Bee balm not doing well

Asked July 25, 2018, 2:20 PM EDT

Hello, I have a beautiful bee balm plant I planted in the spring this year. It did wonderfully and bloomed, all foliage was green and healthy. Once the blooms were spent I clipped it back a bit, about an inch down the stem. Now its turning yellow and looks very sad. I can not find any signs of pests or fungus on it. I fertalized with mirical grow about a 2 weeks ago and it's still very sad and turning more yellow. Any ideas on what this could be?

Anoka County Minnesota

6 Responses

I'm not total sure, what is going on with the plant. Could there be any kind of pesticides or like a weed killer sprayed near the plant? I have no idea other than to pass this on to another expert at this time.We apologize that we can't help you right now, but please come back to eXtension to check in as we grow and add experts.

No pesticides or weed killers used, everything else around it is doing good besides phlox that had spider mites and was sprayed with neem oil. No traces of spider mites on the balm. I bought a soil testing kit to see what kind of soil I have. I read online that an iron deficiency can cause yellowing between the veins of the leaf, chlorosis? Can happen when PH is too high or soil is too rich in lime. I dont know, I never knew how much chemistry was involved with gardening!!!

Do you think it could be aster yellow? I can not find any information on if it effects bee balm. All my bone flowers in the same area are doing great

The following documents indicate that yellows disease caused by a phytoplasma is known to occur in monarda. Laboratory analysis might be needed to determine whether this disease has affected the plants shown in the photo.


Hi Bob, thank you for the information! Is testing something that can be done through the U of M? I could just pull it and start over but curiosity is killing me. I did have a few cone flowers about 10 feet away that I think did have aster yellow, so maybe?

Yes, you can take or send samples of the affected plants to the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic. Go here to learn how to prepare samples and where to take or send them for testing: