In the horticulture gardens at Michigan State University, bee balm (Monarda didyma cv., USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9) mingles with mallow (Lavatera cachemiriana, Zones 4-9) by a powder blue post. It’s a feminine, cottagey combo that’s universally appealing.
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Been having trouble with all my bee balms in my latest gardens, grey fungus - lousy, short lived blooms, etc. Very unlike past experiences with this plant.
Reggie - I've heard that it helps to thin out the stems of your plants in spring to increase air circulation. There are also a few new varieties that are supposedly more mildew-resistant than most.
I planted 'the perfect' monarda in the front of one of my gardens. 15" to 18" tall, gorgeous color (Fireball) and mildew resistant. Fast forward to mid-summer...48" on average and covered with mildew, but the color was fabulous! Thinning will be done early spring next year!
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