Lemon Balm


Lemon Balm is a bushy perennial plant with oval shaped fragrant leaves that have a lemony taste with a hint of mint.

Lemon Balm is a useful kitchen herb for flavouring sweet and savoury dishes and has excellent health benefits, used extensively in aromatherapy products for its calming and uplifting effect, similarly it makes a lovely refreshing herbal tea and it is thought to relieve indigestion and cold sores.

Lemon Balm has the tell tale square stem associated with the mint family to which it belongs and like mint is best contained in a pot as it spreads quickly. It dies down in Winter and re-grows in Spring growing to a height of about 50cm by 45cm wide.

Bees will be buzzing around the small white/pale lilac flowers that are produced by Lemon Balm whose Greek name is Melissa officinalis ‘Melissa’ is Greek for bee and ‘officinalis’ means medicinal. However it is best to prevent flowering early in the season as this affects the flavour of the leaves but allow some to flower later in the season to give the bees their buzz! Regularly snip a few leaves throughout the season as this encourages new fragrant young leaves to grow, if it does get a little out of hand chop it right back and it will re-sprout.

Lemon Balm does self-seed easily so cut the flowers before they go to seed if you don’t want lots of new baby seedlings. Lemon Balm is best used fresh but it can be frozen into ice cubes of vegetable oil and used in the kitchen at a later date and is great popped into soups or used with fish or chicken dishes.

Lemon Balm can be dried and the fragrant stems and leaves used in pot-pourris. The fresh leaves are also lovely used in fruit salads or as a cake flavouring.


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Latin NameMelissa officinalis

Sowing Instructions – Sow seed thinly in seed trays and cover with a light sprinkle of compost or vermiculite and water. Place tray in a heated propagator set at between 20-25C. Careful with watering as prefers it on the drier side. Germination should take up to 3 weeks.When large enough to handle transplant seedlings to 9cm pots and grow on in cooler conditions. Plant outside or into final pot when the risk of frost has passed usually late May after a 7 day period of ‘hardening off.’ Space plants 30cm apart if placed in soil but as they are vigorous they may be better in a pot to contain their spread.

Hints and Tips –Pick leaves regularly to ensure lots of new fresh growth.

Number of Seeds – Approx 500


Additional information

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