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Growing Lemon Balm, also Sweet balm,

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30 Dec 12 Leesa (Australia - temperate climate)
Hope it's not too late but I had the same thing - mine was going wild then suddenly went in reverse and very fast deteriorated to seemingly hopeless. It's now back better than ever. Here's what I did. Maybe it'll work for you. It seems to like being very wet in the soil, but plenty of air and sun on the centre base of the plant. Self defeating almost. The more it grows dense, the heart starts going yellow, white mildewy and tiny black spots. I cut away any of the affected leaves at the base (tiny new leaves that immediately went bad) - this was a lot. Also any bigger top leaves and whole 'branches' that were shadowing the centre. There wasn't much left, but what did I have to lose. It started recovering, and as long as it was in that weird bowl shape it kept getting better. During this stage you need to keep the water and feeding up because the centre is drying out and losing water to the soil underneath. After a while I let it grow back in the middle, still pruning when it got too clustered in the centre or the middle was shadowed from above. Now it has found its new legs and grows evenly as long as I occasionally do some of this 'middle air' maintenance and keep the water up. Hope this helps. I use a lot of it for Thai cooking - it's a great substitute for lemongrass, so I need mine to be thriving. Now happily, it is once more.

Hope it's not too late but I had the same thing - mine was going wild then suddenly went in reverse and very fast deteriorated to seemingly hopeless. It's now back better than ever. Here's what I did. Maybe it'll work for you. It seems to like being very wet in the soil, but plenty of air and sun on the centre base of the plant. Self defeating almost. The more it grows dense, the heart starts going yellow, white mildewy and tiny black spots. I cut away any of the affected leaves at the base (tiny new leaves that immediately went bad) - this was a lot. Also any bigger top leaves and whole 'branches' that were shadowing the centre. There wasn't much left, but what did I have to lose. It started recovering, and as long as it was in that weird bowl shape it kept getting better. During this stage you need to keep the water and feeding up because the centre is drying out and losing water to the soil underneath. After a while I let it grow back in the middle, still pruning when it got too clustered in the centre or the middle was shadowed from above. Now it has found its new legs and grows evenly as long as I occasionally do some of this 'middle air' maintenance and keep the water up. Hope this helps. I use a lot of it for Thai cooking - it's a great substitute for lemongrass, so I need mine to be thriving. Now happily, it is once more.

- Leesa

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