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