If you want to attract bees and butterflies into your garden and even hummingbirds too, then think about planting a beebalm. I came across this article by Norman Winter which gives you the lowdown on this plant. He is the director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens and so knows his stuff.
If you are into bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, then by all means put the monarda or beebalm species at the top of your must-plant list. I find it amusing that in more than 20 years of garden writing, I’ve never touted a beebalm. I’ve always loved the scarlet beebalm, Monarda didyma, especially when hummingbirds come into feed. When examined close-up, the scarlet beebalm looks like nature’s version of spectacular fireworks. The last few years however have been like a life lesson as other species have caught my attention with their ability to attract pollinators.
Let’s do a little homework first. Scarlet beebalm, Monarada didyma, is native to much of the Eastern half of the United States and into Canada while the wild bergamont, Monarda fistulosa, is native to all but 2 states. This is a huge range of native geographic adaptability.
The spotted beebalm, known as Monarda punctate, and Lemon beebalm, Monarda citriodora, though not as popular, are nevertheless native and true champions in the world of pollinators. The spotted beebalm, I’ll admit, is not as showy as the others, but our 8-foot-by-6-foot clump in the Cottage Garden of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, in Savannah, seems like the Serengeti of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.