About Monarda Red Shades
Red Monarda is back! This color has been unavailable from breeders for quite a while now. Also known as Bee Balm, they produce clusters of frilly petals on top of long stems. The leaves smell minty and are often called “Oswego Tea” (from the Native Americans from where it originated). In my garden, the hummingbirds and sphinx moths absolutely love Monarda. Most universities will list Monarda as a deer resistant plant. Red Shades are selected for their vibrant red colors and resistance to powdery mildew.
Monarda Red Shades
Planting and Growing Monarda
Make sure your Monarda “harden off” to cool nights and windy conditions before planting. This requires leaving them outside in a protected area for a few days otherwise, they may wilt after planting. Choose an area that is partly shady to shady. Prepare your planting hole by turning the soil at least a shovel size deep and wide and be sure the hole is filled with plenty of organic matter for best results. Remove your plant from its pack and gently loosen the root ball. Plant deep enough to cover the top of the root ball. Press down firmly on the soil and then water it in. Consider fertilizing once or twice a season. You can mulch if you like but not too close to the plant to avoid rot. Clip spent blooms for longer bloom time!