Tips For How To Prune Bee Balm Plants

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This article provides tips and instructions for how to prune Bee Balm Monarda Plants
by Brett · All Zones · Pruning · 0 Comments · June 06, 2014 · 25,168 views

Bee balm, scientifully known as Monarda, produces unique flowers that are a great nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies and other beneficial pollinating insects. There are many varieties of bee balm available today that come in a range of flower colors and various sizes. While the shorter dwarf varieties stay more compact on their own, some of the taller varieties tend to not grow as full if left to grow naturally. Bee balms require no pruning however pruning has several benefits, especially regarding the taller growing varieties. Pruing encourages a fuller, lusher plant, which is aesthetically pleasing even after it is finished blooming. Along with fuller growth, your bee balm will produce more flowers when properly pruned.

Here's some bee balm pruning tips for you...

1. When plants emerge in spring and have grown to about 12 inches in height you can pinch back the tips of the stems to encourage more branching below, which will ultimately give you and the birds and pollinating insects more flowers. Just use your fingertips, scissors or a pair of hand pruners to remove the first set of leaves at the top of the stem and just above the second set of leaves. you can also stagger your pinching to encourage a longer display of flowers. To do this, pinch back one-third of the stems in early spring. A week later, pinch another one-third, then pinch the last one-third of stems the third week. Evenly distribute the pinching to ensure the blooms appear uniformly throughout your bee balm.

2. Alternatively, you can use a pair of hand pruners or shears to simply cut back the entire plant by half its height when it reaches 12 inches tall. If your bee balm grows tall again after this pruning, you can remove one-third of the height later.

3. During the bloom phase, deadhead spent flowers to keep your bee balm blooming. Pinch or cut the stem back to just above the next flower bud. When the entire stem is finished blooming you can pinch it back to the ground.

4. After the plant has gone dormant in fall, having died back to the ground, you can remove any dead parts to tidy up the garden. Depending on your location and climate, your bee balm should re-emerge in late winter or early spring, often a much larger plant than the previous year!

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