Plant Florida-Friendly Bee Balm (Horsemint)

A wildflower, Bee balm or Horsemint (Monarda punctata), is very easy to grow, attracts butterflies and produces fragrant, beautiful flowers lasting from summer through the fall.

Wild Bee Balm, A.K.A. Horsemint, Seen on Amelia Island, FL
Wild Bee Balm, A.K.A. Horsemint, Growing on Amelia Island, FL

University of Florida/IFAS Extension Director for Nassau County, Rebecca Jordi, answers questions about landscaping and gardening in northeast Florida.


QUESTION: Is bee balm easy to grow here? LW

JORDI: Bee balm or Horsemint, Monarda punctata, is very easy to grow. It will reach heights from 12 to 18 inches. Bee balm plants are classified as herbaceous perennials which means they do not develop hard, woody stems.

Native To Coastal Uplands

Bee balm or horsemint produces fragrant, beautiful flowers lasting from the summer through the fall. It is native to moist, coastal upland sites in Florida including the northeast part of Florida.

This wildflower does well in partial shade to partial sun so be sure to avoid full sun exposure in westside afternoon sun. Bee balm is moderately drought tolerant if planted in organic well-drained soil.

Attracts Pollinators

Bee balm attracts butterflies, bird and other native pollinators.

One interesting fact: Bee balm was used by Native Americans to make a “sweating tea.” This was generally a process done for ritual ceremonies.

Learn more about Bee balm (Horsemint) at the University of Florida IFAS Extension publication (Environmental Horticulture Dept.)

Rebecca L. Jordi
Nassau County Extension Director
UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture
543350 U.S. Highway #1
Callahan, FL 32011