Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peter's Purple Bee Balm

BeeBalm, Peter's Purple  (2017)
4ft x 2ft Like its relatives in the mint family, Peter’s Purple creeps easily into surrounding areas of the garden, so be prepared to dig and divide it yearly to keep it in bounds. It isn’t hard to dig up, and transplants easily, so it’s a great pass-along plant.

From late spring through late summer, Peter’s Purple will be covered in gorgeous light purple blooms that are irresistible to hummingbirds. Bees also go crazy for this plant, hence the common name: bee balm.

It loves the heat and full sun, but can take light shade, and is very drought tolerant, as well as tolerant of both well-drained and clay soils. It needs a little supplemental irrigation during the hottest, driest times of the year, otherwise, be careful not to overwater.

Notes:  I first purchased one small pot of this plant in 2017. It did not bloom that first year. After year one, I realized that I should have purchased many more of them, because this is a flower that looks good en masse.  In year two, it had spread to around five plants (must be from underground runners, as it never bloomed).  Now in year three (2019), I am amazed at how much this plant has spread!  It now covers a three foot swath of my garden. I am excited to see what it looks like this spring!

Winter:  It goes dormant in the winter. In 2019, we did not have a deep freeze, and I don't remember this plant dying off. In early March, it was already obvious that the plant has really spread. Notes say to prune it, but so much of it is new growth, I am not even sure where the original plant is.

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