Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Growing Bee Balm by Joyce D'Agostino

In the last couple of years, I had focused most of my garden space to vegetables, however this year I decided to once again dedicate some of the space to flowers. Adding flowers to your landscape not only brings their beauty and fragrance, but they can also attract important pollinators.

There is such a wide variety to choose from, I decided to grow some that not only have flowers, but fragrant foliage as well. In addition to lavender and hyssop, I also grew Bee Balm (Monarda hybrida), also known as Lambada. The showy flower heads come in red, pinks and lavender and their tubular flowers hold nectar that attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

Lambada can grow in vigorous thick clumps, so may need to be divided after a few years. Keeping the plant divided helps control it from spreading. Lambada also can be susceptible to powdery mildew, which is a common fungal infection also seen on plants such as squash, pumpkins, lilacs and roses. Keeping the plant controlled and with good air circulation can help avoid Powdery Mildew.

If you do happen to develop Powdery Mildew on this or any of your garden plants, refer to Fact Sheet No 2.902 Powdery Mildew (found at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/02902.html), for information and control tips.