How to Grow Bee Balm Flowers

Bee balm attracts butterflies to gardens image by Raymondgobis:


Bee balm is an excellent edible flower to add to your garden. The peppery smelling flower heads and the leaves are used to make oswego tea. Oswego tea became popular after the Boston Tea Party as a replacement for black tea. Medicinally, the plant soothes stomach ailments, colds, headaches and fevers. Often, bee balm is used in butterfly gardens because of its ability to attract butterflies. The flowers also attract hummingbirds.

Step 1

Choose an area of your yard where the plants will get full sun, and that has moist fertile soil.

Step 2

Fertilize the area where you will grow bee balm with 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Step 3

Plant your bee balm in early spring by pressing the seeds 1/8 inch into the soil, and spacing them a foot apart.

Step 4

Water the plants just enough to keep them moist while germinating, about every two days.

Step 5

Add mulch around the plants once they are about 2 inches tall. This will help to keep water around the plants.

Step 6

Add 6 to 8 inches of water to full-grown plants every 7 days.

Step 7

Remove dead flower heads to promote more flowering throughout the growing process. Deadhead as often as is necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Bee balm seeds
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • Iowa State University: Horticulture
Keywords: bee balm, bergamot, oswego

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.

Photo by: Raymondgobis: