Bergamot, Bee Balm, Monarda Didyma
Bergamot: one of the prettiest tea plants you can grow!
I vut theplants back hard and there is not much top growth at the moment, but enough roots there are.
What a desirable and showy addition to your vegetable garden! These bergamot flowers are mint scented and light purple (some varieties can be scarlet or pink), the leaves are scented as well.
Use Bee Balm in tea, your Medicine Chest and the Kitchen:
Both, leaves and flowers make a very pleasant tea or use them in salads, on fruit, as condiment or in summer drinks.
Natives of Eastern North America used bergamot for cooking and medicine: The herb is a powerful antiseptic and they used monarda for skin infections, wounds, throat infections, headache, fever, to relieve cramps during menstruation, and as a stimulant. Bee balm is a member of the mint family and used in a similar manner for gas, poor appetite, colic, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
The leaves can be used to make an aromatic scented bath. The plant yields an essential oil which is used in perfumery.
Despite its name bee balm is not a good bee plant it attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. The pulverized leaves were used to treat bee stings, that's the reason for the name!
Do not use if you are pregnant, have thyroid issues. If used on the skin it can cause sesivity to the sun.
How to grow Bee Balm:
Bee balm likes wet soil and does best in cooler climates: in it's native regions it thrives in deciduous forests. Bee balm prefers full sun, but can take part shade.It grows to approximately half a meter across and a meter high and dies down during winter. Plant 30-60 cm apart. Apply compost in spring and mulch to retain moisture. Bergamot needs good air circulation and does not like to be crowded.USDA Zones: 4-9