Also known as Bee Balm or Bergamot. Slender, tubular flowers of scarlet and pink grow on long 100 cm (40″) stems. Leaves have a minty aroma when brushed. The plants do best in moist soil in semi-shaded locations. The flowers are absolutely irresistible to hummingbirds and bees. Perfect specimen for mass planting and the back of the perennial border. Bee balm does require irrigation during periods of drought – however at the same time avoid overhead watering as this specie is susceptible to powdery mildew if the foliage remains wet for an extended period during warm/humid weather. Hardy to Zone 4.
How to Grow
2000 seed/gram. Start seed indoors in a soil-less mix in mid to late February. Keep at 15-21 C (60-70 F) mix temperatures for the 15-30 day germination period. Bottom heat is beneficial to speed up germination. Grow on under lights at 15 C (60 F) until hardening off and planting out after the danger of frost has passed. Outdoor plantings can be made in late fall or very early spring when a light frost is still feasible. Barely cover seeds and keep moist during germination. Thin to 45-60 cm (18-24″) apart in the garden. Prefers a semi-shaded location in the garden.