Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monarda is Called Bee Balm for a Reason!

Monarda is called bee balm for a reason!



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 Propagation:

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.


9 comments :

  1. I have some Bee Balm & I hope I didn't loose it from this very cold weather. I will for sure pay more attention to it this Spring {if I still have it}.

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  2. I love bee balm... even when it's out of control is gorgeous.

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  3. Hi, Dave!

    I've never grown bee balm but have some red Jacob Kline lined up for this summer, and I was planning to put it smack dab in the middle of the vegetable garden. Thanks for the warning about it spreading, that will help me place it better. I wanted to plant it because it's pretty, but also to help pollinate my veggies. :)

    What wonderful info, that bee populations may actually discourage harmful insects!

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  4. I am always so happy to learn the propagation help you provide! :-) Thanks Dave!

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  5. This is an easy one. I have the red and the hummers go to it too!

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  6. This is one plant i have to have and am willing to water when it gets dry. Do you think it will ever get dry? We are already up on our precipitation amounts. gail loved the cosmos post, too.

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  7. Hi Dave, I love the fragrant foliage. Monarda here struggles to get established with the dry soil and tree roots it contends with, but worth the effort for the bees and hummingbirds.

    I have to remind myself to be careful what I ask for - I wouldn't mind if it did some spreading here. We added a few native monardas last year, and hope they may be happier than the cultivars.

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  8. I tried Bee Balm one year with little luck. Not sure what I did wrong. I love bees and butterflies in the garden so I must give her a second try. Cosmos is a wonderful plant! Tina gave me some of the orange seed a few years ago and it keeps reseeding itself each year. I love that easy going plant...

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  9. I have some bee balm, which I planted specifically to attract the bees as well as butterflies--I think hummingbirds like it, too. But I didn't realize the advantage of having bees near the vegetable garden. I'll have to try that this year--anything to keep the pests out of my veggies!

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