This bee balm was brought home as a division from a plant in my wife's aunt's garden in West TN. Monarda is a great plant for attracting pollinators! It doesn't only attract bees, butterflies are more than happy to land upon this flowering perennial. I planted it just outside our vegetable garden in the same area of the picture I showed earlier in the week. Monarda can spread so just be sure you like it before you plant it! I like planting pollinator friendly plants near the vegetable garden to attract the pollinators. There have even been studies that say the mere presence of bees actually reduces the population of problem insects. Apparently the bad bugs hear the buzz of the bees and are fooled into thinking that a predatory wasp is nearby ready to swoop in so they lay low.
Monarda (Bee balm) can be propagated easily through division but stem cuttings (Taken in Spring or Summer) are very easy to root and you have the added advantage of creating many more plants at one time. You really don't need any more than 1 node on a cutting to get rooting going since internodal cuttings work well. Layering is a good option too. If you're just considering learning to propagate perennials monarda would be a good choice to try for the first time.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monarda is Called Bee Balm for a Reason!
Monarda is called bee balm for a reason!
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.