Perennial of the week – Monarda ‘Marshall’s Delight’ Bee Balm
If you are in the market for a perennial that is loved by butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds then Bee Balm ‘Marshall’s Delight’ is the perfect choice for you. It makes a great addition to the cutting garden and has the outstanding bonus of a great fragrance.
Marshall’s Delight Bee Balm is a heavy blooming mid-sized bee balm that will grow best in evenly moist soil as this will help prevent powdery mildew. It would be best in a full sun location but can tolerate a little shade. It has beautiful deep green foliage and since it comes from the mint family, the foliage has a great fragrance. Marshall’s Delight produces striking tubular hot pink flowers June through September and when in full bloom can reach up to 3 feet tall. When planting ‘Marshall’s Delight’ Bee Balm be sure to give them a good one to two feet spacing as this plant grows fast. They work great in flower beds as a mass planting or in borders. Consistent dead heading will prolong the flowering period as well as keep the plant looking neat.
Beneficial characteristics of ‘Marshall’s Delight’ are that they attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. They are a great addition to a cut flower garden and have great resistance to powdery mildew.
When first planting Monarda ‘Marshall’s Delight’ Bee Balm, incorporate into the soil a rich compost such as Bumper Crop, along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. To help in drought conditions use Espoma Bio-tone Soil Conditioner with beneficial mycorrihizae. This will help establish a large and healthy root system. Follow with a monthly feed of Espoma Flower-tone. In late fall cut the stems back to the ground. Every two to three years divide the root clumps to prevent the invasive nature of this great plant.
As its name suggests, Bee Balm attracts bees. Don’t be afraid of this. Remember, bees are GOOD! We as humans need bees. They are responsible for pollinating your garden and it is estimated that one third of the human food supply is pollinated by insects most of this is accomplished by bees. So do something good for our environment and ecosystem plant a Bee Balm today! Enjoy.