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How to Propagate Bee Balm? | 3 Must Needed Ways!

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 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!

Ruby throated hummingbird flying in patch of bee balm flowers—how to propagate bee balm?
How to propagate bee balm? – Image via Melissa Burovac.

How to Propagate Bee Balm? | An Overview!

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 to reveal our techniques to propagate the evergreen bee balm plant.

What Is Bee Balm?

First, let’s talk a little about the stunning plant itself. However, if you want to jump to the main topic, you can navigate through the content table presented above.

Bee balm is a beautiful and fragrant herb.

  • Originally from North America, this herb belongs to the mint family. Bee balm is also known as Wild bergamot, Oswego tea, Monarda didyma, and Horsemint (spotted bee balm).
  • 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.

(Nectar robbing is a strategy by which some organisms feed on floral nectar. 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 a fine way to enjoy a little gardening if you don’t have a green thumb. It requires only a few simple steps; continue reading to discover how to propagate bee balm through 3 simple 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.

If you love bee balm and want more of it in your life, 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 easy 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.
  • Maybe you’re a beekeeper and want a steady supply of this fragrant herb on hand 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.

Learn how to propagate bee balms from the ones you already own with this step-by-step tutorial on propagating bee balms from 3 different methods.

Supplies for Propagating Succulents

Before we jump into the detail of propagating bee balms, you’ll need to get ready 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 easily available supplies you need:

  • Stem cuttings, seeds
  • Shovel
  • Soil medium (You can make your own soil mix using a general potting mix, perlite, and coarse sand.)
  • Rooting Hormone
  • A new pot with drainage holes where excess water can trickle out
  • Sharp precision pruners or bonsai shears

It would be best if you cleaned/sterilized your cutting tools before making cuttings to eliminate unwanted diseases.

Now, let’s propagate!

Pink bee balm flowers—how to propagate bee balm?
How to propagate bee balm? – Image via Jessica Joh.

How to Propagate Bee Balm With 3 Quick and Effective Methods?

If you’re looking to add more bee balm to your garden, there are a few different ways you can 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 division methods.

1. Propagating Bee Balm Through Seeds

Growing bee balm through seeds needs time and patience, but the results are worth the effort.

You must note one thing: the resulting plant may not be what you expected if you take a hybrid bee balm’s seed.

Unlike the cutting and division technique (that gives 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 brown 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. However, you must ensure the soil is amended with compost, and 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.

After propagating, take proper care of the seedlings.

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 you can cut off a new offshoot; either will work. A sharp, clean pair of pruning shears are perfect for the process to minimize damage to the plant.

Here’s how to propagate bee balm from cuttings.

  • 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 that you’re not planting the leaves 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 worth the 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 windowsill or a place receiving direct sunlight. It can cause the tender stem to dry out.
  • Wait for at least 1–4 weeks to check your cuttings and transplant them. If you are impatient to frequently check the stem or 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.

3. Propagating Bee Balm Through Division

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 move slightly to separate them 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 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.

That would be all!

Here are some tips for you on how to propagate bee balm successfully.

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:

  • Start with a healthy plant. 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.
  • Plant the cuttings in potting soil. 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, it will be the house for fungal and bacterial growth that destroys your cutting.
  • 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.

That’s all for today’s post! I hope you like it.

How to Propagate Bee Balm? – It’s SO EASY – YouTube

Conclusion

If you want to add some bee balm 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. This article has answered all you need to know on how to propagate bee balm.

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!

Regards,
Happy propagating!