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 The Plant Store

The plant store is now closed for the season.
I'll be winter sowing through the fall and early winter and potting up seedlings again come spring for the 2023 sale.

Monarda didyma

Monarda didyma 

Red Beebalm

  • Part shade to full sun
  • Average to high moisture settings - consistent soil moisture will help them fend off mildew
  • Grows to 3' to 5' in height and spreads to form a patch.
  • Garden, open woodland and meadow settings

While Lobelia Cardinalis is the most intensely red flower in the garden at my home, Scarlet Beebalm is the showiest. These brilliant fireworks appear in early July, (a much more ecologically compatible form of fireworks than the ones that shed heavy metals into rivers, soils and lakes at the start of July every year) brightening up the part shade location for around 3 weeks, with some intermittent reblooming after that. In a hot, dry year they grow to around 3’ tall and can suffer from mildew on their foliage in August if they don’t receive some supplemental watering. In a wet year they can grow to over 5’ tall and the foliage will remain fresh and green until frost.

This is one of the few flowering perennials in my garden that I can say from experience will stay more compact, and will bloom a bit later, if cut back in early June. I don’t usually cut or deadhead perennials, except for a late spring chop-and-drop to mulch the soil with last year’s stems. The reason that I cut some of these stems is to gather them for winter teas and for Monarda-and-chocolate cake. You can find the recipe for the cake and the Wood Sorel and Prickly Ash ice cream that I served with it here

When it comes to preferred growing conditions, these seem to enjoy either average moisture conditions and dappled shade, or plenty of moisture and full sun. They spread steadily but the roots and shoots form a thick mat just a couple of inches below the soil, so splitting off bits to give away is an easy spring task if your garden isn’t 100% suited to their exuberant nature.