Newest Review: ... green shoots as the plant regenerates in early spring. To grow from seed, if you place the seeds thinly onto moist compost or vermiculit... more
lemony and aromatic
Member Name: woodlice
Date: 11/04/01, updated on 11/04/01 (65 review reads)
Advantages: Lovely lemon aroma, attractive to bees and butterflies
Disadvantages: Self seeds easily. Does need space.
Lemon balm is very easy to grow and once established in your garden it will self seed around the plant.
Lemon balm needs a fair amount of area to reach its true potential height of about 3 - 4 feet. In summer it produces tall spikelets of white/yellowy cream flowers that attract bees and butterflies. It needs free draining soil in a sunny position and will withstand full sun although it approves of gentle watering through the dry summer months. It also thrives on arrid soil without a hint of organic matter so you will be surprised where the seedlings grow. It will also appreciated some well rotted organic compost.
It needs to be cut back in Autumn after the seeds have developed or if you want to keep it at bay, cut back before the seeds dry. The leaves of the lemon balm are very aromatic and when brushed release a heady lemon aroma. They can be used to make a tisaine - steeped in hot water to produce a lemon flavoured tea with a hint of mint. It can also be used as a fabric freshener on a rinse cycle - a cooled strained steeped mixture can be poored into the conditioner part of your machine to leave your clothes with a hint of lemon.
It is an allrounder for the herb garden although can be invasive if not kept on a short rein.