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Bee Balm Bloom Time

Bee Balm Bloom Time

Bee Balm Bloom Time

Beebalms are coarse herbs and many gardeners have a love-hate relationship with because of their ability to spread by seed throughout a flowerbed and their susceptibility to succumb to powdery mildew in humid climates. The chance of becoming infected with powdery mildew can be lessened by growing in full sunlight and pruning within the clump to increase airflow. Scarlet beebalm grows best in full sunlight, but also does well in dappled shade although the flowering will be sparser. Scarlet beebalm grows best in moist, fertile soil, where they will spread, and easily forming sizeable colonies. If you want to eliminate self-sowing, remove the flower heads as soon as they are done blooming. Propagation is easiest by division in autumn or spring. They are a premiere nectar plant and should be included in anyone's butterfly garden.This herbaceous perennial plant is 2-3' tall, branching occasionally. The central stem is 4-angled and slightly hairy. The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 2" across. They are ovate or ovate-cordate, sparingly hairy, and serrated along the margins. The upper surface of each leaf is usually dark green; sometimes the surface of the upper leaves is tinted purple or red. At the base of each leaf, there is a slender petiole up to 1" long that is more or less hairy. The central stem and major side stems each terminate in a single head of flowers. Each flowerhead spans 3-4" across and has several leaf-like bracts underneath. These bracts are often tinted red or purple. The lower bracts are ovate or lanceolate, while the upper bracts are shorter and more linear in shape. Each flowerhead has a ring of several flowers in bloom at the same time. Each flower is about 1�" long, consisting of a 2-lipped red corolla and a tubular calyx. The upper lip of the corolla is semi-erect and tubular in shape, while the narrow lower lip arches downward. The outer surface of the upper lip is often finely pubescent, but it is not conspicuously hairy. The tubular calyx is light green to reddish green and has several veins along its length; there are 5 teeth along its outer rim. Two stamens and a style are strongly exerted from the upper lip of the corolla. The slender style is cleft at its tip. The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 1-2 months. There is no floral scent, although the foliage is aromatic. The flowers are replaced by ovoid nutlets. The root system produces abundant rhizomes. This plant often forms clonal colonies. Care: Be prepared to pull or dig out new sprouts. Mats of shallow roots can be invasive in moist soil; you may want to place metal barriers around root clumps to keep roots from running. Cut back plants periodically to keep them compact. Divide plants every 3 or 4 years; this will help control the rapid spread. For fall blooms, prune the back by to just a few inches above the ground after the first flowering.Bee balm is a tall perennial herb native to North America. Bee balm is also called by its botanical name—Monarda, and is also called bergamot (because the scent is similar to the citrus fruit bergamot, an orange), and is also referred to as Oswego tea (the Oswego Indians made tea from the leaves). It has a minty fragrance and the leaves are used for making tea and are added to salads and jellies. The blooms have a colorful, shaggy appearance and can be planted in both the herb garden and perennial border.

One of the showiest summer-blooming perennials, Monarda (Bee Balm) has very distinctive, brightly colored flower-heads that create captivating border displays and provide a great impact when used in mass plantings. The blooms consist of asymmetrical, two-lipped tubular flowers borne in dense, globular terminal heads, which rest upon a whorl of decorative bracts. Exuberant, they spice up summer borders and it is difficult to resist their floral charm, despite the susceptibility of some varieties to powdery mildew.I have both Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa growing in one of the southeast gardens in my home on Long Island, NY.. Both have been plagued by budworm and, on occasion, powdery mildew. The budworms are devastating; although this vigorous native plant comes back strongly each year, the worms destroy the buds and stunt or completely destroy the blooms. Controlling them is tricky as they are initially very tiny and hide within the bud itself, which also prevents insecticidal soap or other natural forms of control from reaching them. We use no chemicals at all on our property, and I’ve only used natural predator control in the form of beneficial insects for aphids. This year I manually removed budworm-infected Monarda buds, but the plants never did recover as the infestation was so intense. We have a pretty healthy ecosystem with loads of insect-eating birds and beneficial insects, yet still these budworms are a real problem. We also have ruby-throated hummingbirds and a TON of bees, butterflies and other pollinators, so I am hesitant to use anything that might harm them. Does anyone else have problems with budworm and an effective and safe way to eliminate or lessen the damage?I planted the tall red Monarda and the raspberry Monarda years ago along the South wall of our home. It is a beautiful bloom the bees, butterflies and Hummers enjoy year after year. I have had many double blooms with the tall Monardas and happen to snap a few pics of the bees and Hummingbirds on the blooms in the Summer. An easy-grower. I also have Coneflowers, as well as Evening Primrose, Bachelor Buttons and a variegated Hosta in the same perennial beds as their neighboring perrenials.)In conclusion, the bee balm will bloom in July and the bloom will last throughout the whole summer. During this period, it’s best to deadhead your plant. This will have an amazing effect on every bee balm flower, as they’ll regrow throughout the summer. When you’re planting these plants, know that they need a lot of suns, at least 6 hours per day. A lack of sun exposure is one of the most likely reasons your bee balm isn’t blooming right. However, overfertilization, overwatering and underwatering, as well as age are all possible reasons for a bad performance.Best planted in the spring or fall, bee balm plants will produce clusters of scarlet, pink, or purple tubular flowers in mid to late summer. The distinctive "spiky hairdo" blooms are among their chief selling points, along with the plants' ability to attract a variety of wildlife to the garden landscape (among them, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds). Plus, if you're looking for a pick that imparts long-lasting color to your garden, bee balm may just be it—the plants are ​long-blooming perennials that grow quickly and can reach up to three feet or more in height. (Source: www.thespruce.com)

 

 

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