Bee Balm is an incredible and useful plant to have in your garden. Knowing how to harvest Bee Balm and harvesting it at the right time can help you use this special plant to its full potential. So when is the best time to harvest Bee Balm? Keep reading to find out!
Bee Balm has great medicinal properties, such as helping soothe scratchy throats and clearing up sinuses.
If you’re like me and want to start switching to natural healing cures, Bee Balm is a good place to start. I put together a quick read to help you know the ins and outs to harvest your own Bee Balm so you can see its benefits for yourself.
What Exactly Is Bee Balm?
Bee Balm, or Monarda Didyma, is a beautiful, and colorful plant. They come in a range of dark red and light purple colors. These charming plants grow in clusters and are at their peak in the mid to late summer.
They can grow from two to four feet tall. For a plant, that is quite tall! They don’t tower over you like a sunflower would, but they are tall enough that you don’t need to bend down to see them.
Where Does Bee Balm Grow Best?
This plant is native to North America and in parts of Canada. It is most common in East North America, but it is also native to Washington and Oregon. This plant has a preference for growing in moist soil and sunny climates.
If you want to get more specific about their growth, remember that they need soil with a Ph level of 6.0 to 7.0. To know a little more about plant pH, you can visit this site. This might seem complicated to a beginner, but rest assured that it is very simple to control your plant pH.
This plant isn’t too picky about humidity and temperature. That makes it a little easier for beginners who are new at planting. Just make sure your Bee Balms get enough sunlight and water.
For best results, make sure your plants get at least six hours of sunlight every day, They enjoy their sun! They won’t have trouble in some shade, but if they do not get enough sun, they will not grow as tall or as strong as their sun-loving counterparts.
Other places where you are sure to see this flower in the United States are Georgia, Minnesota, and Missouri.
What Is Bee Balm Used For?
Bee Balm flowers have a long history and a variety of uses. Native Americans and the early colonizers of the United States used its leaves and its flowers for medicinal properties. They used the plant for teas, salves, and other purposes.
As you might have guessed, Bee Balm gets its name because of bee-related qualities. While this plant attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, it is most known for relieving pain from bee stings. Just rub the leaves on the sharp sting and it will ease your pain.
You can also use the leaves of the plant to help heal skin abrasions and infections. Boiled leaves can help heal fungal infections, stop bleeding with a bandage, and help relieve sore eyes and muscle spasms. (Source)
For other medicinal purposes, this can be used as a natural cough syrup because it clears sinuses and can soothe a sore throat. Another unique use for this plant is it can be used as a mouthwash to help cure painful mouth sores and toothaches.
It is a very useful plant to find on a hike. Not only if you got a little too close to a grumpy bee, but this plant is also safe to eat.
Like other floral herbs, you can use the petals to make delicious floral jellies or syrups. You can eat some delicious homemade jam with toasts, muffins, or other pastries. If you really want to get fancy, you can go ahead and toss some petals on top of your salads.
The leaves are also useful when it comes to food. You can use them to season meat, pork, or poultry.
When Is The Best Time To Harvest Bee Balm?
Now let’s talk about the reason you came here: To know when you should harvest these amazing little flowers.
The best time to harvest Bee Balm is in the middle of the morning, just after the morning dew has evaporated from these flowers. This can ensure the best flavor, so stay alert in the morning of the harvest.
Pro tip: Harvest the leaves before the flower buds open. At this time, the leaves have the best flavor! On that note, once the flowers bloom, pick them quickly, so the plant can quickly get to work and grow new flowers.
After you clip the base of the stalk, let them dry for one to two weeks. A helpful way to do this is to pluck the leaves and petals and spread them out on a screen to dry. Take advantage of the sunlight by placing them by a window to dry.
Use the dried petals for making teas or for whatever medical needs you have Dry petals can be preserved for a very long time, so you don’t need to worry about expiration.
If you have Bee Balm in your garden or if it grows naturally around your home, consider yourself a very lucky person! There are so many uses for this beautiful and natural healing plant. This is an amazing natural remedy for sore eyes, headaches, congested noses, and painful mouths.
Besides its medical use, Bee Balm is an edible plant and can be used in many foods, such as jams, salads, and teas, You can even use the leaves to season meat!
Harvest Bee Balm in the morning for the best flavor. Pay attention to the flower bud to know when is the best time to harvest the leaves.