WHEN TO SET OUTSIDE
This summer blooming perennial can be placed in the ground in early spring or fall.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Bee balm is an essential perennial for sunny, moist meadow plantings and informal borders, where it attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. For the best show, plant into compost-enriched soils and space well apart to discourage powdery mildew. Deadhead flower heads that have faded to encourage a rebloom or cut down after flowering. A member of the mint family, it spreads readily by runners and can hollow out in the center after a few years. Divide every 2-3 years, or cut offshoots to replant.
Keep moist, especially in full sun, but avoid overly saturated soils.
Prefers acidic to neutral, but will grow in slightly alkaline soils. Adding some well-rotted manure to alkaline soil can help to bring the pH level down a bit.
Each spring, apply about 1/2-1" of compost.
Diseases & Pests:
Bee balm is susceptible to mildew, but this can be prevented by thinning and allowing for good air circulation. Keeping soil evenly moist will also help to prevent this problem.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when the flowers are nearly open.