Monarda 'Mojo'
Common Name: bee balm 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Most hybrids are of Monarda didyma parentage and are easily grown in average, medium to wet, moisture retentive soils in full sun to part shade. Those of Monarda fistulosa parentage are more tolerant of drier soils. Prefers rich, humusy soils in full sun, but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. Remove spent flowers to improve plant appearance and possibly to prolong bloom. Divide clumps every 3-4 years to prevent overcrowding and to control mildly spreading tendencies (slowly spreads by rhizomes). Provide plants with good air circulation to help combat fungal leaf diseases.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Monarda is a genus of about 15 species of annuals and herbaceous perennials from prairies and woodlands in North America. They flower from mid-summer to early fall and are loved by bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Genus name honors Nicholas Monardes (1493-1588), physician and botanist of Seville.

Some monardas are commonly called beebalm in reference to a prior use of the leaves as a balm for bee stings.

'Mojo' was bred by Intrinsic Perennial Gardens Inc. using Monarda bradburiana as one of the parents and was introduced in 2017. The spring foliage has short silvered hairs and along with its stems, is purple to chocolate red. The foliage will turn dark green in summer and is mildew-resistant. In June it will have tubular, two-lipped, purple, spotted flowers in dense, globular, solitary, terminal heads atop square stems. Each flower head rests upon a whorl of showy, leafy bracts. The purple seedhead will hold on into winter. 'Mojo' grows 2 to 2 1/2 ft. tall and 1 to 2 ft. wide. United States Plant Patent applied For (PPAF).

Problems

Powdery mildew can be a serious problem with some of the monardas. Susceptibility to foliar diseases in general increases if plants are grown in dry soils or are allowed to dry out. Rust is also an occasional problem.

Garden Uses

Perennial borders, cottage gardens, herb gardens, moist sunny areas along streams or ponds. Also effective in containers.