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.
Flamingo Celosia is a warm weather perennial flower that is native to Aldabra and Madagascar which is commonly grown as an annual in cooler climates. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 32” and features an erect stem, lance-shaped green to purplish-red leaves, and narrow plume-like pink flower heads. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and predatory wasps, and also has culinary and medicinal uses.
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.
Nodding Catchfly is an annual/biennial flower that is native to Greece, Italy, and Turkey, but can be found growing in fields and meadows in the northeastern and northwestern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2-4' and features nodding clusters of 5 petaled light pink flowers. This plant can easily be grown in containers and hanging baskets, and also attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds!
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)
Camilia Balsam is a sun loving tender annual flower that is native to India and southeast Asia but can commonly be found growing in the northeastern United States. Growing to the height of 30” tall, this plant features lance shaped leaves and small clusters of 2” cup shaped red, pink, and white colored flowers. This plant can be grown in containers, it attracts bees, butterflies, and humming birds, is resistant to drought, great as a cut flower, and best of all, it self sows!
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)
Wild Bergamot is a native perennial clump forming flower that is naturally found growing in dry rocky woods and dry prairies all across the United States. At maturity this plant reaches a height of 2-3' and features a square like stem, aromatic greenish gray leaves, and globular clusters of two-lipped lavender flowers. This plant is best known for its ability to attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, but it also is both edible and medicinal, can be used as a cut flower, is drought tolerant, is used to flavor perfumes, make insect repellents and essential oils, is resistant to deer, and self sows!
Rose Four O'clock is a tender perennial flower that is native to Peru but can be commonly found growing in most of the southern, and some of the northern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 24-36” and features 4” dark green leaves and fragrant rose colored 2” cylindrical, five petal-like lobes. This plant can be grown in a container, it attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, it's resistant to deer, tolerates drought, self sows, is even both edible and medicinal!
Wild Columbine is a native perennial flower that can be commonly found growing in rocky woods, ledges, and slopes throughout the mid to eastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2' and features 1-2” red and yellow, drooping bell-shaped blooms. This plant can be grown in a container, it attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinating moths, it resists deer and rabbits, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is a gorgeous native annual flower that is commonly found growing in open prairies throughout the United States. At maturity, this plant will reach the height of 3-4' and feature an erect stem, leafy branches, and beautiful clusters of large pink flowers which bare six stamens that extend far beyond the flower itself! This sun loving eye catcher also attracts bees, birds, and butterflies to your garden, is both edible and medicinal, is resistant to deer and rabbits, is great as a cut flower, and can even be used to makes dye!
Zinnia: Cherry Queen (Zinnia elegans)
Cornflower: Tall Pink (Centaurea cyanus)
Tall Pink Cornflower is an annual flower that is native to Europe that can be found growing in open fields and along railroads from coast to coast of the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 1-3' and features grayish green, blade-like foliage and long stems topped by a 1-1½” circlet of tiny pale pink flowers with a darker pink center. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, provides bird forage, tolerates drought and frost, makes dye, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Yarrow: Red (Achillea millefolium rubra)
Crimson Clover is an annual flower that is native to Europe, but can be found growing across the U.S. in nearly every state. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 1-3' and features hairy rosette unbranched stems, 1/2-1” heart shaped leaflets, and 1-2 1/2” cylindrical flower heads that bare ½ vibrant red florets. This plant can be grown in a container, it attracts bees and butterflies, is both drought and frost tolerant, and provides forage to livestock!
Foxglove is a biennial/short lived perennial flower that is native to eastern Europe but can be commonly found growing in open woods, woodland clearings, moorland and heath margins, sea-cliffs, rocky mountain slopes and hedge banks throughout the northeastern and northwestern United States. At maturity, this plant features thick, textured leaves at the base and tall spikes of tubular, dangling 2-3” blossoms of rose pink or purple with tiny contrasting spots. This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, is resistant to deer and rabbits, and is great as a cut flower!
Sage: Scarlet (Salvia coccinea)
Penstemon: Palmer's (Penstemon palmeri)
(Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Radiance’)
Zinnia: Luminosa (Zinnia elegans)
Poppy: Red (Papaver rhoeas)
(Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Candy Stripe’)
Candy Stripe Cosmos is an annual warm-weather flower is that is native to Mexico, but can commonly be found growing throughout the southern and northeastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 3-6' and features finely divided, feathery green foliage and 2-3” flowers with yellow centers and wide, scallop-edged white petals edged with dark pink. This plant attracts bees, birds, butterflies, ladybugs, pollinating moths, and predatory wasps, tolerates drought, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
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)
Blue Canterbury Bells is a biennial flower that is native to Italy and France that is commonly found growing in shady areas of moist woods and meadows, and along streams and ditches in the northwestern and northeastern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 3' and features long, loose clusters of long lasting bell-shaped blue flowers. This plant is perfect for cut flowers, attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, is resistant to deer, makes dyes, and is also edible!
Morning Glory: Heavenly Blue (Ipomea tricolor)
Morning Glory: Picotee Blue (Ipomoea nil)
Dwarf Blue Cornflower is an annual flower that is native to Europe that can be found growing in open fields and along railroads from coast to coast of the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 1-3' and features grayish green, blade-like foliage and long stems topped by a 1” circlet of tiny lavender blue flowers with a darker center. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, provides bird forage, tolerates drought and frost, makes dye, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Sage: Kitchen (Salvia officinalis)
Lupine: Sky (Lupinus nanus)
Blue Camass is a native perennial flower that is commonly found growing in moist mountain meadows and slopes in the northwestern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2' and features a 2' clump of blade-like leaves at the base of a firm stem, and a large clusters of 2-3” starry blue flowers. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bee, butterflies, and hummingbirds, can be used as a cut flower, is edible, and self sows!
Sage: Blue (Salvia farinacea)
Penstemon: Rocky Mountain (Penstemon strictus)
Tall Blue Cornflower is an annual flower that is native to Europe that can be found growing in open fields and along railroads from coast to coast of the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 1-3' and features grayish green, blade-like foliage and long stems topped by a 1” circlet of tiny lavender blue flowers with a darker center. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, provides bird forage, tolerates drought and frost, makes dye, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Pea: Blue Butterfly (Heirloom) (Clitoria ternatea)
Butterfly pea vine is part of the Clitoria genus and its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea. The ternatea part of this plant's botanical name means 'set in threes'. It is native to tropical equatorial Asia. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, with elliptic, obtuse leaves. It grows as a vine or creeper, doing well in moist, neutral soil. The most striking feature about this plant are its vivid deep blue flowers; solitary, with light yellow markings. They provide quick covers for lattice, trellis, arbor and chain-link fence, and are a favorite food source for butterflies.