Bee Balm: Lemon (Monarda citriodora)
Starting Bee Balm Seeds
Also Known As: Lemon Bergamot, Lemon Beebalm, Lemon Mint, Prairie Bergamot, Wild Bergamot, Lemon Balm, Lemon Horsemint, Plains Horsemint, Lemon Bee Balm, Lemon Bergamot, Purple Horse Mint.
Grown as: Annual
Maturity (Blooms): May to August
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Water: Dry to medium
Soil moisture: Medium.
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds as well as resisting Deer.
Containers?: Yes. you need a container with adequate drainage for healthy plant growth. Pot up your mint plant with a good potting mix, either a regular commercial type or one with equal amounts of sand, peat, and perlite mixed in.
Sow Depth: On Soil Surface
USDA Zone: 2-11
Produces: Smooth lemon scented mid-green leaves. Leaves are narrowly lanceolate to oblong and about 2 inches long. They are awn tipped with remotely serrate to nearly entire margins.
Garden Uses: Bedding plant, cottage gardens, herb gardens, native plant areas, prairies, roadsides or waste areas. Also effective in hummingbird or butterfly gardens. Leaves may be used to make herbal teas or may be added to pot-pourris.
Starting Lemon Bee Balm Seeds Indoors for Spring
Transplanting Lemon Bee Balm Seedlings Outdoors for Spring
Starting Lemon Bee Balm Seeds Outdoors for Spring
Humidity is another important factor, so mist the plant between watering or set the container on a water-filled tray of pebbles. In addition, you should rotate the plant every three to four days or so to maintain a more even appearance, as plants tend to bend towards the light, becoming somewhat lopsided.
If desired, you can move your beebalm outdoors for summer, too. While fertilizing isn’t a must with this plant, you can give it an occasional dose of all-purpose, water soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion. Mix the fertilizer at half strength. Don’t over fertilize, as this can cause the herb to lose its flavor.
For best results with cooking with lemon bee balm or any other fresh herbs with essential oils they should be added at the end of cooking. They are less potent if you add them during the cooking process.
Lemon bee balm is a wonderful addition to fruit salads, herb butters, fruit drinks, and sorbets. It can also be used in many egg dishes, custards, a variety of soups and casseroles. It makes a great addition for stuffing for poultry, lamb or pork. Its subtle flavor is a perfect for sauces and marinades for fish. Lemon Bee balm combines well with many spices including chervil, pepper, thyme, and parsley.
Lemon Bee balm has been used medicinally since the Middle Ages. It is has been used to relieve anxiety, stress and tension since that time and is still used today for those same illnesses. It helps heal naturally.
Anxiety And Lemon Bee Balm:
Lemon beebalm is a wonderful nerve tonic. It is good on it's own for anxiety and stress, but can also be used in combination with other calming herbs such as valerian, catnip, lavender, or passionflower. When using valerian, you should not use any other sleep inducing medication such as valium. (Do not take our oil or ointment internally.)
For anxiety Lemon bee balm is either given in tea or tincture. A tincture is a concentrated herbal medicine that is made with alcohol. The alcohol draws in the medicinal properties of the lemon bee balm as it is being made, and is a good way to take herbal medicine. You can easily dissipate the alcohol by letting it sit in warm water for a few minutes. This works well for people who have a sensitivity to alcohol, or don't want to use products with alcohol in them.
If a tincture does not suit you, you can certainly use lemon bee balm as a tea. The usual dosage for a cup of herbal tea is 1 tablespoon per one cup (coffee cup) of water. Pour hot water over the herb in the cup. Cover with plate to allow the essential oils of the lemon bee balm to stay in the cup. Strain after 10-15 minutes. Sit back, drink, and enjoy. It is best to take 3-4 cups per day for 2 weeks to allow the lemon beebalm to take effect.
Herpes / Cold Sores:
All natural lemon bee balm ointmentIn studies, it has been shown to have polyphenols. The polyphenols give bee balm fantastic antiviral actions. In particular, they help to combat and heal cold sores due to the herpes simples virus (HSV). Applied to the affected area, it helps heal cold the sores in about 3-5 days. It also helps double the time between outbreaks.
Lemon bee balm that is used on herpes cold sores is usually found in either an oil or an ointment. The leaves of the plant are steeped in a carrier oil (such as almond, apricot, or olive) for 4-6 weeks. The oil absorbs the medicinal actions of the lemon bee balm. It is then strained and either used as lemon bee balm oil or ointment. It is a popular herbal ointment for herpes.
Lemon bee balm is also useful on chicken pox and shingles. Both chicken pox and shingles are the same virus as herpes. Used topically, it will help heal the sores of chicken pox and shingles much quicker than on their own.
Flu with Muscle Aches and Pains:
Due to its antispasmodic and relaxant actions lemon bee balm can come in quite handy when a flu hits with muscle aches and pains. It will help relax the body, and the antispasmodic action will help with any muscular spasms. Lemon beebalm increases sweating, and could help in the case of a fever. By making the body sweat, the toxins are driven out of the body through the pores. It can be used at the first sign of flu for best results.
Nausea and Stomach Problems:
Lemon bee balm as a tea is a carminative, and therefore can be used to help settle a nauseous stomach. It will help relieve digestive gas and also help with indigestion. (Do not take oil or ointment internally.)
Lemon bee balm essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy and body care products. It has a calming and soothing slight lemony scent.
Caution: Lemon bee balm should be avoided by those on thyroid medication as it is believed that the herb inhibits the absorption of this medicine. Contact Cloverleaf Farm for an alternative.
