Lemon balm

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Lemon balm
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Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiospermae
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Melissa
Species: Melissa officinalis

Bee balm
Bee's leaf
Common balm
Sweet balm

Plant Data
Germination time: 17 days
Time to harvesting: +90 days
Mature height: 90cm (3ft)
Mature spread: 50cm (20in)
Ideal pH range: 4.5 - 7.6
Sow depth: 1cm (½in)
Growing plant spacing: 15cm (6in)
References: [1][2][3]

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It is a bushy plant growing up to 90cm (3ft) tall and can spread like mint so may have to be kept in check. It is grown for its oval leaves which emit a strong lemon aroma when crushed.[2]

Planner[edit | edit source]

Sow (indoors)
Sow (outdoors)



Growing[edit | edit source]

Location[edit | edit source]

Lemon balm tolerates light shade and thrives in most average soils.[3]

Sowing[edit | edit source]

Sow seeds 1cm (½in) deep in late April or early may.[3]

Thinning[edit | edit source]

Thin seedlings to 15cm (6in) apart. Alternatively you can by a pot from a garden centre.[3] It can be grown in containers to stop the roots from invading other areas of your garden.

Aftercare[edit | edit source]

Keep the plants well watered during their first summer.[3]

Harvesting[edit | edit source]

Pick leaves sparingly until the plant is well established.[3]

Continued care[edit | edit source]

In subsequent years, cut the stems back to 15cm (6in) above the ground each June to encourage the growth of new shoots. Each October cut them back to just above ground level.[3] Store the cuttings, tied, by hanging in a warm, airy location.[4]

Preserving[edit | edit source]

If you are picking leaves for drying, do so before the plant starts to flower in June and July.[3]

Troubles[edit | edit source]

Full troubles list: Mint troubles

References[edit | edit source]


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
  1. a b Lemon Balm. myfolia.com. Retrieved: 2010-09-11.
  2. a b Hessayon, D.G. (2009). The Vegetable & Herb Expert. Transworld Publishers, London. p. 135. ISBN 9780903505468
  3. a b c d e f g h i Food From Your Garden & Allotment. Reader's Digest Association Ltd, London. p. 83. ISBN 978276443367
  4. Hyde, B. Using and Growing Lemon Balm. MOAB Group LLC, Seeds of Knowledge, Old Fashioned Living. Retrieved: 2010-09-11.