Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata ) is a perennial herb that grows into a large shrub. It is also known as wild bergamot. The flowers are pale yellow with purple spots. The lower leaves of the flowers (bracts) are either white or light pink. Spotted beebalm was used by Native Americans for its medicinal uses. Colonial Americans used it as a tea to replace the tea dumped into Boston Harbor. It is grown by dividing rhizomes from mature plants.
Prepare a garden bed in a sunny location that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. Add compost and pot ash to the soil and mix thoroughly. Dig holes in the garden bed at least 8 inches deep and 18 inches apart.
Plant the rhizomes in the holes and cover loosely with soil. Water thoroughly, making the soil very wet. This will encourage new growth. It takes three to four weeks to see new plants peeking through the soil. Once the new stems are 6 inches tall, add pine bark mulch around the base of the plant.
Blooms and leaves can be harvested in June and July. Dry the flowers and leaves for use in teas, sachets, or potpourri. Just before the first frost, cut the branches back and remove any dead branches. Add a mixture of compost and pot ash around the base of the plant, then cover with a layer of pine bark mulch.