Similarly, trim off any weak or broken stems from the plant. Diseases and pests: When planted in ideal conditions, bee balm is relatively carefree. Bee Balm dying. Rising above, the flower stems tinge towards purple, and culminate in a lavender to light purple flower. Infected stems and flowers may be seriously deformed. Showy tubular flowers in inflorescences of about 30 around a central bract rest at the tip of a vibrant green stem, surrounded by lush green leaves. If you’re looking to add color to your herb garden, plant it towards the center or rear of your garden space, as they will be taller than most annual herbs, and try growing thyme, basil, parsley, or chives around it. To combat these, use insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils like neem oil to eliminate the spider mites. If brown seeds fall into the bag, the seed is ready to be collected. Ideally, bee balm should be planted in full sun, which is no surprise considering it's native to the South. Take it back down to just above the soil’s surface. To avoid this, ensure the soil is very well draining beneath your plant. When repotting, it is often a good idea to divide the plant to ensure that it doesn’t get too rootbound. The leaves of my bee balm plant are covered with a white substance. Neem oil and spinosad can reduce the population significantly. Water them well and set them inside a plastic bag to help retain some moisture. Bee balm Better Homes & Gardensbee balm diseasesPerennials that are commonly infected include delphiniums, lungwort, bee balm, and garden phlox. Bee balm often forms a rather dense root ball in pots. Add bee balm to flower beds or an herb garden for life and color. R… Carefully place a paper bag at the base of your plant, and then gently bend a stalk over the bag and tap it. Once it reaches the 12″ height, you can just evenly trim it to about half its height, which encourages lateral growth as well as more leaf mass. Today, we’ll go over some of the Monarda species of plants, and examine the differences between these different types of bee balm. Grow your bee balm plant in soil that is moist, slightly acidic and rich with organic materials to keep it healthy and better able to resist plant diseases such as powdery mildew. Allow the seeds to dry on paper towels in a well-aerated environment for 3-4 days and then place them in an airtight sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to plant them. Once they have taken root, remove the plastic bag and repot your cuttings in potting soil and place in a sunny window or greenhouse until you are ready to replant elsewhere. Powdery mildew Erysiphe cichoracearum. We all want to encourage pollinators to populate our gardens. Bee balm, eastern beebalm, Bradbury’s beebalm, lemon beebalm, etc. Unlike most fungal diseases, powdery mildew doesn't need water to spread; it can spread under conditions of high humidity. I have two patches of bee balm in my yard. The plants are only about 4 inches tall and the leaves on about half the plants have begun to turn brown and shrivel up. The lemon part of its name refers to the lemony scent that new leaves have when crushed, caused by naturally-forming citronellol, and it’s commonly used as an insect repellent in gardens because of that aroma. Plants infected with powdery mildew often look like they have been dusted with flour. A nice layer of top-dressed compost in the spring followed by a couple inches of mulch will offer plenty of plant nutrition along with some weed prevention. Planting something a bit shorter in front of the bee balm will help mask the damage while allowing the colorful flowers to show through. In a three-year study comparing 17 different varieties of bee balm, Leonard Perry, ornamental plant specialist at the University of Vermont, concluded that the most disease-resistant bee balm was 'Marshall's Delight'.