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January 2011
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Monarda didyma ‘Raspberry Wine’- (Raspberry Wine Bee Balm), bears wine colored flowers

Raspberry Wine Bee Balm is an annual or a perennial which is also known as Bee Balm, Bee balm, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant and Oswego Tea. MONARDA Raspberry Wine Bee Balm is a plant that can grow up to a height of 2-3 feet and bears wine colored flowers. They are a plant that should be grown in North as it can be invasive in Southern gardens. The stems are erect and bear berry red flowers. The leaves are large and have mint smell and the foliage is scented and mildew resistant. The flowers bloom from Early Summer to Early Fall and are in full size. The flowers have bright red petals & pink sepals and are considered the most beautiful of all bee balms. The flowers have mellower perfume. The topical use of the aromatic leaves is used to relieve the bee sting. The flowers have Globe-shaped heads. The plant forms clumps of upright, aromatic, dark green and toothed foliage.
This plant is Very attractive to Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds. It is used as cut flowers and for flower arrangements in bouquets and in wild gardens. The plant grows well in Full Sun to Half Sun/ Half Shade. The plant grows well in zones 4-9. The plant needs Normal to Clay soil and rich acid soil. It needs moist well draining soil but it can tolerate short drought periods. The soil needs Minimum pH of 5.6 and Maximum pH of 7.8.

Growing conditions of MONARDA Raspberry Wine Bee Balm

• This plant needs full sun to dense shade.
• This plant needs moist and well drained soil.
• The soil needs Minimum pH of 5.6 and Maximum pH of 7.8 and zones 4-9.
• Do not let the plant dry in summer.
• Add organic matter to enhance the growth.
• Add mulch to retain moisture.
• Seeds should be stratified before starting.
• Cast directly the seed in cold frames or greenhouses.
• Maintain the soil temperature of 70° Fahrenheit.
• This plant is best grown by hardwood and softwood cuttings, root cuttings, layering and division.
• The plant spacing should be 24-36″ apart.
• The division should be done every 3-5 years.
• Plant in a deep in-ground barrier.
• Propagate by dividing the clump in the spring.
• This plant can be cut back after the bloom in the first season.
• This will enhance second growth of flowers.

Care of MONARDA Raspberry Wine Bee Balm

• Water regularly to enhance extensive root system but do not over water or under water.
• Provide enough mulch to retain moisture.
• Keep surface of soil moist, but not soggy.
• Divide every 3-5 years in spring or fall.
• Thin out stems to enhance air circulation in the foliage and to prevent powdery mildew.
• Powdery mildew, rust, tobacco mosaic viruses tend to disrupt established plants. So checking on it is important.
• Remove old flowers for prolonged flowering.

Images of the plant.

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