This a Native American Plant. It was discovered by the early Botanist John Barrtram near Oswego New York. So sometimes it is called Oswago. When the Colonists dumped all the tea from Britain in the sea....this was the foundation of Liberty Tea! The Revolutionaries used it in lieu of tea after the Boston Tea Parties.The plant was carried over from Virginia in 1637.
There are over 30 varieties and many colors!! It grows best in dappled shade to full sun and should be divided and transplanted every couple years. After the first round of blooms, I cut the plants down almost to the ground. They soon grow back up and sometimes give me another bloom. The worst case scenario is no bloom but nice foliage. This also helps with the powdery mildew they are prone to get.
Bee Balm grows all over Brown County Indiana. (this is where we lived before we moved to Kentucky) When our son Jake was very young, he never wanted to take a nap. I would put him in the car and drive through the countryside and have him look for Bee Balm. I would hear this little voice in the back seat " Bee Balm, Bee Balm..Bee...." and then he was out! So I love this plant. It has free range in my gardens!! It gave me time when I needed it most.