Native to U.S. prairies, this heirloom is also known as monarda, horsemint, wild bee balm, and Oswego tea (because of its use by Native Americans). Its complex flavor is a combination of oregano, thyme, and mint; a unique seasoning for jellies, salads, and other savory dishes. The showy, pinkish-lavender flowers bloom all summer to the delight of bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, the wood nymph butterfly in particular. Adaptable to short periods of drought and poor soils and resistant to mildew. Perennial in USDA zones 3 to 9. Deer resistant.
Botanical Name: Monarda fistulosa
Native: Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains
Hardiness: Perennial in USDA zones 3–9
Plant Dimensions: 36″–48″ tall and about 18″–24″ wide
Variety Information: Pink to light-lavender, ¾”–1¼” florets are arranged in a whorl around a pincushion-like center, creating a 2″–4″ flattened pom-pom-shaped flower
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
Bloom Period: Blooms summer to fall
Attributes: Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Edible Flower, Heat Tolerant
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date or in late summer to fall.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before your average last frost date.
Days to Emerge: 14 – 21 Days
Seed Depth: Surface to 1/16″
Seed Spacing: A group of 5 seeds every 18″–24″
Thinning: When 1″ tall, thin to 1 every 18″–24″
Harvesting: For longest vase life, cut stems when one ring of florets has opened. Change vase water often.
This packet sows up to 102 feet. 260 seeds.