I have several bee balm plants that started the season quite vigorously
(I bought them in pots from the plant nursery). I've avoided
fertilizing them at all (chemcial or organic), since I know that can
produce lots of leaves, but no flowers. They began showing their buds
pretty prominently a few weeks ago, but as the buds are beginning to
open, I'm not getting much of a show. The flowers seem a bit anemic
(barely opening, not producing much color) and the color (I planted
Marshall's Delight and Blue Stocking) is very, very pale, hardly
noticeable. I am having a little trouble with powdery mildew, but I
know from reading these boards that that's because I let them get too
dried out. Could letting them get dried out and/or the powdery midlew
be effecting the flowering?
Plants that are drought "tolerant" are not necessarily drought "happy" &
in the growing seasons they'll do best with moderate watering in
In many zones it won't really be time for beebalms to be in full bloom
until July, so you may be seeing the first tentative blooms of the season,
& in another week or two you'll see more of what you were expecting.
Powdery mildew is usually not a problem until late in the season, so you
may have planted them too close & too thick since powdery mildew is worst
where beebalms are crowded. The mildew can be prevented with occasional
sprays of dilute milk (1:5 ratio) before the mildew develops.
-paghat the ratgirl
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