Monarda punctata

Spotted Bee Balm

$3.00 - $21.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.
Out of Stock

Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

3 Pack
Tray of 38
Out of Stock

Spotted Bee Balm (also called Dotted Mint or Dotted Horsemint) prefers sandy soils and full to part sun. This Monarda is more tolerant of drought and intense sun than most in the genera. Monarda punctata is usually found in sand prairies, hill prairies, and Oak savannas. 

It is an eccentric beauty in form and color with complex blossoms topping 2’ stems in hues of pinkish-purple, green, beige, and maroon. These blossoms attract honeybees, bumblebees, and many butterflies, including Karner Blue butterfly. Spotted Bee Balm is also one of the host plants for the Raspberry pyrausta butterfly. The scent of this plant is repugnant to mammalian herbivores so is rarely consumed by them.
Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 1 year
Potted 3-Packs May/June August/September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots
Potted Trays of 38* May/June N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
*This species is a choice in the Mix & Match - Create Your Own Tray!

Monarda punctata - Spotted Bee Balm

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

6 Questions asked on Monarda punctata

Hello friends, I am interested in this plant and would like to now if it contains a high amount of bergamot oil like monarda fistulosa.
Thanks for your question, Wesley. Monarda punctata plants do have a high concentration of oils. Here is a fact sheet explaining what oils are actually present within the genus, Monarda: Wild Bergamot Fact Sheet I want to be careful with my wording because "Bergamot" can be confused with bergamot orange or Bergamot mint rather than Wild Bergamot.
No question, just some positive feedback. I planted these this spring and they are amazing. They are so different. and the pollinators LOVE them. I’m looking forward to splitting them and planting them in my meadow next spring.
Thank you for sharing Mary! We love this unusual-looking native too! Just a reminder to wait until early fall to move the plants - when they are going dormant. Good luck!
I have only seen this plant growing almost in dunes by the ocean. It was spectacular. I live in a dry area, but with kind of clay soil. I kind of doubt this would work for this flower. Any suggestions?
Hi there, Yes, this species prefers dry sandy sites, although it will also grow in medium soil conditions. You could experiment with a small amount to see if it’ll work for you.
Is monarda punctata an aggressive spreader? I've seen it growing in Wisconsin sand dunes along Lake Michigan and I'm in love! Will it tolerate a more loamy garden soil?
Hi Heidi, We would not consider Spotted Bee Balm an aggressive spreader, but it does readily reseed if it is happy. This plant prefers well-drained soil conditions, so as long as your loam isn’t retaining too much moisture you should be ok. It’s such a unique wildflower so I think it’s totally worth experimenting with. 😊
Would this work around pine trees (very dry) in part shade?
Hi Alexander. Spotted Bee Balm is an amazingly versatile plant - and being able to tolerate dry, acidic sites like under pine trees is just one more reason to love them!
I've seen Monarda punctata described variously as an annual, an biennial, a perennial, and a short lived perennial. Which would you call it?
Hi Helen. The lifespan of Spotted Bee Balm really depends on the individual site conditions. On Prairie Moon property, we have experienced this species to be relatively short-lived.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

US Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Dry, Dry
2 feet
Bloom Time
July, August, September
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Deer Resistant
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code