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March 2010
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Monarda – Coral reef, how to grow this plant, soil conditions, fertilizer, care etc.

Monardas, a hybrid of the famous American wildflower with the “bright red crown-shaped” flowers, a description of the large scarlet blooms everyone and every hummingbird loves. Monarda didyma goes by the common name Bee Balm, but is not the only plant to do so.

Characteristics :

– An easy-to-grow native with hundreds of salmon pink flowers in mid summer. A long-blooming and clean selection, Coral Reef attracts butterflies and hummingbirds with its sweetly scented flowers.
– Monarda didyma is an herbaceous perennial plant.
– Spreads enthusiastically in moist soil, but is more restrained in the average garden.
– Height : 3 Feet and Spread : 2 Feet.
– Attributes : Drought Tolerant, Wildflower Garden, Container, Pond Edge, Mass Planting, Dry Sun, Cut Flower, Stream Edge, Border, Moist Sun, Native to US, Fragrant.
– Nature Attraction : Hummingbirds, Butterflies.
– Critter Resistance : Deer Resistant.

Growing Conditions :

– The bloom begins in mid-summer, and if you cut off spent flowers for about three weeks, you’ll extend the blooming into fall.
– Soil Preferences: Prefers a rich, organic, moist soil but will grow in average soil. Do not let the soil dry out.
– Sun/Shade: Full sun to partial shade


Monarda is a hardy perennial plant that will spread in favorable conditions through rhizomes or self-seeding. Pruning or division may be necessary every 2-4 years to control spread. Many gardeners will also prune the plant back after flowering if the plant becomes ragged looking. Deadheading spent monarda blooms can encourage a longer flowering season as well.

Pests or Diseases

Powerdery mildew is the most common problem for bee balm plants and is usually a sign of drought-stress or overcrowding and lack of good air circulation. Evenly moist soil is almost a must for mondarda plants to prevent stressing out the plant. Rust is another disease problem for some monarda plants and can be worse if the foliage is frequently wet when watering.

Propagation Methods

Monarda is easy to grow from sowing the seeds freely outdoors, planting divisions or purchasing healthy plants and setting out directly into the landscape.

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