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Fertilizing Bee Balm

Bee balm is a perennial plant native to North America. Hardy in zones 4-9, bee balm can grow up to 4 feet tall with a spread of 3-4 feet. Bee balm (Monarda) is part of the mint family which is known for rapid growth and spreading. Even in less than desirable conditions, this easy to grow plant requires little attention. Planted in evenly moist nutrient soil and full sun, bee balms do not require frequent feeding. 

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How to Fertilize Bee Balm

Bee balms are very easy to care for plants. Moist, nutrient rich soil with a pH between 6 and 7 is all it needs during the first 2 years of planting. Bee balm will survive, even if neglected, but it can benefit from some balanced organic fertilizer if the soil is not optimal. MIxing a multi-purpose fertilizer into the soil around the plant or adding compost is all the plant needs.

Do not over fertilize! This can cause rampant succulent growth which can create a powdery mildew on the plant. If you would like a bushier plant, in early spring, snip off the tips of the stems as new growth appears.

Best Time To Fertilize Bee Balm

Bee balms are light feeders- meaning that it does not require frequent or heavy fertilizer treatment. Over fertilizing can result in too much leafy growth and very few blooms. Sprinkling 1/2 cup of a general purpose, slow release granular fertilizer around the base of the plant in early spring is all bee balms need. Water well after the application. 

Best Fertilizer For Bee Balm

The easy to care for bee balm plant will thrive when given the right planting conditions (full sun and moisture rich soil). It does not need heavy fertilizing. MIxing compost into the soil or using an all purpose 10-10-10 in early spring is enough. Either liquid or granular fertilizers will do. 

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Bee Balm Fertilizing Tips

  • Use a slow release 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Apply fertilizer once in the spring
  • Water well after fertilizing
  • Avoid over fertilizing

Warnings

-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.
-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.