Grand Marshall Bee Balm produces a profusion of brilliant fuchsia-purple flowers atop mid-sized, upright plants from mid through late summer. They add a fun element to fresh flower bouquets. This cultivar exhibits very good mildew resistance. Monarda is native to eastern North America, so it is easy to grow and it multiplies quickly. The flowers' sweet nectar attracts scores of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees to the garden. The aromatic foliage smells like mint when crushed and is often used to flavor teas.
Monarda can be found naturally along riverbanks and enjoys this rich, organic, moist soil. However, it will grow in average soil as well. Full sun is best, but light shade is tolerated. Plants tend to spread more quickly in the shade, however. Most Monardas multiply rapidly either by underground stems or self-sowing. In order to keep plants healthy and vigorous, they should be divided at least every three years in the spring. Deadheading spent blooms will prolong the bloom time. Powdery mildew is a common fungal problem with Monarda. Some varieties are more resistant to it than others. To prevent this fungus from appearing, large clumps should be thinned out so that the air circulates freely around them. The soil should also be kept consistently moist; dry soil promotes powdery mildew.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Coneflower (Echinacea ), Gayfeather (Liatris spicata), Grass-Ornamental (Pennisetum alopecuroides), Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum)
Cut flower or foliage
Fragrant flowers or foliage
Full sun to part shade
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