Free shipping on ALL plant orders!

Monarda didyma

scarlet beebalm add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam, clay, sand

Height: 2'-4'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: red

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, attracts hummingbirds, clumping, cottage garden plant, culinary herb, cut flowers, deer resistant, edible, fragrant plant, medicinal, naturalizing, pond margin plant, stream margin plant

Flowers of Monarda didyma (beebalm)
  • Flowers of Monarda didyma (beebalm)
  • Flowers of Monarda didyma (beebalm)
  • Flowers of Monarda didyma (beebalm)
  • Flowers of Monarda didyma (beebalm)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Monarda didyma

Also known as:

scarlet beebalm

,

beebalm

,

oswego tea

,

red bergamot

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

This showy member of the mint family carries dense, rounded, terminal clusters of bright red, tubular flowers. Monarda didyma is a tall plant that will grow to 4 feet in height or more. The green, coarsely toothed leaves of the scarlet beebalm are fragrant,and borne on tall, square stems.

Cultivation

Scarlet beebalm, or Oswego tea, can be found along streams, in moist, open woods and thickets. It prefers acidic, rich soil, but will tolerate a variety of soils, so long as it is not allowed to dry out. This species does best under bright light, but will tolerate part-shade where summers are hot. To prevent self-seeding, and to encourage an extended bloom time, beebalm can be dead-headed after flowering. Clumps should be divided every 3 to 4 years to avoid over crowding. Good air circulation is important because this species can be prone to powdery mildew. Monarda didyma has a long bloom period starting in late spring and extending into early fall in the cooler areas, May through September. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Propagate by division in early spring or from seed.

Additional Notes

Stunning in cottage gardens, scarlet beebalm can also be used in cut flower arrangements. The Oswegos of New York, as well as early settlers, used the leaves of this beebalm as an herbal tea. It has a delicate, lightly minty flavor. Young greens may be used in salads. It has been used medicinally to relieve a variety of ailments. A balm made from the crushed leaves has been used traditionally to soothe bee stings, hence the genus common name.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Lamiales
Family Lamiaceae Mint family
Genus Monarda beebalm
Species Monarda didyma scarlet beebalm