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Growing Lemon Balm, also Sweet balm,

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      S P              

(Best months for growing Lemon Balm in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Cut back tall stems to prevent flowering.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Good to attract bees
  • Lemon Balm
    Lemon Balm

Lemon balm will grow from seed or cuttings. It self seeds readily and can become a nuisance if not checked.

Leaf shape is somewhat like mint and it likes to spread in the same way.

Pleasant lemon scent, released when a leaf is crushed.

Will grow in sun or part-shade. Lemon balm is shallow rooted so needs some water in hot dry weather. Does not like constant wet soil though. Attracts bees.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Lemon Balm

As a herb tea or added to fruit punch.
Can be used to replace lemon, used sparingly, in desserts and with stewed fruit.
Chop leaves into salad.

Better used fresh than dried.

Your comments and tips

Be the first to post a question or tip from the USA

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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