Practitioners of folk medicine make the flowers of bee balm (Monada didyma) into a poultice for bee stings. The leaves and flowers also make a tea that's thought to help sore throats and headaches. 'Pardon My Cerise', shown here, is an ornamental bee balm.
Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. This variety is ‘Raspberry Wine,’ beloved for its burgundy-tinted leaves that resist powdery mildew. Flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Bee balm (Monarda didyma) makes a terrific addition to a cutting garden. Place plants in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 30 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Look for bee balm in a host of colors and plant sizes—there’s one to fit any spot in your garden.
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is a buffet of color and activity in the garden, beckoning all kinds of pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies and bumblebees. This bloomer kicks off the flower show in midsummer, ultimately sending up multiple flowers from a single stem. It makes a great addition to a bouquet, lasting a week or more in a vase. Bee balm comes in a host of colors, including pink, lavender, purple and red shades. Choose varieties that have good powdery mildew resistance. Look for varieties from short to this average size ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm, which grows 36 to 48 inches tall by 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
A meadow garden literally buzzes with life, thanks to a host of insects that visit classic meadow bloomers like bee balm (Monarda). Plant native bee balm or cultivated varieties—both work well in a meadow and deliver strong season-long color. As the name suggests, bee balm beckons bees (and hummingbirds) by the dozens. Bee balm is a perennial hardy in Zones 3-9, depending on type.
Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and make a terrific addition to the summer vase. Plants grow best in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Bee balm comes in a variety of plant sizes and colors, including lavender, pink and bright purple. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 12 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for bee balm: anise hyssop, coreopsis, zinnia and garden phlox.
Kick off summer with a bee balm that won’t run all over your garden. ‘Leading Lady Lilac’ forms a lavender cloud in early summer, with a second flush of flowers extending the show into midsummer. Blossoms beckon bees, butterflies and other pollinators, while minty foliage gives deer the brush off. Plants grow 12 inches tall. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Botanical name: Monarda ‘Leading Lady Lilac’
Powdery mildew makes garden plants unsightly, and it limits a plant’s ability to nourish itself and flower or produce fruit. Plants like bee balm, roses, squash and cosmos are often infected with powdery mildew.
Easy Solution: Spray plants with a home brew fungicide—you can find many recipes online. A favorite is 1 tablespoon baking soda and 2.5 tablespoons horticultural oil in 1 gallon of water. Spray plants weekly to protect new growth.
This charming wildflower garden will be loved by the nectar-gatherers in your neighborhood. White shasta daisies are framed by red bee balm and red dwarf coreopsis and create a bright, cheerful planting.
Beloved for its ability to beckon bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, bee balm (Monarda) also earns rave reviews for its mosquito-repelling qualities. For many insect-deterring plants to work, you have to crush leaves or blooms to release the plant’s volatile oils. Bee balm is an exception to that rule. As it grows and blooms in your garden, it releases fragrances mosquitoes dislike (so does basil, by the way). Bee balm is a perennial that flowers in a variety of colors and plant sizes. This beauty is Balmy Rose monarda, which is a compact type growing to 1 foot high. It’s a great choice for edging beds or tucking into containers.
When meadows are planted for seasonal color, every month brings new interest to the scene. Terrific plants for fall color in a meadow include native goldenrod and bee balm. Ornamental grasses also bring strong interest to autumn meadows.
Echibeckia combines the winter hardiness of purple coneflower (Echinacea) with the fast growth and sunny flower colors of black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia). The result is a stunning beauty that makes the most humble jar vase beam with good looks. Flowers stand atop sturdy stems and appear all summer long—without deadheading. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 20 to 24 inches tall and 16 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 6-10. Good vase companions for echibeckia: bee balm, mints, ninebark and purple verbena.
Oriental lilies are showstoppers in the summer garden, opening richly colored and intensely fragrant blooms. Flowers appear from mid- to late summer and can linger for a few weeks. Oriental lilies grow from bulbs, which are best planted in fall in colder zones. Lily stems grow 24 to 48 inches tall and usually benefit from staking. Plants often spread over time to form a clump from 12 to 36 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Good vase companions for Oriental lily: hosta or baptisia leaves, ribbon grass, garden phlox or bee balm.
Individual blossoms on the flower spike of gas plant appear to have eyelashes, thanks to long, curling stamens. Gas plant offers a long flower season, from late spring through midsummer, and you can find varieties with blooms in shades of lavender, pink and red. Once flowers fade, seedpods form that linger into early winter and make a nice addition to autumn arrangements. Site this perennial where you want it (full sun is best), because it doesn’t transplant easily. Small seedlings tend to form around the mother plant, and those can be moved with little fuss. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 28 to 32 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for gas plant: bearded iris, peony, bee balm and lady’s mantle.