Monarda didyma 'Purple Rooster'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Bee Balm

When visiting The Flower Factory, a unique retail nursery in Stoughton, Wisconsin, a few summers ago, we were struck by the fantastic true royal purple flowers and clean foliage of ‘Purple Rooster’.  It was flying off the benches there, selling on impulse, as it had been for about twenty years. 

Upon inquiring with the owners, David and Nancy Nedveck, we learned that David had selected this purple flowering plant from a batch of M. didyma seedlings and named it ‘Purple Rooster’ after his love for roosters.  To his knowledge, they are the only retailer that has ever sold this fantastic variety since David selected and named it so long ago. 

We brought home a few to try for ourselves and were equally impressed with its performance.  Large, true royal purple flowers were produced over most of the summer on clean, mildew-free plants that never required staking despite their three foot height.  We are excited and honored to be the first wholesale grower to offer ‘Purple Rooster’, and are happy to help the Nedvecks spread their wonderful discovery across the US and Canada. 

Monarda is native to eastern North America, so it is easy to grow and it multiplies quickly. The flowers' sweet nectar attracts scores of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees to the garden. The aromatic foliage smells like mint when crushed and is often used to flavor teas.

Intro Year: 2009

Breeder: David Nedveck of The Flower Factory

Origin: Native Cultivar


  36 Inches
  26 Inches
Flower Color:
  Purple shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Average water needs
  Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
  Attracts hummingbirds
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
  Late summer
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Rain Garden


Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Fragrant flowers or foliage
Mass Planting

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Monarda can be found naturally along riverbanks and enjoys this rich, organic, moist soil. However, it will grow in average soil as well. Full sun is best, but light shade is tolerated. Plants tend to spread more quickly in the shade, however.

Most Monardas multiply rapidly either by underground stems or self-sowing. In order to keep plants healthy and vigorous, they should be divided at least every three years in the spring. Deadheading spent blooms will prolong the bloom time.

Powdery mildew is a common fungal problem with Monarda. Some varieties are more resistant to it than others. To prevent this fungus from appearing, large clumps should be thinned out so that the air circulates freely around them. The soil should also be kept consistently moist; dry soil promotes powdery mildew.


Common/Botanical Name
Lobelia cardinalis
Common Name: Cardinal Flower
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Common Name: Daylily
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.