So That’s Why It’s Called Bee Balm

By Published On: June 30th, 20210.9 min readCategories: Garden, Photos
A bee flying over a bergamot flower

A bee buzzes a bergamot

Like many of you, I plant stuff without doing a lot of research.

Take the herb/flower Bergamot (Monarda) for example. Last year I planted some from seed in the butterfly garden. It grew into a bunch of low, leafy plants that never flowered and eventually died back in the winter.

No butterflies. Very disappointing.

This spring I finally got around to looking up how this plant grows and found out it’s a biennial. Produces only leaves in the first year and flowers and goes to seed in the second.

Sure enough, come April, the plants took off again, this time growing thin stalks 6 feet tall. Last week they began to flower and they’ve been kicking it ever since.

Still no butterflies, but daaaang, there’s a lot of bees.

Of course if I had done my research up front, I’d have known the plant is also known as “bee balm” and “butterfly balm.”

Now it makes sense.

Enjoy 20 seconds of bees on bee balm:

One Comment

  1. […] a false start a couple of years ago, the wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) settled in and made itself comfortable in the bee and butterfly garden last year. They bloomed all summer, the plants died back, and I let […]

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About the Author

author avatar
Sage Osterfeld
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.

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