How to Grow Balm Lemon
Perennial, Melissa Officinalis
Balm Lemon, also called Lemon Balm or just plain Balm, is an easy to grow
herb. As it's name suggests, it gives off a lemony scent in the herb garden.The
scent is easily released, even by by brushing by the plant.
The edible leaves have a lemony flavor, too. Native to Asia and the Mediterranean
region, Balm Lemon feels right at home in full sun, or in a lightly shaded
area of your garden. Place the plants near your kitchen window, where its
lemony scent can waft into your kitchen on a gentle breeze.
Balm Lemon plants grow from two to twenty-two feet tall! Most home garden
varieties grow 2'-3' tall. Balm Lemon plants are very aggressive, and grow
like weeds. We recommend containing them with a border edging around the
plants, dug about 6-8 inches below the soil.
Bees are attracted to the flowers.
In addition to culinary uses, try Lemon Balm in potpourris and sachets.
Balm Lemon is grown from seed. We recommend an early, indoor start. If planted
outdoors, the tiny seeds can easily wash out of the soil in a spring rain.
Sow seeds and barely cover with soil. The seeds need light to germinate.
Water lightly, to avoid washing seeds out of the soil, or down too deep into
Balm Lemon is also commonly grown by division of the roots. Left unattended,
this aggressive plant will do just fine, rapidly spreading its roots into
other areas of the garden or lawn. It can also be propagated by cuttings.
How to Grow Balm Lemon Herb Plants:
Balm Lemon plants are very easy to grow. The plants prefer full sun to light
shade, and a moist, slightly rich soil. They also do well in average soils.
Space seedlings or thin plants to 24" apart, in rows two feet apart. They
will quickly grow and spread, if allowed. They will tolerate a little crowding.
Balm Lemon plants prefers moist soil. Water plants during dry periods, at
least once a week.
Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
Flowers go to seed quickly. Aggressively cut back plants to promote lush,
Harvest leaves when young and tender. To preserve leaves, dry them immediately.
Put dried leaves in a sealed container, so they do not lose their flavor.
Main Culinary Uses:
Balm Lemon flavors sauces, salads, soups, teas, stews, and meat dishes. It
can be used to flavor teas and fruit punches.