How to Plant Bee Balm


A tall flowering plant, bee balm is known for its ability to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to any garden. The bee balm is a hardy perennial from zones four to nine and can be trusted to grow well with some spreading over the years. Blooming from early to late summer, the bee balm is considered easy to grow and should produce rich blooms and lush foliage for years when well cared for and in the right conditions.

Step 1

Select a site for your bee balm where the soil is well-draining yet not overly dry, and the sun shines directly on it for at least five to six hours each day. Depending on the number of plants you want to grow, be sure your selected area can hold your plants spaced 1 to 2 feet apart.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the size of the pot your plant is in. Add a shovel full of compost or garden soil to the hole and mix it with the existing soil.

Step 3

Remove your bee balm from the pot it is in and loosen the roots around the bottom of the root ball if they are tangled up. Set the plant into your hole and pack soil and compost lightly around it to bring the plant level with the ground and hold it in place.

Step 4

Water the bee balm well to wet the soil and water as often as needed to keep the soil moist for the first three weeks after planting. Water the plant weekly to wet the soil and keep the plant growing. Water the bee balm twice a week if your region is in a drought or during excessively hot summers.

Step 5

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around your bee balm. The mulch can extend as far out as 6 to 8 inches from the base of the plant. Weed weekly as needed where your mulch doesn't cover.

Step 6

Feed in the spring with a 10-10-10 all-purpose fertilizer following the manufacturer's instructions for dosage and application methods. Collect your bee balm as desired for cut flowers, or collect leaves and dry them to make teas.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bee balm is prone to powdery mildew, so be sure your plants have good air circulation around them and you are careful to water at the ground level rather than wet the leaves during watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost or garden soil
  • Potted bee balm plant
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • All-purpose fertilizer


  • "The Edible Herb Garden"; Rosalind Creasy; 1999
  • "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
Keywords: planting bee balm, growing bee balm, bee balm planting

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.