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Bee balm is a wonderful plant for attracting butterflies and helpful bees. This prairie native has fascinating-shape flowers in jewel tones of red, pink, purple, and white, surrounded by dark bracts. They grow atop substantial clumps of dark foliage.
The aromatic foliage is sometimes used for making tea, and bee balm is often grown in herb gardens. Established plants tend to spread, especially in damp soil. This plant is extremely prone to mildew problems, so be sure to plant in full sun and seek out cultivars touted as resistant to mildew diseases.
'Blue Charm' veronica bears spikes of light blue flowers at the same time as bee balm. The habit and flower shape contrast well.Aster
Masses of small, pale blue flowers appear in summer on heart-leaf aster and provide an airy contrast to bee balm.Coneflower
The large daisy flowers of purple coneflower mix well with those of bee balm, especially in sunny wildflower gardens.Evening primrose
Blooming in summer, the clusters of yellow goblet flowers of common sundrops mix well with bee balm, especially the mahogany-color varieties.