Learn how to grow bergamot (bee balm). Growing bergamot is rewarding due to its fragrant foliage and beautiful flowers that also attract butterflies and bees.
USDA Zones–3 – 10
Soil pH–6 – 7
Other Names–Bee Balm, Bergamot, Monarda, Horsemint
Bergamot is an attractive perennial herb. Its name “bergamot” comes from the bergamot orange as its odor is similar to that. Young bergamot leaves smell sweet and give off a strong aroma, you can prepare aromatic herbal tea from them.
It is an ideal plant for herb and cottage gardens. In addition, it attracts bees, bumblebees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, so it is worth growing bergamot near the apiary or if you want to make a wild garden. It is also used as a cut flower for bouquets.
Propagation and Planting Bergamot
Propagate bergamot by sowing seeds in the spring or by division. Space plants at least 18 inches apart while planting. Growing bee balm in containers is also possible. For container planting, choose dwarf varieties.
Requirements for Growing Bergamot
It likes full sun but grows well in partial shade in warm regions. Plant it in a location that is open and has a proper air circulation.
Monarda (Bergamot) likes well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients, so it is preferable to add a large amount of compost during planting.
Water the plant moderately and keep the soil slightly moist without wetting the leaves, avoid overhead watering.
Bee Balm Care
Growing Bergamot and its care is not difficult. Remember, it is sensitive to powdery mildew, especially if planted in a tight space with poor air circulation. To avoid this, plant bee balm in a spot with good air circulation.
In the fall, cut the plant to a few inches left. For bushier growth, pinch off tips of younger growth in the spring. Also, care to deadhead fading flowers time to time for a prolific blooming period.
When growing bergamot, fertilize the plant with all purpose liquid fertilizer twice in a month for adequate growth.