How to Deadhead a Bee Balm Plant

Prune off dead bee balm stalks after the flowers die.
Prune off dead bee balm stalks after the flowers die. (Image: bee balm image by Kaja from Fotolia.com)

Bee balm plants, which are also called monarda, grow in bushy, vertical stalks and produce brightly colored flowers in the spring and summer. The flowers attract bees as well as butterflies, which is where the plant gets its name. The bee balm plant is a repeat bloomer, which means that after one bloom fades, a new one replaces it. To encourage quicker blooming, you can deadhead the flower stalks, which removes the wilted blooms.

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Identify any flower blooms on the bee balm plant which are wilted, turning brown, or stalks that have rounded tops but no petals. These are the old blooms which must be removed by deadheading.

Grasp the stalk of one of the dead flower stalks with your hand and look at the stem. Trace the stem down until you locate the first small, green projection on the side, which is a bud. The bud should be facing the outside of the plant.

Cut the stem off, using hand pruners, 1/4 inch above the outward facing bud. Place the cut-off section of the stalk into the trash or into a compost bin.

Repeat the deadheading process to remove all remaining dead and wilted blooms on the bee balm plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deadheading can occur throughout the growing season, but the majority of it will take place in the fall as the plant stops blooming for the year.

References

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