Bee Balm in Containers

Bee Balms are beautiful and attract pollinators. Should you be planting them in containers?

Bee balm plants, sometimes known as bergamots, are lovely flowering plants in the mint family. From mid-summer to late fall, this tall plant blooms for up to 6 weeks, making it a great focal point for a garden, sunroom, or porch.

I recommend growing them in pots, and I will explain why. Let’s get started!

Why Should You Grow in a Pot?

If you’ve ever planted plants that are part of the mint family, you know that they will spread quickly and can even be invasive in some regions.

Mint is well known for its spreading growth tendency. Plant mint in a garden border, and in a few months, you’ll have nothing but mint in that border. The plant will grow sideways continuously, suffocating adjacent plants.

Planting bee balm in a container can help to limit the spread. When grown in a full-sun location, bee balm can be grown in a container or as a centerpiece in a larger tub arrangement.

Peppermint plant in a small pot container

Start Seed in Peet Pot

To begin, you must first purchase a rich and nutritious potting mix as well as starter pots. Peat pots are recommended because they prevent root stress when transplanting the seedlings.

Sow 4 to 5 seeds per pot about 6 to 8 weeks before the final frost. Do not bury the seeds in topsoil because they require direct sunlight to flourish.

Every day, mist the seeds with a spray bottle to keep them moist. Temperatures should be maintained above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so place the pots on top of the refrigerator to keep them warm. Wrapping the pots in cling film is another way to keep them warm and moist.

Transplant the seedlings into the containers of your choice after 6 to 8 weeks. If your containers are outside, wait until the threat of frost has passed.

Because peat pots are comprised of organic moss, you can transplant both the seedling and the pot into the pot you will use to grow the plants. The peat pot will eventually degrade, allowing plant roots to grow directly through it.

Small biodegradable plant containers

Transferring the Seedlings

  1. Fill a 5- to 10-gallon container one-third full with well-draining potting soil. Water the soil until it is evenly saturated and the excess water drains out the bottom of the pot.
  2. Place the peat moss container on top of the soil and loosen the dirt. Adjust the soil depth beneath the peat pot until the plant’s crown, which is where the roots and stems meet, is 2 inches below the pot’s rim. Fill the container with soil until it’s about 2 inches from the rim.
  3. Place the pot in a location that receives full, all-day sun or full morning sun with little afternoon shade. Select a site with good air circulation, such as an open patio or a garden.
  4. Water it when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry in the spring and summer. Reduce watering in the winter and autumn to just enough to protect the soil from completely drying up.
  5. Cut back the bee balm in the autumn once the stems have naturally died back, which usually occurs after a light frost. Trim the stems to 2 inches above the soil surface, then discard the plant remains.
  6. Add a 1-inch layer of compost to the top of the soil in the container each spring. Nutrients are released as the compost decomposes.
  7. Powdery or fungal development on the bee balm leaf can be caused by mildew or rust. Avoid overhead irrigation and keep the leaves dry to reduce the danger of a fungus infestation. If fungal growth develops, remove the highly damaged leaves.

Growing Bee Balm Indoors

Growing bee balms in containers indoors is the same as growing them outside. One of the most crucial elements to ensure successful growth is to put the plants in full sun. This means a window with as much sunlight as possible and preferably as close to the window as possible.

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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