Flowers · Outdoor · Perennials · Sun-loving Plants

You had me at Monarda

Monarda, also known as bee balm, is my favorite perennial.  It was love at first sight eleven years ago when I saw this beautiful perennial growing in my neighbor’s yard.  I asked her what it was and told her how much I loved it.  A week later, she showed up with several generous divisions of it.  This was the beginning of my love affair with gardening.  She also offered to loan me a book on perennials.   At the time, I did not know the difference between an annual and a perennial.

So I took her advice and planted the monarda in a sunny spot and watered, watered, watered.  They grew successfully, and I was addicted to gardening.

There are many colors and varieties of monarda.  For example, White Flower Farm sells 6 different types.  My favorite is Monarda Jacob Cline.  I have had good luck growing this in sun and in partial sun.  It seems to like most soil conditions.

Monarda is a great perennial for many reasons.  It has an exceptionally long blooming season.  The flowers keep blooming with a strong burst of color for more than a month, which for a perennial is a very long time.  They are also used as an herb for tea so they are not poisonous, which is a bonus if you have pets or kids.  They also establish very quickly, giving your garden a full look faster than any other perennial.  Monarda also smells great.  Last but not least, they attract the best creatures:  Hummingbirds, monarch butterflies, bees and birds will all visit your garden daily if you have this wonderful perennial in your garden.

So. . .  if I were stranded on a desert island and could only take one plant with me, I would choose monarda.

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