How to Grow Spotted Beebalm

Overview

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Spotted Beebalm rhizomes
  • Compost
  • Pot ash
  • Pine bark mulch

References

  • Gardening
  • Alt Nature
  • Connecticut Botanical Society
Keywords: spotted beebalm, wild bergamot, bee balm

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for textbroker.com. She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.