With its clumping growth habit and long blooming season, bee balm creates a showy garden display. Bee balm bears flowers that grow in a wide range of colors including, pink, red and purple. Blooming from mid-summer to fall, bee balm, as the name indicates, is an attractant for winged wildlife like bumblebees and hummingbirds. Other flowers that resemble bee balm have the daisy-like flowerhead that grows in upright clusters, ideal tucked into hanging baskets or front flowerbed.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a perennial flower with a moderate growth rate and clump-like habit. Growing 24 to 36 inches tall, the flowerheads on purple coneflower cluster together to create an ideal plant flanking a garden walkway or tucked into a low water section of the garden. Drought-tolerant, purple coneflowers are low maintenance to tolerate periods of limited moisture and high temperatures. A butterfly and bumblebee attractant, purple coneflowers bloom in summer to last through the fall, like bee balm. The 6-inch wide purple to pink flowerheads on the purple coneflowers surrounds the brown center that resembles a beehive. The bright green, lance-shaped leaves on purple coneflower contrast with the bright flowers for a bright garden display. Purple coneflowers require full sun only and well-drained soils. To extend the flowering season, deadhead or remove the blooms. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 3 to 8.
New York Aster
Similar to bee balm, New York aster (Aster dumosus) is a perennial flower with a clumping growth habit. The daisy-like flowers are blue to lilac with yellow centers to grow on upright clusters. Growing 1 to 2 inches wide, the flowerheads sit atop the tall stems. Like bee balm, New York asters flower in summer to last into the fall, making for a long-lasting blooming season. The dark green, lance-shaped foliage on New York aster is dense and oftentimes used as ground cover for the garden. A butterfly attractant, New York aster grows 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide. Grown along a flowerbed or tucked within a cottage garden, New York aster creates a bright burst of color to the garden. New York aster requires full sun to part shade and well-drained soil with a moderate amount of moisture. The zone for planting is 4 to 8.
Swan River Daisy
Swan River daisy (Brachycome 'Blue Zephyr') is a perennial flower that produces a mass of flowers that oftentimes obscure the lace-like foliage. Growing in upright clumps, Swan River daisies have a moderate growth rate. The bushy, compact growth habit holds the fragrant flowers that have a similar ragged look like the bee balm flower. Tucked into a container or grown along a front border, swan river daisies bloom from summer to the first frost, creating a long blooming season. Swan River daisies require full sun to part shade and well-drained, nutrient-laden soils. The zone for planting is 9 to 11.
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