Muse: Bee Balm. Hummingbird Tested and Approved.

Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma 'Jacob Cline')

I love having Bee Balm in the garden when it blooms in early July. Not because it’s the most attractive plant in the garden – actually it’s kind of tall and awkward looking. But no other perennial attracts Hummingbirds to my city garden quite as reliably. Red Bee Balm is like a backyard gateway drug for Hummingbirds. Add a Hummingbird feeder and a Butterfly Bush on the side and you’re set for Hummingbird acrobatics the rest of the summer. Sweet.

Photograph: Bee Balm (Monarda¬†Didyma ‘Jacob Cline’)
Music to suit: EST, Tuesday Wonderland
(Source: YouTube: MasterKefkaZX)


7 thoughts on “Muse: Bee Balm. Hummingbird Tested and Approved.

  1. Hello Greg

    I enjoy your posts very much.

    I am so consumed with work that I look forward to the topic as my mind never leaves the business.

    I must say that the music recommendation is a very nice touch. Add an appropriate recipe and you have touched all the senses.

    I can help with that.

    Will that plant grow at the cottage? The Soil is very acidic due to all the pine trees. Maintenance? Must be very low.

    I Hope all is well.

    I have ton going on. 3 mores stores under construction. Business is crazy. Still running a store by myself on top of building a company and brand.

    We need to catch up some time soon.


    Sent from my iPhone

    • Chris,

      A couple thought on growing red Bee Balm at your cottage:

      If you’re mostly interested in attracting Hummingbirds to your cottage, you may find a Hummingbird feeder easier to maintain. Hummingbirds seem more inclined to use feeders at the cottage. In the city, I can’t seem to get their attention sufficiently without the Bee Balm blooming first. Once I have them in the backyard, the Hummungbird feeder and a Butterfly Bush extend the duration and frequency of their visits nicely.

      If it’s mostly the plant you’re interested in, perennial survival may be a bit dicey at the cottage. Monarda is a zone 4 plant, so it comes back year-after-year in Toronto (zone 6) but may die off each year in cottage country (which is likely zone 4 or 5) – you’d have to check with a local nursery to be sure. Monarda likes the soil a bit moist. Mine is planted in partial shade, which helps keep the soil a bit moister, for a bit longer. If you’re not around to water once in a while, that might be an issue (a shoreline planting might be an easy way around this). No idea whether acidic soil is a problem or not; my Bee Balm grows beside a giant evergreen, which may cause similar soil acidity levels, but I’ve had no issues. Since Bee Balm is about 3 feet tall and a little wobbly, you may need to stake it or plant it beside other plants that will help hold it up during heavy rains.

      Good Luck,

  2. Pingback: Ontario Hummingbird Festival at the Wye Marsh | woodsywisdom

  3. Pingback: Bee Balm Wildflower | Winged Beauty

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