Monarda dydima, Scarlet Bee Balm 'Raspberry Wine'

Although Monarda dydima is listed as an eastern species ranging from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast, it is essentially an Appalachian species that grows well here in Minnesota when we have above average to average rains. It has become a common garden plant -one that I prefer not to go without. Yes, it is loved by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, but I grow it for the bergamot scent that decorates the air when I step on its emergent leaves in spring. 

All Monarda species suffer from late season mildew, although the strain 'Raspberry Wine' does show a bit of resistance. Its roots are shallow, so I don't concern myself with its slow spread, as it it so easy to control by pulling up the edges (and replanting elsewhere!). Those shallow roots will affect its vigor in drought years, so when seasonal rains do not come, make sure to water deeply every so often.

Blooms: scarlet-magenta, July into August

Height: 3-4 feet

Conditions: pt sun to pt shade, moist-medium to medium soils -avoid very dry conditions