Celebrate 2021 Year of the Monarda
The National Garden Bureau has declared 2021 Year of the Monarda. Plan on adding some to your gardens and finding more ways to enjoy these beauties.
The three most common Monarda species are Scarlet bee balm, wild bergamot and dotted mint. Include these charming vigorous plants in both natural and more formal plantings. Grow masses of these pollinator favorites to attract and support butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
Harvest a few flowers and leaves from this member of the mint family throughout the summer. You’ll encourage more flowers and can use the flowers as well as leaves from pesticide-free plants to add a nice citrusy note to salads. Or use them to make iced bee balm tea to enjoy on a hot summer day. Then dry a few leaves and flowers to save and brew for hot Oswego tea for those winter days.
A bit more information: New more compact and mildew resistant cultivars of Monarda have been introduced for the garden. Grand with its bright flowers, Sugar Buzz at 2 - 2 ½ feet tall and the 12” tall Balmy all have good mildew resistance.