deadheading bee balm & mallow

aubadeAugust 5, 2010

I have a lavender bee balm (monarda fitulosa) and a red bee balm (monarda didyma) growing for their 2nd season this year. They grew huge, and had lots of wonderful blooms. But now all of the petals have fallen off, and the plants are left with just a bunch of round pom-pom looking heads. Should I cut these off? Will anymore blooms develop if I do?

Also, I have a purple mallow plant (Malva sylvestris 'Mystic Merlin') that was beautiful in the early summer, but now it is this nasty tall straggly brown thing. What should I do to help this plant?

Thanks for any advice on taking care of these perennials!

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I'd like to hear to about what others do with their bee balm too. I had read on some previous posts that it can be cut back so I did. There's a few new blooms and leaves. It definitely looks better.

I also cut back my lemon balm and catmint since they were taking over. Catmint is reblooming and the lemon balm is just about as big as it was before.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:43PM
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I can't say for sure about the mallow, but most books I've read on the subject say Bee Balm benefits from being cut back after blooming. You can deadhead to the next buds that are forming. I've even read that if your Bee Balm is looking a little ratty after blooming or has powdery mildew, you can pretty much cut it to the ground, give it a good helping of compost and water well, it should re-sprout a new crown of foliage, which, even if it doesn't re-bloom, will at least look fresh for the rest of the season.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:09PM
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I grow mallow also and i cut it back every year when it gets too straggly looking and it comes back every year,and believe me we aren't kind when we cut it back.It has come up in other places other than where we originally planted it.We have a small one that came up recently in a potted plant with calla lilies and petunias.I really don't think you can kill it!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 6:04PM
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Bee balm was beautiful this year! After it was done blooming, though, the foliage was pretty bad. Powdery mildew, etc. I just cut mine back nearly to the ground. So... we'll see. I'll just be happy to see it again next year if it doesn't care to make a reappearance this year. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 12:34AM
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Any perennial can be cut back pretty severely after blooming. Some will bloom again and other won't but they will send out new clean foliage. I just use my hand hedge shears. I just did shasta daisies, rudbeckia and mondarda. The shastas had already sent up new bushy leaves from the base before I got them pruned.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 6:42AM
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Great, ok, I'll cut them back. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:02AM
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