Bee Balm Monarda didyma Balmy Purple = 'Balbalmurp' (PBR) (Balmy Series)

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


Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' from the Balmy Series is admired for its vibrant and lush floral appeal. This perennial plant boasts striking tube-shaped purple flowers that cluster together to create a pompom-like effect, capturing the attention of onlookers and pollinators alike. Each flower has a whorl of decorative bracts beneath it, which adds to the ornamental look of the bloom. The foliage of the plant is equally remarkable, consisting of deep green leaves that emit a pleasant fragrance when crushed, hinting at its place within the mint family. The leaves are lance-shaped with serrated edges, offering a nice textural contrast against the softness of the floral display. This plant exudes a charming cottage garden aesthetic and is often utilized in perennial borders and pollinator-friendly gardens for its exuberant display of purple hues.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bee Balm, Scarlet Beebalm, Oswego Tea, Crimson Beebalm, Bergamot.

    • Common names

      Monarda didyma Balmy Purple = 'Balbalmurp' (PBR) (Balmy Series).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Bee Balm (Monarda didyma Balmy Purple) is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no well-documented symptoms of poisoning, as it is generally considered safe and is even used in some culinary applications. However, as with any plant material, individual allergies or sensitivities could potentially cause reactions in some people.

    • To pets

      Bee Balm (Monarda didyma Balmy Purple) is also not known to be toxic to pets. There's no evidence to suggest that this plant would cause symptoms of poisoning if ingested by animals such as dogs or cats. It's not considered dangerous, but monitoring for individual reactions or sensitivities is always prudent when a pet comes into contact with any plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1ft 2in (35cm)

    • Spread

      1ft (30cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators - Monarda didyma is known for attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, contributing to the health of the local ecosystem.
    • Aesthetic Appeal - With its vivid purple flowers, it adds a splash of color to gardens and landscape designs.
    • Low Maintenance - As part of the Balmy Series, this variety is bred for compact growth and resistance to powdery mildew, requiring less care than some other varieties.
    • Deer and Rabbit Resistant - The plant's aromatic leaves discourage browsing by deer and rabbits, protecting your garden from damage.
    • Drought Tolerant - Once established, it has good drought tolerance making it suitable for xeriscaping or gardens with low water availability.
    • Culinary Use - Leaves can be used for tea or as herbs to flavor foods, though not a primary benefit, it adds a versatile edge to its value.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Monarda didyma has been historically used for its antimicrobial properties to treat minor infections and wounds.
    • Carminative: The leaves of the plant may have carminative effects and could help in relieving gastrointestinal issues such as gas and bloating.
    • Antiseptic: Due to its potential antiseptic properties, it was traditionally used to clean cuts and prevent infections.
    • Expectorant: The plant has been used to treat respiratory issues by acting as an expectorant to clear congestion in the lungs.
    • Fever Reducer: Historically, it has been used to naturally reduce fever by encouraging sweating.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' can be used as a natural dye, providing a range of colors for fabrics based on the mordant used.
    • The leaves of Bee Balm may be infused into oils and vinegars to impart their spicy flavor into culinary preparations.
    • Dried Bee Balm flowers can be incorporated into potpourri mixes, adding fragrance as well as a splash of purple color.
    • Pressed Bee Balm flowers are often used in decorative craft projects, like handmade paper or botanical artworks.
    • Bee Balm can be planted as a companion plant in vegetable gardens to help attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
    • The plant's aromatic leaves can be used to create a natural insect repellent by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on the skin.
    • Fresh Bee Balm leaves can be used to add a unique flavor to baked goods, such as cookies and cakes.
    • When you burn dried Bee Balm leaves, they emit a pleasant aroma, thus they can be used as a natural incense.
    • Bee Balm petals can be frozen into ice cubes to create visually stunning and subtly flavored additions to cold beverages.
    • The essential oil extracted from Bee Balm can be used as a fragrance oil for diffusers, contributing to a calming ambiance in the home.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Bee Balm is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Bee Balm is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Prosperity: Monarda didyma, commonly known as Bee Balm, is often associated with prosperity due to its lush growth and the prolific nature of its blooms, suggesting abundance and wealth.
    • Good Health: Historically, Bee Balm has been used for its medicinal properties, symbolizing healing and the promotion of good health.
    • Peace: With its calming herbal fragrance, Bee Balm can represent peace and tranquility, offering a sense of calm in one's environment.
    • Attractiveness: The vibrant purple flowers of the 'Balbalmurp' cultivar symbolize beauty and can reflect the idea of attracting good things into one's life, just as the flower attracts bees and butterflies.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' should be watered regularly, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged. Early morning is the ideal time to water, allowing the foliage to dry during the day, which helps prevent fungal diseases. During the growing season, you may need to water once or twice a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time, which translates to approximately 0.62 to 0.94 gallons per square yard. In periods of extreme heat or drought, you may need to increase watering frequency. Reduce watering in the fall and further in winter when the plant is dormant.

  • sunLight

    Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Full sun exposure of at least six hours a day is ideal to promote vigorous growth and abundant flowering. However, in very hot climates, some afternoon shade can be beneficial to prevent scorching of the leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' favors temperate conditions and can survive a temperature range from approximately 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate brief periods of chill down to around 30 degrees Fahrenheit but should not be subjected to prolonged freezing temperatures. The ideal temperature for robust growth is typically between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Bee Balm 'Balbalmurp' should be pruned to promote bushier growth, enhance airflow, and prevent powdery mildew. Deadhead spent flowers during the blooming season to encourage additional blooms. After the first killing frost, cut back the stems to a few inches above ground level. Pruning is best performed in late fall or early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Bee Balm requires well-drained soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix containing loam, compost, and a small amount of sand is ideal to promote good drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Bee Balm does not require frequent repotting and is usually repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil or manage overgrowth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bee Balm thrives in moderate humidity levels but is adaptable to various conditions as long as it's not too dry; aim for about 40-50% relative humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil; space 18-24 inches.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Monarda didyma Balmy Purple, commonly known as Bee Balm, begins with seed germination, typically occurring in warm, moist soils in spring to early summer. Following germination, the seedling stage sees the development of the plant's first leaves and root system. As the plant enters the vegetative stage, it produces a robust stem and a larger leaf area, preparing for photosynthesis and growth. During the flowering stage, which occurs in late spring to summer, Bee Balm produces vibrant purple flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After pollination, the flowers develop into seed heads, and the plant enters the seed dispersal stage, ensuring the continuation of the species. Finally, in the dormancy stage, the above-ground parts of the Bee Balm die back in fall or winter, while the root system remains alive below ground to enable regrowth in the following growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Monarda didyma 'Balmy Purple', commonly known as bee balm, is by division. This process is best carried out in the spring or fall when the plant is not in active bloom. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the plant, ensuring a good amount of roots are attached to each section. The root ball should then be gently teased apart into smaller clumps, each containing several shoots and a healthy root system. These divisions can then be replanted at the same soil depth they were growing at previously, spaced about 18 inches (approximately 45 centimeters) apart to allow for adequate growth. Water the new plantings thoroughly to establish them. Bee balm divisions tend to recover quickly and can be expected to bloom in the following growing season if given proper care.