Monarda didyma, also known by several other names, including crimson bee balm, scarlet bee balm or bergamot, is an aromatic herb native to eastern North America, where it grows wilm. Bee balm has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native American peoples. In particular, the Oswego people made the leaves into tea, giving the plant one of its common names, Oswego tea, which was later used by American colonists during their boycott of British tea. The Panorama variety is a delightful, cultivated strain introduced more than 300 years ago and well known for brilliant shades of scarlet, crimson, red, pink and salmon.
A carefree, strong grower from America’s wild meadows.
Height 25 cm
Width 75 cm
Height 20 cm
Width 20 cm
Lavender, snapdragon, marigold, tomato, pepper, melon, eggplant.
How to grow
Germination 10-20 days
Harvesting 50-70 days
When sowing 5 cm; Depth 0.2 cm
When thinning 5-10 cm
Sunligth Full sun to partial shade.
Soil Any well-drained soil.
Watering Regular watering, but not overdone.
Feeding Light feeder.
Expert tip To keep bee balm plants vigorous, divide them every two or three years. This is also a great opportunity to propagate the plants.
Attracts bees, butterflies and birds.
May be attacked by slugs.
How to eat
For maximum flavour, harvest mid-morning by clipping the base of the stalk. Then, gather by the stems and hang to dry. Or spread the leaves and petals on a screen to dry naturally.
Medicinal properties Bee balm has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native American peoples.
How to eat Bee balm tea can be made from both fresh and dried leaves. As a tea, the flavour is a mix of citrus and mint. As a herb, it has a pungent flavour that is a mix of sage and oregano and nicely complements roasted meats.