6 Bee Balm Companion Plants

Bee Balms make excellent companion plants because they attract pollinators. What should you consider pairing it with?

Bee balm is a native, spreading perennial plant with bright, colorful blossoms. It appeals to me because it is low maintenance and attracts pollinators.

What plants might benefit from being close to bee balm? What goes well with it in terms of aesthetics?

Because it attracts pollinators, it makes an excellent companion plant for many floral species. That being said, make sure to grow it with other robust cultivars and species because it has a tendency to take over and outcompete more fragile cultivars and species.

The aroma of bee balm bushes is intense. It is frequently used as a vegetable companion plant because of its scented leaves, which are supposed to repel insect pests. Bee balm’s roots have a high concentration of fragrant oils, which may help repel subterranean pests.

1. Squash

Squash plants are herbaceous annuals with trailing vines or bushy appearances. Vines have large, lobed leaves and long vines that may climb by attaching themselves to surfaces. Bushes take up less room than spreading vines and sometimes have prickly leaves.

Squash plants are more often known by their common cultivar names. Butternut squash, zucchini, banana squash, spaghetti squash, hubbard squash, and buttercup squash are all examples.

Bee balms repel many of the pests that prey on squash plants, making it an excellent companion plant.

Zucchini plant yellow flower

2. Tomatoes

The tomato plant is typically grown as a perennial plant in the tropics, although it is mostly planted as an annual plant elsewhere. Tomato plants can grow to a height of 9 feet tall and have soft, hairy stems.

Mint family plants, such as bee balm, are known to attract pollinators. These pollinators will aid in the pollination of tomatoes. They can also enhance the flavor of your tomatoes.

3. Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta and other species) are a popular native North American wildflower. It has grown naturalized in Zones 3 to 9. The Black-eyed Susan, also known as the Gloriosa daisy, blooms from June to September, usually blanketing wide fields with its golden-yellow beauty.

This hardy plant thrives in bright sunlight, much like bee balm. It also prefers the same rich, well-draining soil. It can withstand the spreading tendency of bee balm.

Full bloom black eyed susan flower

4. Phlox

The genus Phlox refers to a large group of mostly perennial plants that are common additions to flower gardens. All phlox species are native to the US, mostly to the state of South Carolina. Because there are so many diverse species and cultivars in the genus, there is a lot of variability, and they hybridize easily, even in the wild.

Most phlox are grown for their abundant flowering and mildly sweet fragrance. The five-petal flowers provide a visual complement to bee balm.

5. Roses

Roses are erect, climbing, or trailing shrubs with numerous prickles of varied shapes and sizes on their stems, most commonly known as thorns. The leaves are pinnately complex (feather-shaped) and alternate, with oval, sharply serrated leaflets.

Select a variety with a size that works well with bee balm, and keep an eye out for powdery mildew, which may attack both species.

A red rose hybrid growing in the backyard

6. Peonies

Herbaceous peonies are perennials that grow to around a meter in height (about 3 feet). They have massive, lustrous, many-divided leaves on annual stems created by thick rootstocks. In late spring and early summer, they produce gigantic single and double flowers in white, pink, rose, and deep red.

The size difference between peonies and bee balm works well together and emphasizes the blossoms of both plants.

Alaine Connolly
Alaine has been working way too hard in horticulture since 1992, beautifying golf courses, resorts, and hotels. She is a part time landscape designer who works full time caring for a 28,000 square foot public garden. At home, she maintains her own 400 square feet plot. Alaine lives in northern Illinois - zone 5b.
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