full sun to part shade. While well drained soils are appreciated, Bee Balm has some tolerance to the clay soils that are common in Pittsburgh. The soils should not be allowed to dry out. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage new blooms in the same growing season. Plants propagate by self-seeding and runners. Deadheading can prevent self-seeding. Divide the colonies every few years to help to control the spread.

Bee Balm can be vulnerable to mildews and fungus in areas with poor air circulation. Powdery mildew is a common threat. The plants become more vulnerable to disease in subpar conditions such as dry soils.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 9


2.00 - 4.00'
2.00 - 3.00'
Bloom Time
July - August
Medium - Wet
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?