The Jacob Cline variety of Monarda Didyma or Beebalm is a beautiful perennial, red bloom that is easy to grow and care. It is one of the star plants for a summer garden attracting a myriad of insects that pollinate it and the surrounding flowers.
This variety will fill your garden with red blooms all summer long. It was discovered growing in the wild near Blue Ridge Parkway. They are vigorous plants that multiply rapidly and can become invasive.
What is Required to Grow Monarda Didyma
The best place to plant this flower is in an area that received plenty morning sun, but is shaded in during the afternoon. This will allow the plant to receive the optimal amount of light and protect it from the powerful sun of summer afternoons.
Monarda Didyma and especially the Jacob Cline variety is completely adapted to any type of soil as long as it is well drained. The optimal distance between plans is about 24 inches and according to the USDA this variety can grow in zones 3 to 8.
The plant is not pretentious when it comes to watering. You will have to water it only if during a week there is less than one inch of rain. Take your time when watering your Monarda Didyma flowerbed. Wait for the soil to soak and do not let water run-off. Mulching really helps the plant to keep humidity, so placing a layer of about 2 inches thick is recommended.
For best results, slow release fertilizers can be used. Scratch the soil with a shovel and then place the fertilizer gently near the plants. You can do this once a year during spring in order to ensure the appropriate level of nutriments for the plant over the summer.
To encourage the flower to bloom, make sure you prune it. Remove the old flowers and in the winter remove the first half of the stems after the first frost. Pick off discolored leaves or dead leaves in order to maintain the plant fresh and good looking.
Is Powdery Mildew a Problem for Monarda Didyma
Bee balm or Monarda Didyma is very sensitive to powdery mildew. It is the top disease of this plant, but it can be easily prevented if you take care of your plant correctly. This fungal infection is easy to notice. The plants will begin to look like they are sprinkled with talcum powder.
The Jacob Cline variety is prone to this type of infection. If you want safer varieties you can try: Colrain Red or Blaustrumph.
Powdery Mildew can be prevented by planting the flower in a place with good air circulation and by respecting the fertilization process. Avoid drenching the plants in water. Increase humidity will lead to the development of powdery mildew.