'Lemon balm' is a plant in the Melissa genus with a scientific name of Melissa officinalis. The botanical name epithet for Lemon balm (officinalis) means 'used medicinally'.
Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent.Leaves appear approximately as a Ao green colour. A type of edible herb, it mainly grows as a perennial plant - which means it typically grows best over a long period (from 3 years+). Lemon balm is known for its forb habit and growing to a height of approximately 60.0 cm (1.95 feet). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer. Lemon balm is a great plant to attract butterflies and bees to your garden.
Italy is believed to be where Lemon balm originates from.
Lemon balm is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Lemon balm have been kindly provided by our members.
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Cutting plants back after flowering will produce a fresh flush of attractive growth. Remove flowers to prevent aggressive self-seeding.
Plants will not tolerate high humidity and need good drainage, especially overwinter.
Plants are more compact and have darker green foliage when grown in partial shade.Lemon balm likes a position of partial sun / full sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 8 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ideally plant in loamy, clay or sandy soil and try to keep the ph of your soil between the range of 4.5 and 7.6 as Lemon balm likes to be in moderately acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Lemon balm is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.
Sow indoors from March to May or 8-10 weeks before the last frost.
Soak seeds in hot water before sowing. 1
Seeds self sow, but they can be planted in a cold frame in the spring or autumn, where germination may be slow. Seedlings should be individually potted and held until planting out the next spring.Soil temperature should be kept higher than 21°C / 70°F to ensure good germination.
Propagate by seed, cuttings, layering, division or separation.
Vegetative propagation is done by root division or layering or by stem cuttings.
Division is easy in spring or summer when divisions can be planted into permanent positions. It is best to pot smaller divisions and hold them in a cold frame until the next spring before planting out.
Stem cuttings taken in July or August root well even in water, and can be planted out in a sunny location in moist soil when well rooted.
Use freshly picked leaves. Adds flavor to stuffing, jams, fruit salads, vegetable salads and fruit drinks
Harvest just as flowering begins/ then dry bunches well and store in tightly sealed containers.
These plants have been known to grow well alongside Lemon balm so consider planting:
These plants will not grow well with Lemon balm so avoid planting these within close proximity:
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Lemon balm plants:
The botanical epithet is from the Latin officinalis meaning “used medicinally”
A vigorous and attractive lemon-scented perennial herb that tolerates poor, dry soils. Spreads aggressively by rhizomes and self-seeding, but makes an attractive filler and background, especially variegated varieties.
Lemon balm has a delicate lemon scent and is a non running member of the mint family.2 The leaves are shiny with scalloped edges; small white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer. It attracts bees and butterflies.
The leaves are used to effectively treat cold sores, upset stomach, and colic.1
Common balm, Bee balm, Sweet balm, Bee's leaf, Honey plant, Apiatrum
Melissa officinalis L.
Misspellings: Melissa odorata
20 May 2012
In my climate this volunteers and spreads like a weed. Its a bit aggressive but far from the worst. Looks and smells good.
23 Apr 2012
I just can’t believe my lemon balm is dyeing, so I started more seeds today.
13 Feb 2012
makes a wonderful tea
23 Dec 2011
I didn’t find myself using this for as much as I’d initially hoped; probably won’t bother planting it again. Chocolate mint and spearmint are more my style.
19 May 2011
I love the scent and it’s attractive to pollinators, but it does spread quickly, so make sure you’ve either got it contained or you are really in love with having it all over the garden.