HomeHerb SelectionBee Balm Seeds: 5 Irresistible Varieties to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

Bee Balm Seeds: 5 Irresistible Varieties to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

Bee balm, also called monarda, is a beautiful perennial wildflower that will bring waves of pollinators to your garden. The shaggy, eye-catching blooms come in shades of red, pink, purple, and white depending on variety. Bee balm is a mint family member and its flowers have a lovely, sweet scent that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds can’t resist! Read on to learn how to start bee balm from seeds and enjoy these pollinator superstars for years to come.

How to Get Bee Balm Seeds

High-quality bee balm seeds are available from many sources if you know what to look for:

  • Buy from reputable wildflower seed companies to ensure the freshness and germination of your Bee Balm Seeds. Look for companies that specialize in wildflower varieties.
  • Look for organic seeds grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which is better for pollinators and the environment. Organic methods produce healthy, vigorous seeds.
  • Stick to recommended varieties suitable for your hardiness zone and climate. Selecting zone-appropriate varieties will give you the best chance of success.
  • Check expiration dates to ensure seed packs are fresh. Older seeds have lower germination rates. Going with fresher seeds boosts your odds of abundant blooms.

Following these tips will help you acquire excellent bee balm seeds for your pollinator garden. Take the time to source from quality suppliers for ideal garden results.

Bee balm
Bee balm

Growing Bee Balm from Seeds

One bonus of bee balm is how easy it is to grow from Bee Balm Seeds using this simple process:

  • Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost date. Plant seeds just below the surface in the seed starting mix. Quality starting mix provides the drainage and nutrients young bee balm needs.
  • Provide warm soil temperatures around 70°F, using a heat mat if needed. Warmth is key for germination, so supplemental bottom heat will help especially if sowing earlier in spring when soils are still cool.
  • Transplant seedlings outdoors after hardening off for a week, once all chance of frost has passed. Gradually expose seedlings to outdoor conditions over 7-10 days to avoid transplant shock.
  • Space plants 12-15 inches apart in the garden, giving them room to reach 2-3 feet tall and wide when mature. Proper spacing prevents overcrowding.
  • Water regularly until plants become established. Give them about an inch of water per week. Consistent watering while young is important, but once mature, bee balm is quite drought tolerant.

Follow these straightforward steps for thriving stands of bee balm flowers! Starting from seeds is economical and provides great flexibility in bee balm varieties.

Using Bee Balm Plants

When grown in your garden, bee balm offers an abundance of enjoyment:

  • Attract pollinators with the bright, nectar-rich blooms bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds adore. The sweet scent and colors draw these beneficial insects in droves.
  • Cut flowers for gorgeous wildflower bouquets that last up to 2 weeks indoors. The shaggy flower heads add wonderful texture and charm to the arrangements.
  • Flavor teas and recipes with tangy bee balm leaves and edible flowers. Both leaves and blooms impart a robust, minty flavor. Dried leaves make a refreshing herbal tea.
  • Dry flowers for everlasting arrangements and potpourri. Hang bundled stems upside down in a cool, dry spot to air dry. Enjoy their visual and aromatic qualities all year long.
  • Soothe cold symptoms by drinking bee balm tea or using tinctures. The plants have natural antiseptic properties that can help relieve colds, flu, headaches, and more.

With its versatility and visual appeal, bee balm is a sensational addition to outdoor spaces. Put its many attributes to use around your home.

Bee Balm Seed head
Bee Balm Seed head | Image Credits: Rhododendrites | License details

Many excellent bee balm varieties exist, but here are 5 top picks:

1. Jacob Cline Bee Balm

This Bee Balm Seeds variety has vivid red flowers on taller 4-5 foot stems. It blooms vigorously from early to late summer, providing that bright pop of color for an extended period.

2. Marshall’s Delight Bee Balm

Showy pink flowers shine on 2-3 foot plants. It has excellent resistance to mildew, which can sometimes plague bee balms. Choose this variety for stellar performance.

3. Raspberry Wine Bee Balm

Intensely raspberry-pink blooms are uniquely dotted with purple spots. It reaches 2-3 feet tall and makes a bold statement with its rich color.

4. Gardenview Scarlet Bee Balm

True scarlet red flowers stand out brightly on more compact 18-24-inch plants, perfect for containers. It works well in smaller garden spaces.

5. Rose Queen Bee Balm

Abundant soft pink blooms give this Bee Balm Seeds variety its royal name. It grows 2-3 feet tall and flowers profusely from early summer to fall for months of color.

Any of these Bee Balm Seeds varieties will magnificently attract pollinators while beautifying your landscape! Try different ones to see which you like best.

Caring for Bee Balm Plants

To keep your bee balm grown from Bee Balm Seeds looking its best and producing plentiful flowers:

  • Deadhead spent blooms to encourage more flowering. Snip off faded flowers down to the next set of leaves.
  • Divide plants every 2-3 years in early spring to control spread. This also rejuvenates growth.
  • Cut plants back by half in late fall to remove dead growth and prevent disease. Apply fresh mulch around the base after cutting back.
  • Provide supplemental water during drought and fertilize lightly with compost in early spring. But avoid overwatering or over-fertilizing.
  • Watch for signs of problems like powdery mildew or leaf spots and treat organically as needed. Improve air circulation and avoid wetting foliage.

With proper yearly care, your bee balm planting grown from Bee Balm Seeds will thrive season after season!

Bee Balm Care Steps

Conclusion

In summary, bee balm is a stellar choice for gardens looking to draw in beneficial pollinating insects like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Its colorful, fragrant flower heads bloom over an extended season. By getting bee balm seeds started now according to the growing guidance provided, you’ll soon have eye-catching stands of this wildflower gracing your outdoor space. Let bee balm lend its pollinator power to your landscape this year!

FAQs

Does bee balm come back every year?

Yes, bee balm is a hardy perennial that will return and bloom annually for many years when cared for properly. It’s a reliable, long-lasting plant.

Is bee balm invasive?

Some bee balm varieties spread more aggressively than others. To prevent unwanted spreading, cut off spent blooms after flowering and consider planting in contained areas.

Does bee balm spread?

Bee balm tends to slowly expand its reach each year through underground rhizomes. Dividing plants every 2-3 years helps control spreading while invigorating growth.

What is the best soil for bee balm?

Bee balm thrives in evenly moist, well-drained soil enriched with ample compost or organic matter. The ideal soil is loamy and amended to provide nutrients. Proper drainage is key.

Is bee balm deer-resistant?

Deer usually steers clear of bee balm, probably because of its strong fragrance. Its leaves also help deter other pests like rabbits. So it’s a good choice for gardens plagued by animal damage.

With its vibrant flowers and intoxicating fragrance, bee balm is a must for any pollinator-friendly garden. Get your seeds planted this season and enjoy this care-free wildflower for years to come!

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