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     Want your garden to pop?  A little red goes a long way -- and it can really bring in the pollinators!  Hummingbirds, e.g., have special receptors that see the color red.  Look for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Swallowtail Butterflies and others nudging for space among Scarlet Bee Balm.


     Scarlet Bee Balm is in the mint family and is a moderate spreader, so maybe choose a large area so it can happily roam.  It likes sun to light shade and moist soil and is easy to grow.  


     The flowers die back after blooming, which generally works well in a naturalized setting.  In a more formal garden, maybe add goldenrods and other fall-blooming perennials to fill in the gaps.  


     Like all bee balms, Monarda didyma is susceptable to powdery mildew, which does not hurt the plant.  The stems die back shortly after the bloom, which mitigates the appearance. 


     Fun fact: Monarda didyma also is called Oswego Tea because the Oswego native Americans living near what is now Oswego, NY, taught early white settlers how to make an herbal tea from the plants leaves.

Bee Balm, Scarlet

1 Quart
    • Latin: Monarda didyma
    • Pollinator value: Very High
    • Height: 2 to 4 feet; 2-to-3-foot spread
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Medium to wet
    • Bloom: Red (crimson), July-August
    • Foliage: Deciduous, deep green
    • Landscape: Native garden, along ponds and streams, woodland thickets
    • Resistance: Deer, wet, black walnut

    Native range here

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