Care of a Bee Baum plant

Asked July 29, 2020, 5:08 PM EDT

I have 2 bee balm plants that had many beautiful blooms One time this season. Was I suppose to cut blooms off when they die OR just leave it alone for new blossoms? It is taking forever to see any new blossoms . I originally planted the 2 side by side , about 12 to 16” high to attract hummingbirds. Last year I saw a few. This year nothing. Sunny all day. I have humming bird feeder hanging with no results. What is your recommendation? Thank you.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - If you cut off the first flowers after they finish blooming, this signals to the plant to push out new flowers instead of focusing energy on seed development. Typically on bee balm the second flush of flowers is a little smaller and less impressive than the first, but you can still get some more blooms. You might not see hummingbirds around if they are finding good food sources (and/or nesting sites) elsewhere around your neighborhood. This article from Cornell goes into some of the reasons why you might not see hummingbirds at your feeder. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/youre-seeing-fewer-hummingbirds-at-your-feeder-should-you-worry/

Continuing to provide native plants that flower at different times from spring to fall will help to support hummingbirds. Bee balms are a perfect choice, as are columbine, coral honeysuckle, cardinal flower, evening primrose, liatris, etc.
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/animals/AttractingHummingbirds.pdf

https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/habitat/wahumbutbee.aspx

Christa