Header image  

Butterfly Gardening and Habitat Program

line decor
line decor

Oswego Tea - Monarda didyma


Oswego tea plants produce tufted red flowers concentrated primarily at the end of each stem with a bloom period of at least a month. Deadheading (the removal of dying flowers) can extend the bloom period even longer. For gardeners who appreciate hot (some might say clashing) color in the garden, plant oswego tea next to butterfly milkweed.

Powdery mildew can be a serious problem with oswego tea. A natural cross M. didyma 'Jacob Cline' is a mildew and rust resistant cultivar of oswego tea. It also has the potential to grow much taller than the species, up to six feet in some cases.

Importance as a caterpillar food source: Oswego tea is not used as a caterpillar food source.

Importance as a butterfly nectar source: A wide variety of butterflies find oswego tea an attractive nectar source.


Oswego Tea Cultural Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zone
3- 8
Bloom Period
June to August
Bloom Color
Plant Height
36 to 48 inches
Plant Spread
24 to 36 inches
Light Exposure
Sun to light shade
Soil Moisture
Animal/Disease Problems
Deer resistant, powdery mildew may be a problem







Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline'

monarda didyma Jacob Cline


oswego tea map
Native range for Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)



©2008 North American Butterfly Association