Monarda didyma 'Panorama Red Shades'
Bee-Balm or Sweet Bergamot or Horsemint or 'Oswego Tea' (mo-NARD-ha: DI-di-ma)
These are hybrid plants from M. didyma and M. fistulosa (fist-ew-LO-sa). Hummingbirds really love these red colored plants. Many shades of colors from red to crimson and dark rose. Plants grow 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall and will form a spreading clump that will reach three to four feet wide in a year or two. Clumps should be divided every three years to remove excess woody growth which will over time retard good growth. Most plants out of this seed strain have good mildew resistant and the colors are bright and showy. A nice way to have a selection of the red shaded Monarda for the butterfly and hummingbird garden. The flowers make for great cut flowers and the foliage is pleasantly fragrant too. Plants do best in cool soils in light - open shade, will grow in full sun, but do not let the soil bake dry. These seed strains are tolerant of a wide range of soils while the parent species are more restricted:
Zones 4-9 (10)
Plants sown this year will bloom the next year and are easy to grow from seed, take cutting of the best forms and root them in late spring or divide clumps in late summer. (Very early spring) surface sow seeds while the air temps are still cool or put in the fridge for 2 weeks, grow out seedlings under cool conditions 55-65 F. Light needed for best germination. The species are native from eastern North America in open woods and prairies. Plants have been used as teas, the young leaves in salads and for flavoring for meats.