Bee balm or Bergamot is a beautiful, fragrant herb that attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden.
Propagating Bee balm is a great way to share this beautiful flowering plant with friends or expand your collection.
This post will show you how to propagate Bee balm in a comprehensive and step-by-step manner. Learning how to propagate Bee balm is easier than it may sound.
Moreover, it’s a great way to save money on new plants.
Instead of buying new plants at the nursery, you can take cuttings, leaves, or seeds from the Bee balms you already have in your garden.
In this article, we’ll show you how to propagate Bee balm so you can enjoy its beauty for years to come!
- Propagation Technique Explained
- What is Bee Balm?
- Why Propagate Bee Balm?
- Supplies for Propagating Succulents
- How to Propagate Bee Balm? | 3 Quick and Effective Methods!
- Tips for Successfully Propagating Bee Balm!
Propagation Technique Explained
Propagation is a technique by which you can multiply your existing plants without investing any money.
It is inexpensive and easy to get new plants in your garden.
Propagation is an asexual reproduction process that gives a genetically identical copy of its parent plant.
The propagation process includes various methods such as cuttings, layering, dividing, and more.
Selecting a propagation technique depends on the plant you would like to propagate and the time and effort you are willing to invest.
Keep reading this article and learn the best techniques to propagate the Bee balm plant.
What is Bee Balm?
Bee balm is a beautiful, fragrant herb.
- Originally from North America, this herb belongs to the mint family.
- It is also known as Bergamot, Oswego tea, Monarda didyma, and Horsemint.
- Bee balm plants grow 2–3 feet tall and produce pretty flowers in pink, purple, red, and white colors.
- The flowers attract bees and other pollinators to the garden. Bee balm is a great plant to add to your garden if you’re looking to attract more bees and other pollinators, i.e., hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths.
- This appealing plant is the favorite meal of bumblebees who use the “nectar robbing” technique to get their nectar. A strategy by which some organisms feed on floral nectar is called nectar robbing. The process involves feeding through holes bitten in flowers rather than entering through the flower’s natural opening.
- Bee balm is known to be a wild flowering plant growing at a rapid rate.
- The leaves are oval down on the undersides.
- This weedy plant’s foliage is not very attractive; however, the pink, white, lavender, and scarlet blooms make it a perfect scenery for every garden landscape.
- People usually opt for Bee balm for its multi-colored blooms and fragrance and, of course, its ability to attract pollinators.
- Therefore, they are seeking ways of multiplying these blossoms asking how to propagate Bee balm.
Propagating Bee balms is also a good way to enjoy gardening if you don’t have a green thumb.
It requires only a few simple steps; continue reading to find out how to propagate Bee balm through those steps.
Why Propagate Bee Balm?
Before heading to our step-by-step guide on how to propagate Bee balm, let’s explore why one would want to propagate Bee balm in the first place.
If you love Bee balm and want more of it, propagation is the way to go!
By taking cuttings from existing Bee balm plants, you can create new plants that are identical to the originals. Propagating Bee balm is a relatively straightforward process that doesn’t require special skills or equipment.
Plus, it’s a great way to get more bang for your buck; why buy new plants when you can create them yourself? There are many reasons to propagate Bee balm.
Maybe you want to fill empty spaces in your garden or share your plants with friends and family. Perhaps you’re a beekeeper and enjoy a steady supply of this fragrant herb to use in your products.
Whatever your reasons, propagation is a great way to get more of this lovely plant.
Bee balm is relatively easy to propagate from seed. You can also propagate Bee balm from cuttings taken from an existing plant.
Let’s learn how to propagate Bee balm from 3 different methods.
Supplies for Propagating Succulents
Before we learn how to propagate Bee balm in detail, you’ll need to prepare by collecting a few items first.
Don’t worry; you don’t need expensive equipment, but you will need a few things.
Here are the readily available supplies you need:
- Stem cuttings, seeds
- Soil medium (or make your own using a general mix, perlite, and coarse sand)
- Rooting hormone
- A new pot with drainage holes from where excess water can trickle out.
- Sharp precision pruners or bonsai shears
Clean/sterilize your cutting tools before making cuttings to eliminate any diseases.
How to Propagate Bee Balm? | 3 Quick and Effective Methods!
If you’re looking to add more Bee balm to your garden, there are a few different ways to propagate the plant.
One way is to sow seeds in the spring. Another is to take cuttings from an existing plant and root them in potting mix. And finally, you can also divide an established Bee balm plant.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to propagating Bee balm through seed, cuttings, or the division method.
1. Propagating Bee Balm Through Seeds
Growing Bee balm through seeds needs time and patience, but the results are worth the effort.
NOTE: The resulting plant may not be what you expected if you take a hybrid Bee balm seed. Unlike the cutting and division technique (both of which give the exact plant you chose), propagation through seeds results in any of its parent plant varieties.
We recommend asking for a natural seed variety of Bee balm from any online seed company or your local nursery. Propagating through seeds means saving your seeds from already existing Bee balms in your yard.
