© Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The bee balm plant is a repeat bloomer, which means that after one bloom fades, a new one replaces it. Cut the plant into divisions with a sterile knife. Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is one of the 16 species of Monarda that are native to North America. As the flowers begin to fade, snip off the blossoms before they form seed heads. Remove the old stems and clean up the mulch around the plants. There are many different varieties of the Monarda species, and about 50 commercial cultivars commonly available. But an awful lot of bee balm varieties are naturally-growing wildflowers in the United States. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001. Cutting back the entire bee balm after the first major flowering flush is over removes … Replant the divisions 18 to 24 inches apart in full sun and moist soil. In addition, add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the plant and pull it back 3 or 4 inches from the stem. Cut the infected foliage back to the base of the plant, where the foliage is unaffected. Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist and writer who focuses primarily on garden topics. Prune off dead bee balm stalks after the flowers die. The foliage may develop mildew after the plants finish flowering. This encourages side growth and helps keep the plant at a manageable size. Trace the stem down until you locate the first small, green projection on the side, which is a bud. Divide the bee balm when the center of the plant begins dying out, every two to three years. These are the old blooms which must be removed by deadheading. Bee balm plants, which are also called monarda, grow in bushy, vertical stalks and produce brightly colored flowers in the spring and summer. Cut each stem back to its base in the crown of the plant. The bud should be facing the outside of the plant. Bee balm grows best in full sun, which also helps discourage mildew infections. The flowers attract bees as well as butterflies, which is where the plant gets its name. Cutting Back. Thinning the stems also helps reduce powdery mildew infections by increasing air circulation around the plant. When young plants or new spring growth reaches 1 foot tall, cut the plant back to 6 inches tall. How Do I Cut Back a Perennial Hollyhock Flower? Bee balm is usually pinched back to make the plant bushy, deadheaded to encourage new flowers and cut back severely in late summer after flowering. Put the debris in the trash, not on the compost pile. Pull each cut flower stem from the bee balm plant mass and compost or discard it. R… She continues to write nonfiction articles on gardening and other topics and is working on a second "50" book about plants that attract hummingbirds. How to Deadhead a Bee Balm Plant Step 1. To help prevent mildew infections, plant mildew-resistant varieties, such as 'Colrain Red,' 'Marshall's Delight,' 'Raspberry Wine' and 'Violet Queen.'. She writes a weekly garden column and authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden. Bee balm grows 2 to 4 feet tall and 1 1/2 to 3 feet wide. It also helps reduce reseeding in the flowerbeds. Deep-water every seven to 10 days through the growing season. Alternately, pinch back regularly. Repeat the deadheading process to remove all remaining dead and wilted blooms on the bee balm plant. Prune in Late Fall. Careful cleanup helps prevent mildew growth in spring; the spores overwinter in infected plant debris. In extremely hot climates, a little afternoon sun extends the flowers' lives. Deadheading can occur throughout the growing season, but the majority of it will take place in the fall as the plant stops blooming for the year. Dig up and divide the plants in early spring, as soon as the new leaves begin to appear. Identify any flower blooms on the bee balm plant which are wilted, turning brown, or stalks that have rounded tops but no petals. Once the smaller plants begin growing, you can transplant them into large containers or in the garden. When preparing for winter, cut the entire plant back to 1 to 2 inches tall. Grasp the stalk of one of the dead flower stalks with your hand and look at the stem. Step 3. To encourage quicker blooming, you can deadhead the flower stalks, which removes the wilted blooms. Bee balm, known botanically as Monarda fistulosa and commonly as wild bergamot, is a flowering perennial herb belonging to the mint family. In cold climates, wait until the first hard freeze, and then cover the plant with a 3- to 6-inch layer of straw or pine needles. Remove the mulch in spring with new growth appears. Cut the stem off, using hand pruners, 1/4 inch above the outward facing bud. Step 2. Each piece needs a clump of roots and two or three shoots. When preparing for winter, cut the entire plant back to 1 to 2 inches tall. Small divisions may be potted and placed in light shade until new leaves develop. It prefers moist, well-drained soil, but tolerates heavy clay soils. Avoid wetting the leaves, which encourages mildew growth. Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Remove … Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. This encourages the plants to produce more flowers. Deadhead spent flowers as they wilt and fade. Bee balm begins blooming in early summer and continues through late summer and early fall. Place the cut-off section of the stalk into the trash or into a compost bin. Always use sterile pruning tools or scissors and dip them into rubbing alcohol or a household cleanser, such as Lysol or Pine-Sol, between cuts, to prevent the spread of infections. Increase watering during hot, dry weather to keep the soil moist to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. A member of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family, bee balm is aggressive but not as invasive as its Mentha relatives. Scatter a teaspoon or two of 10-10-10 fertilizer around each plant in early spring and water it in well. Dodge County University of Wisconsin Extension: Monarda, How to Remove Mold & Mildew on Garden Phlox. Let’s look at a short list of some of the types and the differences between them.Monarda bradburiana, ‘Eastern beebalm’This perennial variety has a lower cushion of rich green foliage, with lightly-toothed edges along oval leaves. Put the debris in the trash. Grasp the stalk of one of the dead flower stalks with your hand and look at the stem. Until new leaves begin to fade, snip off the blossoms before they seed... As its Mentha relatives hand and look at the stem plants begin growing, you can transplant into! 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