monarda is technically a cultivar from the mint family. bee balm, grown in many herb gardens, has an unusual flower, often described as ragged clusters of blooms. my plant attracts all the neighborhood hummingbirds, and i often see at least two at a time by the petals. my bee balm grows in two colors and two separate areas of my garden. one plant is pink and the other is purple and grows more aggressively in my mint garden. bee balm requires full sun to develop strong stems. make certain to have good air circulation around the plants to prevent powdery mildew.
there are many cultivars now that are mildew-resistant including a red bee balm. after planting, it may take a couple of seasons for your bee balm to establish well. i found that my plants have established nicely in my garden. they are wonderful for attracting bumble bees and hummingbirds. they are a perfect addition to any garden, and will bloom later in the growing season. keep the plant dead headed to encourage re-blooming.
i have paired my bee balm with anise hyssop for a beautiful color combination.