Asked on Jan 5, 2012

Monarda for the south?

Sonya Huggins ChoateLinda HuntDouglas Hunt


Attention southern gardeners: Has anyone grown Monarda "Peter's Purple" and, if so, what have your experiences been? I was perusing the new High Country Gardens catalog and they describe it as heat-tolerant (they list it as Zones 6-10) and completely mildew resistant, and it apparently has done very well in trials in Texas. Since monarda was far and away the biggest hummingbird attractor for me when I grew it in New York, I am tempted...
Photo courtesy Fort Bend County Master Gardeners:
13 answers
  • Pretty Pretty, What a bright color!

  • Teresa D
    on Jan 5, 2012

    Very pretty. Never seen or heard of this plant before. Full sun??

  • Lorna L
    on Jan 5, 2012

    It is a fabulous plant the colour is extraordinary and it grows well in soert of unattended looking naturale as it were.anything that attracts hummers and bees and butterflies is a must try for me.

  • Douglas, I have not seen this plant in central Florida but I sure would love to know if anyone has!

  • I can see this in landscaping with sky blue Plumbago in the background and white Allysum in the foreground.

  • Mike and Anne
    on Jan 9, 2012

    Monardo has been a great plant to attract bees and hummingbirds and this is a better color for some gardens than the red cultivars - but for those of us who live with humidity in the summer there is still a problem with mildew on the foliage.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jan 10, 2012

    Thanks for the insights, Mike and Anne.

  • Tammy@Deja Vue Designs
    on Feb 4, 2013

    I haven't had much luck with this in West Texas...I think the drying winds are more than it can take. It will come back the second year...but it just slowly withers away by the end of the second summer....

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 4, 2013

    Thanks, Tammy. I've decided that if I want monarda, it will have to Monarda punctata,

  • Tammy@Deja Vue Designs
    on Feb 4, 2013

    Is it hardier?

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 4, 2013

    It is a native to a large part of the eastern half of the country and even into Mexico. It is considerably more tolerant of humidity than the cultivated monardas that often show up in the garden. As with many natives, there is considerable variation in the coloration of the bracts. i have seen some that were drop-dead gorgeous, and some that made little impact, so I think it is important to buy this plant in bloom. It is great for attracting butterflies and bees, so I am going to plant it in a back part of my garden devoted to that. Here's a good profile:

  • Linda Hunt
    on Jul 7, 2016

    Hopefully, Mr. Hunt has given all of us ways to allow to take over into the stinh.

  • Sonya Huggins Choate
    on Jul 25, 2016

    Isn't another name for this plant Bee Balm? If so I am growing it in North Central Texas, it is a perrenial in zones 7-10.

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