Bee balm attracts hummingbirds with its red and pink blossoms and its tubular flowers that are naturally suited for a hummingbird's long beak. Other similar flowers include Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa), with red and yellow flowers, or silver sage (Salvia argentea), with white flowers tinged with red. Both companions also thrive in full sun or partial shade in USDA plant hardiness zones 5b through 10b.
As a member of the mint family, bee balm leaves have a minty smell and make a pleasant, herbal tea. Bee balm adds color and height to an herb garden and should be planted near the center of the garden surrounded by your preference of shorter herbs grown as annuals, such as basil, thyme, chives and parsley. Add a perennial herb such as rosemary in USDA plant hardiness zones 7a through 11 for year-round interest in the garden bed.
Also grown in full sun in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, bright yellow daylilies would work well planted in the same garden bed with the warm colors of bee balm. For a contrasting accent, midnight blue agapanthus (Agapanthus x "Monmid") adds the cool-blue color in USDA plant hardiness zones 7b through 11.
As a 6- to 8-inch ground cover growing around the base of bee balm, the light green leaves and multiple flowers of dwarf annual phlox (Phlox drummondii) thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5a through 11 and come in a variety of colors. The blue-gray leaves of the perennial blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) contrast nicely in both shape and color with bee balm. Blue oat grass thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 5b through 10b.
Polka Dot Plant: Pink (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
This 8-12" pink variegated beauty is one of the easiest to manage shade plants or house plants you will ever come across! It's attractive foliage is best displayed outdoors in the shade as an annual, or indoors or greenhouses as a perennial. It is also great as a border or in containers.
Celosia: Flamingo (C. argentea var. spicata)
Strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum)
The original strawflower comes from Australia, where it still grows wild as a native species. The first botanical records of the strawflower date back to 1803, with the publication of a work called Jardin de Malmaison. this book, a catalog of the species grown at the Chateau de Malmaison, was completed by French botanist Etienne Pierre Ventenat at the request of Napoleon's wife Josephine, who had an avid interest in rare plants. Hybrid forms of this flower first became popular in mid 19th century Europe as a result of the horticultural research of expert botanist Herren Ebritsch.
Milkweed: Swamp (Asclepias incarnata)
As the name indicates, these swamp milkweed seeds for sale thrive in swamps and low meadows or along streams. The bright pink flowers attract swarms of bees and butterflies, and have a sweet scent described as similar to vanilla or cinnamon. At one time, the silk from swamp milkweed seed pods was spun for fabric or used for stuffing pillows; in World War II, school children gathered the silk to provide a cheap filling for soldiers' life jackets. Commercial attempts to make use of this abundant plant included the manufacture of paper, fabric, lubricant, fuel, and rubber; eventually these became impractical and were abandoned. Though this plant is toxic to most animals, butterflies are immune to the plant's poison and actually become rather poisonous themselves as protection from predators.
Catchfly: Nodding (Silene pendula)
Because of its sticky stem that can entrap tiny insects, this family of plants earned the common name Catchfly. Since many plants in this species produce a saliva-like substance, the genus name "Silene" is derived from Silenus, a mythical Greek character known for being covered with foam. The species name "pendula" comes from the Latin word for "hanging down," referring to the drooping habit of the flowers. This variety originates in Europe and is rarely seen in the United States!
Zinnia: Exquisite (Zinnia elegans)
A unique and colorful Zinnia that offers a range of shades. Exquisite Zinnia is an easy to grow annual that blooms bright red and fades to soft rose pink as the blooms age. Definitely a favorite of gardeners, florists, or anyone who loves cut flowers.
Penstemon: Scarlet Queen (Penstemon Hartwegii)
Zinnia: Benary's Giant Carmine Rose (Zinnia elegans)
Balsam: Camilia Flowered Mix (Impatiens balsamina)
Poppy, Peony: Red (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, Peony: Pale Rose (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, Peony: Salmon (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, California: Carmine King (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Red Chief (Eschscholzia californica)
Bergamot: Wild (Monarda fistulosa)
Purslane: Rock (Calandrinia Umbellata)
Four O' Clock: Rose (Mirabilis jalapa)
Four O' Clocks: Red (Mirabilis jalapa)
Columbine: Wild (Aquilegia canadensis)
Bee Plant: Rocky Mountain (Cleome serrulata)
Zinnia: Cherry Queen (Zinnia elegans)
Cornflower: Tall Pink (Centaurea cyanus)
Yarrow: Red (Achillea millefolium rubra)
Clover: Crimson (Trifolium incarnatum)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Sage: Scarlet (Salvia coccinea)
Penstemon: Palmer's (Penstemon palmeri)
Cosmos: Radiance (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Zinnia: Luminosa (Zinnia elegans)
Poppy: Red (Papaver rhoeas)
Baby's Breath: Deep Carmine (Gypsophila elegans)
Cosmos: Candy Stripe (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Basil: Purple Ruffles (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil: Sweet (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil: Lemon (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil: Italian Large Leaf (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil: Spicy Bush (Ocimum basilicum var. minimum)
Thyme: Common (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme: Creeping (Thymus serpyllum)
This plant is widely known as an herb. Thyme is the source of the oil Serpolet, which is used in herbal medicine. The plant is also often used as a food seasoning and the dried leaves may be used to make tea! This low growing plant with creeping, woody foliage bears small, lavender colored flower during the months of June and July. The hardy plant tolerates some pedestrian traffic and produces odors ranging from heavily herbal to lightly lemon, depending on the plant!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Canterbury Bells: Blue (Campanula medium)
An old-fashioned biennial. Canterbury Bells form a low rosette of green leaves and upright stems that bear loads of large blue dangling bells. Stems are superb for cutting. Allow some plants to self seed, which will produce another generation for future years.