A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bee Balm (Monarda) - Finally!!!

I planted a couple of different bee balms three years ago.  I didn't plant them the first year until mid summer, so I wasn't really expecting anything from them that first year other than pushing out a few leaves and surviving the winter.  They happily obliged.

Last year I anxiously awaited the proliferation of iridescent blooms that I expect from bee balm.  And I got....nothing.  All they did last year was grow to a height of 12-18 inches, their growth seeming to stagnate  by mid-summer.  Summer ended and I hung my head in shame at what I perceived to be yet another gardening mishap/failure/miscalculation/bad idea.  But this year I've got blooms, modest blooms, but blooms none the less.
 Bee Balm (Monarda)* - Coral Reef
Bee Balm (Monarda)* - Purple Rooster

* Please note that all plant identifications are a "I'm pretty sure that's what this is" and may not stand up to the scientific rigor of the blogosphere.

These aren't really all that impressive, I've seen much more incredible looking bee balm specimens.  But considering I've been waiting 2 plus years for this, I'm quite proud of this modest showing.  And next year should be even better.

I'm sharing my pictures with Tootsie for Fertilizer Friday - you should check out her amazing blog.  Along with her blog, there are some great gardening blogs every Friday, chock full of pictures of great blooming things. 


scottweberpdx said...

Bee Balms are such a tricky group. My go-to Monarda is Raspberry Wine, which is huge, vigorous and VERY floriferous. It can grow quickly to form large patches...but can sometime die out completely. I'm growing Purple Rooster for the first time this year...and while I love the color, it's not quite as vigorous as Raspberry Wine has proven to be.

El Gaucho said...

Thanks Scott. I think maybe they're just taking a bit to get started, I'll stick with heavy mulching and compost and hope for the best.

I checked out your blog (very awesome) and added myself as a subscriber. I've been to Portland a bunch (we were actually hoping to move there several years ago) and have friends there, so any picture or glimpse of the area is a welcome sight!

Anonymous said...

I echo Scott's remark. Same for me too. Honestly, any Monarda not as vigorous is fine by me. I have pinks that stay in their spots which is nice. They are also very short and did not suffer the wind damage. All my Raspberry Wine is flat on the ground. I will be cutting it back today.