You have to do the following in this regard:
- Ensure you collect Bee balm seeds after the flowers bloom and dry off. The seeds mature within 2–3 weeks of Bee balm blooms.
- Slightly bend the plants towards a plastic bag and tap a little. If you see brow seeds collecting into the bag, then these are ready to harvest.
- After this, spread the seeds on a tray to dry them out. It would take about 2–3 days at room temperature.
- Now is the time for cold stratification of seeds, which involves storing them in a sealed container of moist soil in the refrigerator. However, sowing outdoors can replace this process if it is winter season.
- You may also get a successful harvest by sowing the seeds directly into the soil without cold stratification. In that case, you’ll need to ensure that the soil is amended with compost and that the seeds are not covered.
- If you’re starting with cold-treated seeds, you’ll need to wait until spring or early summer.
- Sow about 1/4 inch deep in moist soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which usually takes 7–14 days.
- Once the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots or your garden bed.
And you’re done!
Now, let’s learn how to propagate Bee balm from plant cuttings.
2. Propagating Bee Balm from Cuttings
Propagation through cuttings is a great choice to get a specific Bee balm plant’s exact plant.
To propagate Bee balm from cuttings:
- Select a healthy stem about 6 inches long from an existing Bee balm plant. You can cut off the top of the Bee balm foliage or a new offshoot; either will work. (A sharp, clean pair of pruning shears are perfect for minimizing the damage to the plant.)
Once you have your bergamot cutting, here are the steps to proceed.
- Select a healthy Bee balm parent plant with fresh spring growth.
- Ideally, cut just below a leaf node (the point where a leaf is attached to the stem).
- It is best to remove the bottom leaves, so you’re not planting them into the soil (to let them rot).
- Make sure the stem you take is not blooming, as its energy will go to the flower instead of developing roots.
- It will be an extra favor if the cutting has some bark at its end.
- The best time to take your cuttings is early morning when the stems are full of water.
- Invest in a dry plant growth powder rooting hormone. It is worth a small investment because it increases your cuttings’ growth.
- Dip the cut end in the rooting hormone and tap the cutting to remove the extra powder.
- After dipping the rooting hormone, plant the cutting in moistened potting mix or perlite.
- Spray with a fine mist or spray to ensure equal and balanced watering. (Cuttings root well in a warm, humid environment, and a greenhouse can be the best. Furthermore, the kitchen or bathroom can also serve the same environment.)
- Avoid placing your newly potted cutting on a window sill or a place receiving direct sunlight. It can cause the tender stem to dry out.
- Wait for at least 1 to 4 weeks to check your cuttings and transplant them. If you are impatient to frequently check the stem root growth, you may lose all your effort.
- Let the new shoot rest for the mentioned time and transplant when you see lush green leaves growing.
It takes some time for new roots to form on Bee balm cuttings. The amount of time it takes varies depending on the time of year, the temperature of the area you’re propagating in, air humidity, etc.
So, be keen and patient, and let nature do its job!
Here’s a Youtube video showing the same process:
3. Propagating Bee Balm Through the Division Method
The easiest way to propagate Bee balms is by division, as these plants have a rapid underground growth system.
- Dig up the soil with your shovel pushing in as much as possible.
- Ensure sliding the shovel under the roots and moving it slightly to separate the roots from the ground.
- Once loosened, pry the shovel upwards around the perimeter of the bergamot clump.
- Severe a portion of the root system from the bigger clumps using either a shovel or a sharp garden knife.
- Each portion must have plenty of roots and prune any damaged or rotted roots.
- Replant your new divisions without wasting time, as the new roots are prone to drying out quickly.
It’s the quickest one of all!
Tips for Successfully Propagating Bee Balm!
Bee balm is a perennial herb easy to propagate from stem cuttings. With just a little effort, you can have plenty of Bee balm to fill your garden.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to propagate Bee balm:
- Choose a Bee balm plant that is healthy and free of pests or diseases. It will help ensure that your propagated plants are also healthy. You’re far less likely to propagate Bee balm if you start with a thirsty or sick plant.
- After the baby is in its new home, ensure you’re watering it enough to keep growing.
- Don’t overwater your newly propagated plant, as it will cause root rot.
- Fill a pot or container with potting soil and plant the Bee balm cuttings about an inch deep.
- Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit if possible. However, please don’t place the cuttings in direct sunlight, as they can dry out under stress.
- The soil should be well drained; otherwise, waterlogged soil is the house for fungal and bacterial growth, which destroys your cuttings.
- It takes several weeks for the propagated Bee balm plant to start growing roots, so you must be patient.
- All the propagated cuttings do not survive in every case, so it is recommended to take multiple cuttings. If 50–70% of them thrive, you’re doing a good job.
How to propagate Bee balm, you asked? I hope you now have the answer!
If you want to add some Bee balms to your garden, propagation is a great way to start. Nurture your existing Bee balms and try your hand at growing new plants to share with friends.
You can use the abovementioned techniques to propagate this appealing plant like a pro.
Let us know in the comments which Bee balm propagation method did the best for you. We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!