The herbaceous perennial, Monarda didyma (mo-NAR-da DID-ee-mah), is a North American native plant and a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family of plants.
Bee Balm is considered a companion plant because it combines so well with all other family members and a wide variety of herbs, annuals, and perennials.
Monarda didyma is also known as:
- Bee Balm
- Oswego Tea
- Scarlet Bee Balm
- Crimson Bee-balm
Carefree Bee Balm is easy to grow, attractive to pollinators, and shares care preferences with many plants.
It likes full sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil.
In this article, we will explore the many pairing possibilities of Bee Balm. Read on to learn more.
Bee Balm Is A Vigorous Neighbor
While many plants share Bergamot’s preferences regarding the sun, soil, and water, it is important to choose plants that can keep up alongside this vigorously spreading herb.
In addition, you’ll want to choose robust plants that can hold their own when crowded.
For this reason, planting Horsemint amongst heartily rambling vegetables is a great idea.
Its sweetly scented flowers will draw pollinators to your garden to help your climbing and trailing veggies thrive.
Additionally, the foliage and roots of the plant contain very strongly scented oils that may help repel plant and soil pests.
Pair Scarlet Bee Balm With Squash Of All Sorts
Squash, pumpkins, and zucchini are notorious for taking over the garden, spreading, and even rambling into paths, roadways, and nearby trees.
They can definitely hold their own alongside Bee Balm, and their large, bright yellow and orange flowers look pretty in contrast with these plants’ fluffy red, purple, pink, and white blooms.
Tomato Plants And Bee Balm Are Natural Companions
If you live in a tropical setting, you can grow tomatoes, and Bee Balm intermixed all year round.
However, if you live in an area where tomatoes are only grown as annuals, your Oswego Tea will come back year after year, even when you don’t plant tomatoes.
Varieties of Monarda didyma range in height from 15″-inch dwarves to 4′-foot-high shrubs.
Choose the right variety to pop its cheery blooms up amidst your rambling cherry tomatoes or rise boldly alongside 9′-foot-high vines.
The plants’ pollinator-friendly blooms and pest-repellent essential oils will greatly enhance your tomato production.
All Varieties Of Rudbeckia Do Well With Bee Balm
Like Monarda didyma, Rudbeckia is an attractive, pollinator-friendly wildflower native to North America.
It’s also known as Coneflowers, and varieties include:
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Cherokee Sunset
- Giant Coneflower
- Indian Summer
- Cherry Brandy
- Prairie Glow
- Prairie Sun
- Irish Eyes
All these are beautiful, easy to grow, and love exactly the same conditions as Bee Balm.
Mixing these wildflowers makes a lovely, carefree perennial herb, butterfly, and pollinator garden.
Echinacea And Horsemint Are Pretty Companions
Also known as Coneflower, Echinacea is another beautiful, hardy, useful wildflower that will thrive with Bee Balm and Rudbeckia in your herb, butterfly, and pollinator garden.
The best-known Echinacea is the tall, pink Kim’s Knee High (Echinacea purpurea) used to make tea.
Still, dozens of other varieties will combine happily with one another and with Bergamot.
Phlox And Bee Balm Do Well Together
Phlox is another large group of pretty native perennial plants that do beautifully in various settings.
The blooms of these plants are fragrant and abundant and come in a multitude of colors.
There are many different species and cultivars, so mixing and matching them with Bee Balm and other attractive native flowering plants is easy.
Shrubs, Vines, And Miniature Roses Are Prettily Complemented By Bee Balm
Pairing Bee Balm with roses may take a bit more planning and calculating than wildflowers because you’ll want to match sizes and colors carefully.
However, rose bushes and trees can do nicely with an understory of Oswego Tea plants.
Miniatures might look pretty with a backdrop of taller Horsemint. A low border of Bee Balm in front of a rose trellis could be lovely.
These are just suggestions, though. Possible creative combinations are really endless.
Bee Balm Is A Pretty And Useful Herb
This native North American plant is a useful herb that indigenous people have traditionally used as an antiseptic medicine and tea.
It makes an ornamental and valuable addition to any herb garden.
It’s Easy To See That Bee Balm Gets Along With Almost Everyone!
Bee Balm comes in so many colors and sizes that it is possible to find a perfect place in just about any sunny garden.
Mix it with daisies and wildflowers or use it as a border in front of shrubs, lower-growing annuals, or perennials.
You can also mix it with early blooming bulbs to ensure plenty of color and pollinator interest from mid-summer through autumn.
Follow the advice presented here to create stunning companion plant combinations with Bee Balm.