Bee balm (Moarda) is a flowering herb in the mint family. Known for its tall stalks and colorful flowering all summer long, bee balm has a flavorful minty orange fragrance. Butterflies and hummingbirds cannot resist the nectar rich flowers. Because of its aromatic scent, deer and rabbits tend to leave bee balm alone and will not snack on it.
Keep in mind that deer are not picky eaters. Although they prefer daylilies, hostas, and English Ivy, if no other food is around, they will eat almost any garden plant or bush. According to Rutgers University’s rating scale, bee balm is rated as Seldom Severely Damaged.
Keeping Deer Away From Bee Balm
Deer avoid plants with aromatic leaves and blooms such as bee balm. Usually, you will not have to worry about deer eating the flowers or leaves. In fact, you can plant bee balm in your garden to help deter deer from plants they do like to eat such as hostas and daylilies.
Will Bee Balm Come Back After Deer Eat Them?
Bee balm is seldomly damaged by deer due to the fact the deer do not like the minty orange scent of the plant. Bee balm is a hardy plant that tends to spread easy. If deer happen to eat the plant, it will most likely come back from the munching.
If the flower has been eaten, you can deadhead it (cut the flower part off). This will actually encourage more flowering. If the foliage has been eaten, you can cut back the plant to around 6 inches of height. Bee balm benefit from annual deadheading, cutting back and splitting the plant.
Sources: Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station ‘Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance’ 2018