Growing Bee Balm: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Beebalm

Growing Beebalm

Growing Beebalm is a rewarding experience because it not only adds a bit of beauty to the garden, but its leaves and flowers can also be used in flavorful culinary dishes! Its flowers are a pleasant, mild cucumber-mint flavor that can bring a unique flavor to salads, teas and cooked dishes. Plus, it can also be used as a natural remedy for digestion, congestion, and fevers. Growing Beebalm is a fun and rewarding experience that lets gardeners take advantage of its many culinary and medicinal uses.

Growing Bee Balm: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Right Variety

Select a bee balm variety suitable for your region's climate and soil conditions.

Preparing the Soil

Ensure your soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Prepare the bed by removing weeds and loosening the soil.


Sow bee balm seeds directly in the garden or transplant young plants after the last frost. Space them 12-18 inches apart.


Water bee balm deeply once a week, or more frequently during hot, dry spells. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Light and Temperature

Choose a location with full sun to partial shade for optimal growth. Bee balm can tolerate a range of temperatures but prefers moderate conditions.


Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring and again after flowering to promote healthy growth.

Pest and Disease Control

Monitor for common pests like aphids and spider mites. Treat infestations with organic insecticides or use companion planting strategies.

Prevent diseases like powdery mildew by providing good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.

Pruning and Deadheading

Trim back faded blooms regularly to encourage continuous blooming throughout the season. Cut the stems to the base in late fall.


Apply a layer of mulch around the plant base in late fall to protect against winter frost. Trim back the foliage after the first frost.

Bee Balm Varieties

  • Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)
  • Lemon Bee Balm (Monarda citriodora)
  • Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet')

Tools and Supplies

  • Garden shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Garden gloves
  • Compost or organic matter
  • Bee balm seeds or young plants
  • Watering can or garden hose
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Organic insecticide
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch

Bee Balm, a flowering plant that is part of the mint family, is a delicate and beautiful addition to any garden. With its fragrant pink blooms, this plant will attract a variety of butterflies, hummingbirds and even the occasional bee. Growing Bee Balm requires a bit of knowledge and care, so here is a comprehensive guide on how to grow it.

Planting & Location

When it comes to planting Bee Balm, the best time to sow is in the early spring, once the soil has thawed. When it comes to location, choose a spot that gets lots of sunlight and has well-drained and moist soil. Make sure to plant the seeds or small plants in a spot that is slightly elevated from the ground, to avoid potential flooding.

Water & Fertilizer

Bee Balm likes consistent watering; water it about two to three times a week. Try to water it in the early morning, so it can take advantage of the warmer and sunnier hours in the day. When it comes it to fertilizers, you don't have to use them, but if you wish to maximize the growth and health of your Bee Balm, go ahead and use some fertilizer twice a month.

Pruning & Maintenance

Your Bee Balm will likely bloom continuously in July, August and September. Once September arrives, pruning the dead flowers and stems is advisable, as it will help with the health of the plant. During the fall and spring months, be sure to trim any dead foliage and branches.

Pest Control

With any plants, there is always the potential for pests, such as aphids and spider mites. To control pest, use an insecticidal soap or an insecticidal oil. This will not only keep the pests away but also help with any mildews and fungi.


Bee Balm is a beautiful and fragrant plant that can add some life and colour to any garden. To get the best results, be sure to plant in well-drained, moist soil and under full sun. Water it three times a week and use fertilizer monthly. Prune it regularly during the fall and spring months and do an occasional pest control with an insecticidal soap or oil. With the right caretips and knowledge, you can have a healthy and beautiful Bee Balm in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I plant beebalm?

To plant beebalm, choose a location with well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball and mix in some organic matter. Place the plant in the hole, covering the roots with soil. Water thoroughly and continue to water regularly until the plant is established.

2. How often should I water beebalm?

Beebalm requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. Water deeply, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Applying a layer of mulch around the plant can help conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature.

3. How tall does beebalm grow?

The height of beebalm can vary depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. On average, it grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet. However, some varieties can reach up to 6 feet tall. Providing proper spacing between plants will allow them to reach their full height without crowding.

4. When is the best time to prune beebalm?

Pruning beebalm is best done in early spring or late fall. Remove any dead or damaged stems, as well as any overcrowded growth. Cutting back the stems to a few inches above the ground helps promote bushier growth and prevents the plant from becoming leggy.

5. How do I prevent powdery mildew on beebalm?

Powdery mildew is a common problem that affects beebalm. To prevent its occurrence, ensure proper air circulation around the plant by providing enough spacing between plants. Water at the base of the plant rather than overhead, as wet foliage can encourage fungal growth. Applying a fungicide labeled for powdery mildew control can also help.

6. Can beebalm be grown in containers?

Yes, beebalm can be grown in containers. Choose a container that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has drainage holes. Fill the container with well-draining potting soil and plant the beebalm, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil. Place the container in a location with sufficient sunlight and water regularly.

By addressing these frequently asked questions about growing beebalm, you are well on your way to cultivating a healthy and vibrant garden. Remember to provide the necessary care and attention, and enjoy the beauty and benefits that beebalm brings to your outdoor space.

Beebalm, also known as Horsemint, is a fragrant and easy to care for plant, making it a great choice for any garden. Not only will the flowering shoots of light purple and white bring life and color to any outdoor space, but the plant also attracts pollinators, providing great benefit to the environment. As a low-maintenance, drought tolerant plant, growing beebalm in your garden is an easy and natural way to add beauty and life to your outdoor space.

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