Gardening Magazine

Transplanting My Excess Monarda (Bee Balm)

By John Markowski @jmarkowski0

As I was recently stressing/obsessing over how to fill in some bare spots in my garden, three things came to mind:
  • New plants are expensive
  • I have a somewhat limited range of plants that work with my conditions
  • Repetition in the garden is good and pleasing to the eye

With that in mind, the obvious choice was to take my excess Monarda (Bee Balm) plants and relocate them to where they can spread to their heart's content.
Nothing has thrived in my garden more the past few years than Monarda as they have easily doubled in size in just the last two years alone. I love the fact that they spread and fill in aggressively without acting as a true thug.
I started with this location as you can see they are starting to take over the neighboring Juniper: Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
Why not grab a few that are closest to the Juniper and simply dig them out and move them:
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
I find it incredibly simple to just place a trowel into the soil underneath the stem of plant, wiggle it a bit to loosen up the roots and then yank it out with my hand:  
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
And just like that, you have yourself a new plant. You can clearly see from the roots how this perennial spreads so easily:  
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
I quickly determined where to move my new Bee Balm. This one was going to be relocated between two Miscanthus:
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
In it went:
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
And then to assist in the plant's establishment, I snipped off the spent flowers and all of the leaves so the plant's energy could be focused on root development (Quick note - I made the decision to do it this way on my own and cannot vouch if I did everything scientifically correct here):
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
The plant was then deeply watered and left to do its thing. Now we just wait and see how it all plays out.
I moved close to ten of these Monarda and a bunch of Purple Coneflowers as well and it didn't cost me a dime. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
By the way, I am well aware of the powdery mildew on my Bee Balm:
Transplanting my excess Monarda (Bee Balm)
I even wrote a post about it last year (which you can read here).
My typical move is to cut these down to the ground around this time each year but I'm leaving them all alone this year just to see if it truly causes any future issues. I also enjoy the spent blooms in the fall and covered in snow in winter.
Damn this stuff is fun isn't it?      

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