Bee balm, better known as Bergamot, is just one of those aromatic plants with multiple uses. It’s a wonderful pollinator crop that features beautiful flowers of red or purple blooms. Bee balm is often associated with the herb Stinging Nettles, used to make teas and stings. It’s a great alternative if you’re trying to get more bee pollen into your diet. This article covers the harvesting and storing of this wonderful aromatic tea.
Bee harvesting requires you to first locate the plants themselves. They are mostly found in sunny or partially shaded areas, so finding an area near a water source should be considered. The best place to do this is along a sloping hill, as the incline will likely cause the soil to drain. Once you have found the flowering plant, it’s time to start harvesting.
Harvesting can be done with a hand fork or a trowel, but a hoe is more effective for breaking up the tough soil. The leaves and stalks can then be raked away, leaving behind the flower heads for pollination and other medicinal uses. Once the plant material is gone, it’s time to put the plants in a large container for easy storage. Bee balm is a sensitive plant and will quickly dry out if stored in a moist environment, so make sure you properly water the plants once they’ve been picked and placed in a container.
Storing bee balm leaves and stems is best done in a cool, dark place. Since this is a seasonal crop, it must be kept fresh throughout the year. Moisture can cause diseases, so keeping the plant from drying out is essential to avoid problems. When choosing a container for your plants, consider placing them in pots filled with soil, as this will help keep the soil damp and weed-free, which will also help the plant grow fuller.
After the plant starts to bloom, you’ll notice a growth of tiny white blossom buds. These are actually the shoots that will soon bear flowers and are ideal for growing bee balm in a container. While the blooming is happening, take a sharp knife and cut a few slits along the plant’s main stem. The cuttings will contain the plant’s roots and serve as a valuable resource for harvesting during the flowering season.
To encourage even more blooming, you can prune the plant to remove dead flowers and cut off the beautiful white top. Then, take fresh blooms and use them in your favorite recipes. After the flowers grow, just cut off the remaining portion of the flower, discarding it. This will prevent you from taking on an over-planting, allowing you to maintain your garden and preserve the beautiful flowers for later. To assure yourself that the plant has been fully cared for, remove the flowers and cut off any green or brown stems.
How To Grow Bee Balm is ideal for growing indoors for any given time of year but should be kept in a dry location until spring when they start producing their first set of flowers. By keeping your indoor garden healthy, you’ll ensure continuous flowering. To protect your plants from any kind of weather damage, place them in glass containers that receive at least four hours of light. Sunlight can quickly dry out the soil, so placing your plant in a greenhouse or an unheated porch will keep the soil damp and healthy. If you’re growing plants in pots, be sure to line them with potting soil to ensure that they get all of the nutrients it needs.
So, how to grow Bee Balm? Start by growing your favorite herbal plants, such as basil, mint, or chives. Once you have established a good growing environment and have started harvesting your herbs, you can move on to harvesting and starting to enjoy your fresh, new herbal recipe. Check your local garden center for more information on making your very own new recipes.