Anyone can spend $35 on a plant or half as much - or almost nothing.
Knowing the variety is important, which is why gardeners often employ the official Latin name.
At first, all Bee Balm is just that. But Bee Balm fans will favor one kind or another and only shop for the favorite at a good price. I found the red Bee Balm fast spreading but floppy. In contrast, the purple Bee Balm formed a big clump and bloomed in one place, swarmed by bumblebees and emitting a Vicks Vapo-rub fragrance.
Direct Gardening told me I just had to buy Catmint - which is related to, but different from Catnip. The dreaded Catnip spreads like Bermuda grass and has a powerful root system.
Catmint is showier and better behaved than its cousin. The best one, I am told, is Walker's Low, which is actually rather tall and very bloomy. So I ordered a couple at $2. I can also buy Walker's Low today for:
- $11.95, or
|Bee Balm also makes tea, as many mints do.|
This Bergamot is my favorite, easy to grow and divide.
|This is one reason for Bee Balm -|
beneficial insect hosts are good for the whole garden.
|These Bee Balms also make good hummingbird feeders.|
|Borage (not a mint) constantly flowers and goes to seed.|
One article said its very presence increases beneficial
insects all around it.