Bee Balm Monarda 'Fireball' (PBR)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
bergamot 'Fireball'


The Monarda 'Fireball' is a vibrant and decorative perennial that is widely recognized for its unique and eye-catching flowers. The plant produces distinctly shaped floral heads that consist of tubular flowers clustered together, giving the appearance of a puffy, shaggy dome. These flowers are a fiery shade of red, living up to the 'Fireball' designation with an intense and bold coloration. The foliage of this plant is also attractive, featuring lance-shaped leaves that are bright green and have a slightly serrated edge. The contrast between the green of the leaves and the red of the flowers makes for a striking display. The leaves may also have a pleasant fragrance when crushed. Overall, the Monarda 'Fireball' has a bushy and clump-forming habit with the flowers sitting atop sturdy stems that rise above the foliage, creating a layered, somewhat tiered garden aesthetic. The plant's vibrant blooms tend to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, adding a dynamic element to its presence in the garden.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Beebalm, Bergamot, Fireball Beebalm, Fireball Bergamot.

    • Common names

      Monarda 'Fireball' (PBR)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Bee Balm is generally considered non-toxic to humans. However, individual allergies or sensitivities may exist. If a person has a known sensitivity to plants in the Lamiaceae family, they could experience mild irritation or an allergic reaction. Ingesting any part of a plant that is not typically recognized as edible should be done with caution and awareness of personal health conditions and allergies.

    • To pets

      The Bee Balm is not known to be toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. If a pet ingests this plant, it is unlikely to result in poisoning. However, as with any non-food plant, consumption in large quantities could potentially cause some gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, particularly in pets with sensitive stomachs or those that are not accustomed to ingesting plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet 6 inches (76 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Monarda 'Fireball' is known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.
    • Aromatic Foliage: The plant has fragrant leaves that can add a pleasant scent to the garden or when used in cut flower arrangements.
    • Showy Flowers: It produces vibrant red flowers that can add a splash of color to landscaping and are visually appealing.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Monarda 'Fireball' has a degree of drought resistance, making it suitable for xeriscaping or in areas with water restrictions.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is considered easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions with minimal maintenance.
    • Long Blooming: The ‘Fireball’ variety often has a long blooming period, providing color and interest in the garden throughout the summer.
    • Edible Uses: The flowers and leaves are edible, adding a unique flavor to dishes and teas, though they should be used in moderation.
    • Compact Habit: Monarda 'Fireball' has a relatively compact growth habit, making it suitable for smaller gardens or as a border plant.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The crushed leaves of Bee Balm can be rubbed on skin as a natural insect repellent due to its strong fragrance that many pests dislike.
    • Dried Bee Balm flowers can be incorporated into potpourris to add a pleasant aroma and vibrant color to the mix.
    • Bee Balm leaves can be used as a flavoring agent in cooking, to impart a hint of mint and oregano to dishes, particularly in herb butters and sauces.
    • The essential oil from Bee Balm can be used in homemade scented candles and soaps for its aromatic properties.
    • Bee Balm petals can be scattered in baths to create a fragrant and relaxing experience, often combined with Epsom salts and other herbs.
    • It can be used in natural dyeing processes, where the plant imparts a range of colors from pink to purple, depending on the mordant used.
    • Bee Balm can be infused into oils that are then used as a base for making natural perfumes and body oils.
    • The dried plant material can be used in the creation of decorative wreaths and floral arrangements for indoor aesthetics.
    • When added to compost, Bee Balm can serve as a 'compost activator,' helping to speed up the decomposition process due to its high nitrogen content.
    • Leaves of Bee Balm can also be used to line drawers or closets, imparting a fresh scent and deterring moths and other insects naturally.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Bee Balm is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Bee Balm is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Energy and Enthusiasm: The vibrant red color of Bee Balm 'Fireball' symbolizes high energy and enthusiasm. Red is often associated with passion and vibrancy, reflecting an intense zest for life.
    • Healing and Soothing: Bee Balm is known for its medicinal properties, and has been used traditionally to soothe ailments. The 'Fireball' variety, like its counterparts, symbolizes healing and the soothing of spirits.
    • Lure of Attraction: Bee Balm attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden, symbolizing attraction and the ability to draw in positivity and interest.
    • Boldness and Courage: The fiery appearance of 'Fireball' Bee Balm could also symbolize boldness and courage, much like the plant's ability to stand out in the garden with its bright and bold hues.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' should be watered regularly, aiming for at least an inch of water per week, either from rainfall or manual watering. During hot, dry periods, increase watering to twice per week, ensuring the soil stays consistently moist but not waterlogged. Employ a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to deliver water directly to the base of the plant, minimizing moisture on foliage and avoiding overhead watering to prevent disease. Adjust the amount of water during wetter weeks to avoid overwatering, ensuring that the soil has good drainage.

  • sunLight

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Plant it in a location where it receives at least six hours of sunlight each day to encourage vigorous growth and ample blooms. Partial shade is especially beneficial in areas with extremely hot summers, as it can prevent the foliage from scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but ideally grows in conditions between 60°F and 70°F. The plant can survive minimum temperatures down to around -20°F, making it suitable for many temperate climates. During the growing season, maintaining temperatures within the ideal range will promote healthy growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Bee Balm 'Fireball' to promote bushier growth, improve air circulation, and reduce the risk of powdery mildew. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage additional blooming and prune back to a few inches above the ground in late fall after the first frost. Every 2-3 years, divide the clumps in spring to rejuvenate and control the spread of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' prefers well-draining soil enriched with compost and a balanced pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of loam, peat, and perlite or sand works well for ideal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' typically doesn't require frequent repotting; do so every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its pot to maintain health.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bee Balm 'Fireball' thrives in moderate to high humidity levels but is adaptable to typical outdoor conditions and doesn't require special humidity attention.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, good air circulation for Bee Balm.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to part-shade, moist soil for Bee Balm.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Monarda 'Fireball', commonly known as Bee Balm, begins with seed germination, which is typically facilitated by a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. Following germination, the seedling develops into a young plant with a rosette of leaves at ground level. As it matures, the plant grows upright stems and foliage, and during the growing season, usually in late spring to summer, it produces vibrant, tubular red flowers that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. After pollination, the flowers produce seeds which can be dispersed by wind or wildlife to propagate the next generation. During autumn, the above-ground part of the plant dies back, while the roots can survive underground through winter, allowing the plant to enter a dormant phase. In spring, the cycle resumes as new growth emerges from the surviving roots or from the seeds that were spread, thus continuing the life cycle of the Bee Balm.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Monarda 'Fireball', also known as Bee Balm, is most popularly propagated through division, which is best done in the spring or autumn. To propagate by division, gently lift the plant from the soil and separate it into smaller clumps, ensuring each has a fair amount of roots and shoots. Replant the divisions immediately, spacing them about 18 to 24 inches apart to allow for ample airflow and reduce the risk of powdery mildew. Water them thoroughly after planting to help establish them in their new locations. This method is effective because it helps rejuvenate older plants and manage their size, while also multiplying the number of plants in your garden.